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What is Acupuncture?

Thousands of years ago, East Asian practitioners discovered that the body develops disharmonies as a result of the various physical and mental stresses of life. No matter which Chinese medical modality is being used (acupuncture, herbs, nutrition, qi gong, etc.), all are based on the same fundamental theories. Chinese medical theory views poor health as an imbalance of opposing forces called yin and yang, which permits internal diseases to develop, and allows external pathogens, what we now call viruses and bacteria, to invade. These imbalances, as well as physical injuries, disrupt the movement of the body's vital energy (qi) along the meridian pathways, channels along which the body's energy flows. Acupuncture restores the smooth flow of qi. By inserting needles at very specific points along meridians, Diane Jones uses acupuncture to return the body to its natural balance, promoting the body's ability to heal itself.

Diagnostic techniques

Pulse Diagnosis is one of the hardest earned and most important tools Chinese medicine has for making a careful, nuanced differential diagnosis.  Diane Jones has mastered pulse diagnosis in over 25 years of practice.  It is integral to her diagnostic and treatment strategies. 

Pulse diagnosis is less important when patients come in with uncomplicated injuries, like a recently hyperextended thumb.  But with illnesses, especially chronic ones, the pulse can reveal problematic relationships between different organ systems.  In Chinese medicine, no single internal organ functions on its own.  A kidney is not a kidney on its own, with no relationship or effect on the lungs,  liver, or spleen.  All internal organs work in relationship with each other, and an imbalance in one will create problems in another.  By reading the pulse, Diane looks at yin and yang organ function.  Correct diagnosis drives correct treatment.  And correct treatment  can be confirmed immediately by positive changes in the pulse. 

Tongue Diagnosis is another extremely important tool for making a careful differential diagnosis, and for monitoring long-term improvement.  Whereas pulse diagnosis looks at both longstanding issues and moment-to-moment changes, tongue diagnosis is a snapshot of the cumulative effects of a person's physical and mental health over a long period of time.  The tongue is a map for organ function.  Rapid changes in the pulse are common.  But rapid changes in the tongue are less common, and are usually a poor sign.  Information from the tongue is invaluable in determining diagnosis and treatment options.  Diane will frequently use a patient's cell phone to photograph their tongue so they can understand their health and can monitor progress over time.

Good Palpation is  required for good diagnosis. Palpation includes everything hands-on:  taking the pulse, feeling meridians for active points, checking skin quality and temperature, and examining injuries.  In recent years, medical doctors have relied increasingly on images like MRI's and other scans to establish a diagnosis.  Those tests are extraordinarily valuable.  They are also expensive, difficult to obtain, and often tell only a partial tale.  Unfortunately, over-reliance on tests often separates doctors from direct connection with their patients. Careful palpation is always integral to proper treatment.  While she often uses scan results, Diane Jones rapidly identifies injured muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints by palpation. Moreover, Diane Jones excels at sensing qi at the surface of the body.  This is an ability that takes years to develop.  Using her hands to feel qi, Diane Jones is a master at finding live, active points.  This is not only diagnostic,  it allows Diane to prioritize the most important points to treat. And that maximizes treatment results while minimizing the number of insertions, something everybody wants.    

What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

Most people trying acupuncture for the first time are afraid that acupuncture needles will feel like the hypodermic injections they receive at the doctor's office. They don't. Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, flexible, designed to be comfortable.  Some people feel a heavy, achy pressure called de qi. Others feel a brief electrical sensation moving down meridian pathways, though this is less common.  Typically, after a few moments, people cannot tell that the needles are still in, and they begin to feel relaxed, both physically and mentally, as if they were in a state of deep meditation.  It is not uncommon for people to fall asleep on the table while they lie there.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative! Therefore more than one treatment is usually necessary. For acute conditions you can expect to have 3 to 10 treatments, but you will usually begin to feel relief after just the first two or three. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Preventative treatments, such as for seasonal health,  and treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Yes. Acupuncture is used by millions of Americans every year. Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive education, including detailed study of human anatomy and training in Clean Needle Technique. A degree from the New England School of Acupuncture requires 3 years of full-time study, and includes course work in biology, anatomy and physiology, and chemistry. Diane Jones has passed comprehensive national board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and is licensed by the state of Massachusetts. As required by law, Diane uses pre-sterilized, disposable, single-use needles to ensure your complete safety.  In addition, Diane completes more than the required minimum of 30 hours of continuing education courses every 2 years, in order to keep learning, growing, and improving.  

Your First Visit

Please arrive at your visit with loose fitting clothing, or shorts and a tee shirt, so that I can shift clothes to reach points easily.  Many people change into comfortable clothes once they arrive at the office.  It is also ideal to not be hungry or thirsty when you arrive for an appointment. 

When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment Diane will ask you to complete a comprehensive intake form. The acupuncture form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes everything into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.

acupuncture & wellness center treatment roomAfter reviewing your intake form, we will discuss your condition, and Diane will examine your pulse and tongue, two of the basic diagnostic methods of Oriental medicine. The acupuncture points Diane chooses will depend on your specific condition, but you can expect approximately 6 to 20 needles. Once the needles are inserted, you will be left to lie comfortably for 15-45 minutes with the needles in place, according to your condition. For children, the Japanese insertion-free technique, shonishin, is used in place of needles. Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture works by activating the body's own healing powers, so it can be beneficial for many health conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has documented many symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown in controlled clinical trials to be effectively treated with acupuncture. Below are some common conditions Diane Jones treats, but please feel free to contact me about your specific health condition.

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine


  • Sports injuries
  • Muscle pain
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Leg, ankle and foot pain
  • Arm, wrist and hand pain
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Jaw pain (TMJ)
  • Dental pain
  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Postoperative pain

Digestive Issues & Nausea

  • Heartburn, Acid Reflux
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic indigestion
  • Chronic loose stools or constipation
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Respiratory Complaints

  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies

Reproductive Issues

  • Infertility
  • Increased efficacy of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)


The Acupuncture & Wellness Center
386 West Main Street Suite 10A
Northborough, MA 01532
Text message: 508-414-8363