Paul Murphy Acupuncturist



What is acupuncture?

Paul demonstrates points on the ear

Paul demonstrates points on the ear

Recently, science has determined that human beings are complex bio-electric systems. This understanding has been the foundation of acupuncture practice for several thousand years.

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care which has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this non-evasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people become well and stay well.

Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What is Qi?

At the core of this ancient medicine, is the philosophy that Qi, (pronounced ‘chee’) or Life Energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

How does Qi move?

Qi flows through specific pathways called Meridians. There are 14 main meridians inside the body. Each meridian is connected to specific organs and glands.

Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Like rivers, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.

An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When it becomes “backed up” in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. Hindering the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.

What causes Qi to get stuck?

Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occur, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. When this disruption is prolonged, excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain or disease can set in.

What does an acupuncturist do?

Paul's acupuncture table

Paul’s acupuncture table

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and life-style. Pulse and tongue diagnosis, along with an appropriate physical exam is conducted.

The information is then organized into a well structured treatment plan. This enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person’s health problem(s).

Once the imbalance(s) of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction, and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi freely circulates throughout the body providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This eliminates pain, restores balance and harmony along with the body’s natural ability to heal itself, ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.

Acupuncture is a safe, effective and drug-free therapy that can help address a wide variety of common ailments and problems.

Benefits of Acupuncture Treatments

Since acupuncture promotes the body’s natural healing ability, most conditions can be corrected or improved. Also acupuncture is a comprehensive system of preventive healthy care and health maintenance. The effectiveness of acupuncture is well documented, and extends far beyond the concept that is only useful for chronic pain management or as an analgesic. Many athletes have discovered that acupuncture treatment helps them to achieve optimum performance levels. Recently, acupuncture detoxification treatments have been recognized as a valid form of therapy for chemical dependency problems. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has established a solid reputation as a system of health care that works.

How Acupuncture Feels

Prior to their first treatment, many people do not believe that acupuncture can be painless. Different sensations such as warmth or pressure may be felt, but the energetic sensation differs from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and relaxing.

An example of what the needles look like

An example of what the needles look like

Acupuncture needles are very fine, about the size of a thick hair. They are solid, and nothing is injected through them. Over the centuries, refined needle insertion techniques have been developed which enable the skilled acupuncture practitioner to place a needle with little or no sensation. In some cases it is not necessary to use needles at all.

For example, when treating young children, infants, or sensitive adults, there are other techniques which are equally as effective. If you have a real fear of needles, please bring it up in discussion at your initial consultation. An appropriate treatment strategy can always be agreed upon.

The needles used in my practice are disposable, and have never been touched prior to your treatment and will be disposed of after treatment. They are pre-sterilized.

Number of Treatments

Since each person is unique, the number of treatments needed will vary. Among the determining factors are the type of condition, whether the condition is chronic or acute, and the vitality of the individual. Again, you should discuss your treatment program at the initial consultation.

Licensing, Registration and Certification

In the United States, the regulation of health care practice differs from state to state. An acupuncturist who practices in North Carolina is required to attend acupuncture school at the Master level for three years. Graduating students must pass a six-hour written examination in addition to a point location and clean needle exam. Standards to practice acupuncture safely and effectively have been established by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturist and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM, Many states use the NCCAOM examination and certification for meeting their licensing or registration requirements. Other states have developed their own examination process.

Insurance Coverage

Many health insurance policies cover acupuncture treatment. Please make inquiries to your insurance carrier about their coverage.


“To live is to have Qi in every part of your body. To die is to be a body without Qi. For health to be maintained, there must be a balance of Qi, neither too much nor too little.”
— Classical Chinese medical text, Nan-Ching, 2nd C., A.D

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