East/West Sports Acupuncture & Orthopaedics 


Frequently Asked Questions

"Acupuncture for the Athlete in you"

Why East/West Sports Acupuncture & Orthopaedics, LLC?

East/West Sports Acupuncture & Orthopaedics offers a unique approach to sports and orthopedic conditions integrating Eastern and Western methods.  The methods involved are hands on with a multidisciplinary approach by combining acupuncture, rehabilitation, and kinesio taping method to holistically enhance injury recovering time and return patients back to functional activity and health as quickly and safely as possible.

What is Sports Acupuncture?

Sports Acupuncture is an integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Acupuncture has been used for sports injuries for centuries because of it's effectiveness in enhancing the injury healing time and promoting performance.  The majority of sports injuries are acute and chronic conditions such as strains, sprains that involve injury to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.  Sports Acupuncture helps with reducing pain, inflammation, swelling, and restoring range of motion by increasing local blood flow to the injured area (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) and creating the injured muscles to continually twitch (activate) and return to a normal, spasm-free state, thereby strengthening it. 
"Needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain.  These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system.  The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being." (American Academy of Medical Acupuncture)

What can Sports Acupuncture treat?

East/West Sports Acupuncture & Orthopaedics, LLC specialized in athletic injury, orthopedic, and musculoskeletal conditions.  According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) acupuncture has been effective in treating a variety of conditions. Commonly treated injuries with sports acupuncture are low back pain, sacro-iliac dysfunction, bulged disc, hip flexor strain, adductor strain, hamstring strain, greater trochanter bursitis, iliotibial band syndrome, patella femoral syndrome, shin splints, patella tendinitis, meniscus injury, ankle sprain, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, migraines and tension headaches, neck muscle tension, thoracic outlet syndrome, shoulder impingement, frozen shoulder, lateral and medial epicondylitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis, and any strain, sprain, tendonitis, bursitis, or contusions.  Many people have used acupuncture in an effort to delay or remove the need for surgery.  Acupuncture is also effective in maximizing the post-surgical recovery process.

What is the difference between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?

There are no differences, Dry Needling (trigger point needling) is a subset of an Acupuncture technique (trigger point acupuncture).  Dry Needling is Acupuncture and Acupuncture is not Dry Needling.

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What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape is a rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body's natural healing process by providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body's range of motion. Kinesiology tape a latex free elastic tape that is water resistant and is used for prevention of injury as well as to help heal injuries that involve muscles and joints to enhance healing and recovery time.  Kinesiology tape application helps with increasing blood circulation and reducing swelling.  It also aids in preventing muscle spasm as well as supporting the weakened muscle and joint.


What should I expect during my first visit?

The patient will be expected to complete a health history questionnaire. The acupuncturist will complete a detailed Chinese or Japanese style intake and evaluation in addition to a comprehensive Western orthopedic evaluation as needed, based on the main complaints.  The acupuncturist will either check the patient's pulses and tongue or perform an abdominal palpation. The information is then organized to formulate an diagnosis and treatment plan.  The initial evaluation will last for a hour and a half, possibly with a mini-treatment if time permits.

Why feel my pulse?

There are 12 pulse positions which correspond to a specific meridian and organ condition.  The acupuncturist can determine through the pulse the condition of the organs involved.  

Why look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body.  It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians.  The acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why palpate my abdomen?

The abdomen is also a map of the body.  It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians.  The acupuncturist will determine if there are deficiency or excess conditions through light touch and deep pressure touch.

How long will I need treatments?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person based on if the condition is acute or chronic in nature.  Some people experience immediate relief and others may take a couple or a few months to achieve results.  Treatment frequency depends on the nature of the complaint, the underlying health of the patient and how the patient responds to the treatments.  Generally with acute conditions it take 6-8 treatments and with chronic conditions it take 8-12 treatments.

What can I expect during an acupuncture treatment?

Acupuncture sensations vary with some patients experiencing nothing at all and others a slight numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache.  Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle which can be called "Qi."  All these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working.  After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The acupuncture needles are very fine, hair thin, and flexible which makes it essentially painless during insertion.  The amount of sensation varies between different point locations on the body and different people's sensitivity level.  

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is safe and has no side effects because it is a natural medicine.  The acupuncture needles used are pre-packaged stainless steel, sterilized, and disposable.  Each needle is used only one time and disposed into a regulated bio-hazard container.


East/West Sports Acupuncture & Orthopaedics, LLC
1683 Beacon Street, Suite 1
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 447-5919

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