Acupuncture Services in St. Louis

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient art of therapy that originated in China 5,000 years ago where a doctor places fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints in the body to enhance recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless, and effective way to support a wide variety of medical problems.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture can work in three main ways.

  1. Circling the dragon– by circling the area of injury, your body sends chemicals to the area similar to how blood rushes to your head if you bump your head
  2. Protocol– Different acupoints have been researched to fix certain problems. By stimulating those points, the body sends off a natural reaction to focus on those symptoms involved.
  3. Balancing the Qi– There are 12 meridians on either side of the body. A blockage can affect the natural flow of energy throughout the body causing symptoms that are often unexplained medically.

Does it hurt?

At Clayton Chiropractic Center, we use a guide to gently place the hair thin needles just millimeters into the skin. Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling, or dull ache. Most people don’t feel the needle going in. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading or moving around the needle. This is called the “Qi sensation.” All these reactions are good and are a sign that the treatment is working. After treatment you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some experience immediate relief, others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes. Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors including condition, history of condition, and overall health. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, monthly visits for health maintenance or seasonal “tune-ups.”

Where on my body will my acupuncturist put the needles?

Each patient and condition has a unique protocol where the needs are placed. Most patients receive needles along the hands, arms, and lower leg. Other common places include the lower abdomen, back, face, ears, head, and feet. If you are uncomfortable getting acupuncture on a certain area of your body, the acupuncturist can find other acupoints that you feel comfortable with.

How should I prepare and what to expect after?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points on arms and legs. Between visits, take notes of any change that may have occurred, such as alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

Will my insurance cover it?

While we do not accept insurance for acupuncture, many medical flex spending accounts can be used for acupuncture.

Acupuncture treatment preview

After a consultation and exam to make sure acupuncture to right for you and to understand your goals, the hair-thin needles are places in the customized spots. You then rest alone in a relaxing environment with the lights dim and a sound machine for twenty minutes before the needles are removed.

What can acupuncture treat?

Visit our blog

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture and traditional medicine’s ability to treat over 43 common disorders including:

Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System

such as arthritis, migraine headaches, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness and low back, neck and shoulder pain

Gastrointestinal Disorders

such as food allergies, peptic ulcer, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, gastrointestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis.

­­­­­Gynecological Disorders

such as irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Urogenital Disorders

such as stress incontinence, urinary tract infections and sexual dysfunction

Respiratory Disorders

such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis

Circulatory Disorders

such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia

Emotional and Psychological Disorders

such as depression and anxiety


such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs

Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders

Supportive Therapy

for other chronic, painful and debilitating disorders