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Patient’s Testimonial

printed with permission

“I’ve suffered from migraines for over 20 years, trying various treatments including standard Western medical therapies, chiropractic and two previous attempts with acupuncture from other practices, all with modest or no improvement. I’ve been very pleased with my progress with Paul Rooney.  For the squeamish, he uses a minimum of needles, unlike other practitioners I’ve been to. I also appreciate the comprehensive approach he has to general well-being, including proper diet, exercise and meditation. I was referred to him by a friend who found relief for her migraines, and would not hesitate to recommend him to others.”

C.S., Artist

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you NYS licensed and board certified?

I am a NYS licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist.
NCCAOM’s online directory is designed for individuals seeking practitioners who meet national requirements for board certification in Oriental medicine, acupuncture, and Chinese herbology. These practitioners have met all requirements for NCCAOM certification in the specific program area.

What is acupuncture? How does it work?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world. It originated in China over 2,500 years ago as part of Chinese Medicine. According to Chinese Medicine, the body’s energy or Qi (pronounced chee) flows through the body’s energy pathways or meridians. A person is healthy when his/her Qi flows smoothly through the meridians and when there is balanced Yin and Yang. Acupuncture uses more than 2,000 acupuncture points along the meridians to balance Yin and Yang, stimulate the body’s own healing properties, and smooth the flow of Qi through the meridians.

What is Yin and Yang?

“Yin-Yang theory is based on the philosophical construct of two polar elements, called Yin and Yang. These complementary opposites are neither forces nor material entities. Nor are they mythical concepts that transcend rationality. Rather, they are convenient labels used to describe how things function in relation to each other and to the universe. They are used to explain the continuous process of natural change…. The character for Yin originally meant the shady side of a slope. It is associated with such qualities as cold, rest, responsiveness, decrease, satiation, tranquility, and quiescence. It is the end, completion, and realized fruition. The original meaning of Yang was the sunny side of a slope. The term implies brightness and is part of one common Chinese expression for the sun. Yang is associated with qualities such as heat, stimulation, movement, activity, excitement, vigor, light, exteriority, upwardness, outwardness, and increase. It is arousal, beginning, and dynamic potential.”
Kaptchuk, Ted J. The Web That Has No Weaver: Understanding Chinese Medicine

Does it hurt?

Many people are understandably unsure about acupuncture. They worry about the needles. However, acupuncture needles are very thin, flexible, sterile, and only for a single use. They are not firm, thick, or hollow-like hypodermic needles. With skillful needle insertion there is often no sensation at all. The needle is inserted only a few millimeters under the skin with the help of a guiding tube. Japanese acupuncture, which is the form of acupuncture I practice, is known for its comfortable needling technique. Tiny magnets are also successfully used to stimulate acupuncture points. In addition, Chinese herbs are very useful in treating health problems. Many patients benefit from these alone, if fear of needles is a problem. See Patients’ Testimonials on these pages to read about my patients’ experience with acupuncture needles.

What is acupuncture good for?

Acupuncture has developed over thousands of years. People are using it all over the world for its high effectiveness, lack of negative side-effects, and wide range of application. Both chronic and acute diseases can be treated. My patients are often surprised when a long accepted disease symptom, which they did not tell me about, gets better with acupuncture as the treatments stimulate the body and mind to heal itself. Acupuncture treats disorders of the muscles, joints, nervous system, emotional and psychological disorders such as cravings and addictions, and respiratory, gastrointestinal, and gynecological disorders, including infertility. Call me at 720-0250 for a free phone consultation to discuss your particular problem.

Does it really work? Do I have to believe in it for it to work?

Acupuncture is successfully used on animals. When treating animals, the placebo effect does not work. Since animals cannot “believe” in acupuncture, and positive results are observed, the conclusion is that you do not have to make up your mind until you try it for yourself. You will be in the good company of practitioners and patients who have been using acupuncture for close to 3,000 years and have found a good reason to continue. That is a fine track record.
“World’s Largest Acupuncture Study”
Results from the cohort phase showed that approximately nine out of every ten participants (89.9%) experienced relief from pain after being treated with acupuncture. Of those patients who experienced relief, 50.7% said the pain had subsided within two weeks, usually after four treatments or less.
Article: New Studies Confirm Acupuncture Relieves Pain: MRI Scans Provide Objective Evidence that Treatment Works
“It is important for Western medicine to recognize that these acupoints really mean something in regard to pain relief,” Dr. Lee concluded. “So many people with pain, whether from cancer, headache or a chronic, unexplained condition, rely on medications such as morphine, which can become addicting”.

What happens during a treatment?

When you come into the clinic for the first time, you will be asked to complete paperwork. In the privacy of a comfortable treatment room I will then ask you some questions and answer any that you may have. I will leave the room, and you will lie down on a soft treatment table covered with professionally laundered cotton sheets. You will have other sheets available to cover yourself with. You might have to remove some articles of clothing so that specific points on the body can be reached. I will come in and take your pulse and press specific points on the body. These steps are important diagnostic tools, which help determine the root cause of any imbalance. It is then possible to tie together seemingly unrelated problems into a whole and accurate picture. First, I will treat the front of your body. Listening to soothing music, you will relax while the specifically chosen acupuncture points are stimulated by the inserted needles. You can expect to experience a deep, comfortable, healing relaxation as a positive side-effect of the treatment. Many patients even fall asleep. After about twenty minutes I will take the needles out and treat the other side of your body. At the end of the treatment we can go over additional questions you might have. The first treatment and consultation takes an hour and a half. Subsequent treatments are one hour long. Half an hour treatments are possible and often work well for such problems like nicotine addiction.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments depends on how long you have suffered from a particular illness. A standard treatment includes the following:

Stage I involves 4-5 one-hour sessions over a two to four week period. If acupuncture will help you, then some improvement will be noticed during this time. If symptoms improve, then we will start stage II.

Stage II consists of one treatment every other week for two months.

Stage III involves one treatment every one to two months as maintenance.

This is only a general guideline for treatment; your personalized treatment may vary. Often patients get significantly better within the first few treatments. Some even stop treatments at this point and only continue with Chinese herbs and the recommended lifestyle changes. The more you can readjust your life to create conditions conducive to regaining and maintaining health, the faster and better you will heal.

Does acupuncture have side-effects? Is it safe?

I’m happy to reassure you that skillfully administered acupuncture (always make sure that your acupuncturist is licensed and has undergone a training at an accredited school) has virtually no negative side-effects. I practice clean needle technique guidelines conscientiously. I use only single use, sterile needles and dispose of them according to regulations.

In my practice I have observed only the positive side-effect of a deep, healing relaxation during the treatment. Many patients are amazed how rested they feel afterwards. I have heard comments that they haven’t relaxed this deeply in as long as they remember.

Are the herbs safe?

The Chinese herbs that I recommend are GMP certified (Good Manufacturing Process). Contents are verified through rigorous chemical analysis. I have been thoroughly trained in the use of Chinese herbs and I keep my expertise current by attending seminars and studying with teachers long distance. I keep informed about latest research and am especially aware of possible interactions between western medications and Chinese herbs. These are preventable, and this is why the initial consultation during the first visit is so important. I have been working with Chinese herbs since 1997 and am confident about their effectiveness, safety, and usefulness. They greatly enhance the treatments.

Do I have to stop my medication before starting treatments?

Never stop taking your medication without the guidance from your primary care physician.  There is no need to stop medication for acupuncture to work.

Is it OK for children?

I have two young daughters and have treated them both with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. I have successfully treated other children, specifically for muscle pain, asthma, anxiety, ADHD, headaches, and insomnia, and am happy to report that children often take very well to the treatments. If fear of needles is a problem, magnets, herbs, and parental massages of specific body areas can be used.
Article: Adolescent Acupuncture: Study Finds Most Pediatric Patients Find Relief Through Therapy

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

You do not need a referral from your doctor, except for Worker’s Compensation and No Fault insurance. After a few visits I send a patient report to your primary physician so that he or she can keep current about your progress. I believe in the importance of communication between western medicine and complementary medicine. Together we can be of better benefit to you.

Does acupuncture treat flu and cold?

Acupuncture has been proven to strengthen the immune system and to improve immune response. Several Chinese traditional herbal formulas contain strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs. If you use these and some simple lifestyle adjustments such as nutritional strategies (Did you know that a teaspoon of sugar lowers the strength of immune system significantly for several hours?) you can often ward off or greatly shorten and minimize any flu or cold.

Is it good for weight loss, sugar cravings, or smoking cessation?

In my experience, acupuncture greatly enhances your chances at being successful at your effort to accomplish weight loss or to conquer sugar and/or nicotine cravings. I am passionate about helping my patients lead healthy lives. Excess weight is a real deterrent to health and often happiness. I hope to help you figure out the puzzle of healthy weight so that you and your family can remain healthy. Please do not let excess weight stop you from scheduling acupuncture treatments. I have compassion and understanding for the enormous struggle achieving and maintaining healthy weight presents in our culture.

As to nicotine addiction, I have seen many successful results with acupuncture on this front, too. Schedule a half an hour treatment, which works just fine for this problem. You will see good results fast.

How did you get into acupuncture?

This is a common question. So here is the short answer. You can read the long answer on my biography page. I was a novice monk at a Thai Buddhist monastery. There I had the opportunity to see and experience traditional Oriental Medicine at work. When I decided to come back to the US I studied acupuncture at Seattle’s Northwest Institute of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (now part of Bastyr University).

How long have you been doing this?

I opened my practice in Rochester, NY in 1997. Before that I practiced for a year in NYC. During my three years of acupuncture school in Seattle I worked at the school clinic.

Has there been any scientific research on acupuncture?

Yes. And with positive results, too. The World Health Organization recognizes 132 different diseases as responsive to acupuncture. The National Institute of Health has given its stamp of approval for the use of acupuncture for several diseases.
This is an excellent web site for looking up studies on acupuncture and specific diseases.

Do you give nutritional and other lifestyle advice?

Chinese Medicine has a concept that’s called Three Free Therapies. The idea is that you can use these lifestyle guidelines to take care of your health for free. These areas are exercise, rest and relaxation, and nutrition. We can do ourselves a world of good by examining our habits and lifestyle to see if they promote health and happiness or pain and disease, and then doing something about it.

I regularly offer classes on these topics, suggest books, answer questions or make suggestions during treatments, and write related articles for our free newsletter. I am very happy when I see a patient who has been in pain for years make some simple changes in his/her lifestyle and thus maintain the positive results of acupuncture treatments. I always look for resources in the community that might be helpful, too. I can recommend massage therapists, personal trainers, therapists and other professionals.

Weightlifting for strength, and exercise in general is what I do for fun. I can offer a lot of information on these topics to those who are interested.

Do you recommend vitamins and other supplements? Can I buy supplements from you?

Yes. I highly recommend that you take a quality multivitamin and fish oil regularly. At my office I sell the brand of multivitamins and fish oil that my own family takes.
Pure Encapsulations was founded to create the highest quality hypoallergenic supplements. Since 1991, we have set the standards for providing the highest quality nutritional products available, and have established an unprecedented Quality Control program. Today, our supplements are the choice of over 36,000 health professionals in the U.S. and Europe.