Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.


Restorative Health

Primary Care, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Physician located in Tenleytown, Washington DC

Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that has proven effective at treating common ailments, from allergies to back pain. Dedicated to blending the best of Eastern and Western medicine, Ali Safayan, MD, practices medical acupuncture at Restorative Health in Washington, DC. In addition to practicing medical acupuncture, Dr. Safayan has been training physicians in medical acupuncture since 1997. Although modern science does not fully understand how acupuncture works, it is known that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones) and other chemicals to decrease pain, improve energy, and bring balance to your body. To learn more, call Restorative Health or schedule an appointment online today.

Acupuncture Q & A

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient component of traditional Chinese medicine that involves inserting very thin needles into specific points throughout the body. 

Classic acupuncture believes channels run through the body supplying energy to nourish its tissues and organs.

Inserting needles into specific (acupuncture) points (long channels) called meridians, unblocks the obstruction caused by trauma, or disease to re-establish the flow of energy.

In modern medicine, scientists believe acupuncture stimulates, among other things, the nervous system to release chemicals in the peripheral nerves, spinal cord, and brain. This triggers the release of hormones that help regulate your body’s natural processes, which relieves pain and promotes optimal health.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

When combined with conventional types of therapy, such as physical therapy, nutrition, or medication, acupuncture is an effective treatment for:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Digestive issues
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Myofascial pain
  • Asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Allergies

Acupuncture can also help accelerate stroke rehabilitation and improve fertility if you’re struggling to conceive.

What happens during acupuncture treatment?

Acupuncture is a customized treatment that targets your specific needs. Along with your initial conversation, Dr. Safayan provides you his acupuncture intake form, which allows him to create acupuncture treatments suited for your needs.

Once you’re comfortable, Dr. Safayan inserts your needles. The needles are hair-thin, so any pain you experience should be minimal. He may manipulate them at certain points to ensure the treatment is as effective as possible. Depending on your customized treatment, which may involve electro-acupuncture, your session can last 20-60 minutes.

Most patients need 1-2 acupuncture treatments a week for several weeks to months to experience lasting relief from their symptoms.

Who can practice acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective treatment when performed by a skilled and well-trained medical professional.

Dr. Safayan is not only a licensed medical acupuncturist and physician, but he is a lifelong medical educator and continues to teach medical acupuncture to other physicians from around the world.

Since 1997, Dr. Safayan has been a senior faculty member and instructor with the Helms Medical Institute, the premier institution training physicians from around the world in medical acupuncture.

To meet the challenges of caring for our Iraq and Afghanistan wounded warriors, Dr. Safayan has been a senior faculty member and instructor for the ACUS foundation since 2009, training military physicians in medical acupuncture to treat PTSD, TBI, the opioid crisis, and other combat-related traumas.

To learn more about the benefits of medical acupuncture, call Restorative Health or schedule an appointment online today.