Acupuncture Therapy Maryland

Acupuncture therapy is an alternative approach to treating various health conditions based on traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific “meridian” points on the body to encourage healing and whole-body wellness.

Acupuncture Therapy 

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine treatment approach utilized by millions of Americans today. Acupuncture first began as a form of traditional Chinese medicine and has since moved into mainstream Western health care approaches. 

This treatment is based on the traditional Chinese belief that disease and illness are caused by a disruption to the body’s “Qi.” The belief in Qi relies heavily on the concept of harmonious balance in the body. The “yin” and the “yang” of the body’s life force (the Qi) must remain in complementary balance to maintain wellness, both in mind and body. 

How Treatment Works

The treatment consists of fine needles being inserted into the skin, at varying depths. The placement of the needles, or acupoints, stimulates specific regions to produce specific physical responses. The thought is that physical stimulation will promote self-healing and bodily wellness.

Once placed into the skin, the patient may feel a dull ache at the base of the needle. But acupuncture should never be painful. The dull ache will gently subside, leaving the individual in a relaxed state. In some practices, the steel needle may even be heated or stimulated as part of the treatment approach.  

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Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture Treatment Program FAQ's

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, headaches, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and digestive issues. It can also be helpful in managing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a licensed practitioner. The needles used are very thin, and the risk of infection or injury is low.

Does acupuncture hurt

Most people experience little to no pain during an acupuncture treatment. Some people may feel a slight pinching or tingling sensation when the needle is inserted, but this is typically very brief.

How long does an acupuncture treatment take?

Acupuncture treatments usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. The length of the treatment will depend on the condition being treated and the practitioner's approach.

What is an Integrative Medicine Approach?

Integrative medicine combines conventional medicine and alternative therapies to enhance a patient’s vitality, focusing on whole body wellness. An Integrative Medicine physician will address the root cause of your illness and not just treat the symptoms. By determining what the root is, you and your practitioner can devise a health plan to successfully treat the disease. At Shakthi, we take into account other factors in your life that may be preventing the root cause of your illness or disease from fully healing. We work closely with our patients to address their immediate health needs while developing a personalized wellness plan that encourages whole body wellness. You can learn more here.

What are the benefits of integrative medicine?

Integrative medicine’s biggest benefit is the fact it looks at the patient as a whole individual and addresses the root causes of illnesses by doing so. I went along with this though integrative medicine promotes a symbiotic and collaborative relationship between the doctor and the patient. This means that there is better communication. Another great benefit is that it utilizes every therapy possible to ensure that the patient gets the treatment that is perfect for them.


Where are you located?

We have two locations in Mount Airy and Elkridge Maryland.

Why is integrative medicine not covered by insurance?

Over the past decade or so, integrative medicine has been becoming more and more popular. Because of this popularity, there has been an increase in doctors that practice it. But even with all this popularity unfortunately insurance does not cover integrative health care. The lack of coverage from insurance companies is solely because integrative medicine often encompasses treatments that these health insurance companies degenerative treatments. Because these treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy, infrared sauna, and many others are all deemed alternative they are not covered.

What costs are involved? 

We offer two options:
• Yearly Membership
• A La Carte

How do I make an appointment?

You can expect your first visit with Dr. Rao and our team to be more comprehensive than anything you have ever experienced. Our practice is not a revolving door, we won't just visit with you for 5 minutes, hand you a prescription and send you on your way. You can expect the initial visit to last approximately 60 minutes. In that time, Dr. Rao will spend time with you, listen to your history, ask questions, hear your concerns. We put great emphasis on the listening and hearing part of the consult. It is vital in developing a strong doctor, patient relationship and is the only way we can help you get on the right path to healing. After your consult, we will order your testing. Depending on your specific needs a number of tests will be administered. Testing is tailored to each individual. Schedule Appointment Here.

What are five alternative medicines?

There are many different types of alternative medicines but many of them can fall under one of the five main alternative categories. These categories are homeopathy, eastern medicine, naturopathy, and Ayurveda. Within these five types so there are many variations and so choosing one that works for you all relies on what exactly you're looking to gain from choosing alternative medicines.

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What To Expect

Acupuncture Specialists

Meet Our Doctors 

Our team is composed of board certified medical doctors who are highly knowledgeable in the practice of acupuncture. Our Specialized Health Care model provides patients with in depth consults with each appointment without the restrictions of time limits and jumping through insurance hoops. 

Jyothi Rao


Dr. Jyothi Rao has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. She received her Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and completed her internship and residency at the prestigious New England Medical Center (Tufts) in Boston. Before opening Shakthi Health & Wellness Center, Dr. Rao practiced medicine in New York and Maryland.

Sudhir Rao


Dr. Sudhir Rao obtained his Medical Doctorate from St. George's University School of Medicine and is the founder of Pain and Spine Specialists. Despite Dr. Rao's years of training focusing on traditional medicine, he developed a strong interest in Functional and Integrative Medicine to treat chronic illness with alternative methods after a personal experience with limitations in traditional medicine.

Acupuncture Specialists

Before you begin any type of acupuncture treatment, it is important to find a skilled and licensed acupuncturist who will have the experience and education to treat you accordingly. Your acupuncturist will first ask about a thorough health history and conduct a physical examination.

They will review your specific health goals to assess the best placement of the acupuncture needles. The patient will lie comfortably on a table while the provider will gently place the needles on specific meridian points. 

What Acupuncture Does 

Western medicine is still unable to precisely determine why acupuncture therapy has been successful for many. Based on traditional Chinese belief, when the proper flow of Qi is blocked in the body, illness and disease follow. Qi is thought to flow through various “meridians” through the body, allowing the energy to flow freely through the body. These meridian points (or acupoints) are pathways that are accessible for treatment with the insertion of acupuncture needles.  

A more scientific interpretation of the success of acupuncture can also be determined by the same meridian points. While a patient may not believe in Qi, the body’s nervous system is also connected via pathways of nerves, muscles, and connective tissue. And these areas can all be stimulated with acupuncture needles to produce physical responses. The placement of these needles into the nerves will send signals to the brain to release neural hormones.  

Physically, the treatment creates “micro-traumas” that stimulate the body’s ability to spontaneously heal injuries to the tissue through nervous, immune, and endocrine system activation. For example, damaged tissue begins to heal when the body’s inherent healing systems become activated and blood flow is increased. These biochemical responses can help reduce symptoms and manage various health conditions.  

Also, it is thought that these pathways are linked to the neurohormonal pathways of the body. When these points are stimulated, they encourage the release of endorphins and naturally created pain-relieving hormones which support homeostasis in the body. This enhances total body wellness. Sleep, digestive function, and emotional health can all be improved.  

Benefits and Risks of Acupuncture

We want our potential patients to have all the info they can so understanding the concepts and philosophies behind acupuncture is an important place to start. Along with that though we also want them to understand the benefits this ancient practice brings as well as the risks that come with it.

Acupuncture has a lot of benefits. Many people use it as a form of pain management, but it can also be used to help with stomach problems and mental health issues like stress and anxiety. One of the best benefits that come from including this alternative treatment is that unlike the traditional prescription medication used for many conditions acupuncture comes with a vastly decreased chance of side effects.

This may be because the body is using its built-in systems to help promote healing. This often means less pain and discomfort for the patient. Along with the reduced side effects acupuncture also offers these benefits:

  • More versatile and safe
  • Easily combined with other treatments both traditional and holistic
  • Great for those that are sensitive to pain medication or have addictions issues
  • No chance of becoming addicted to the treatment
  • Good for those with busy schedules

There are so many benefits to look at when opting to utilize this alternative treatment but there are also some potential risks to be aware of. Here are some of the risks:

  • If you have a blood disorder or take medication that thins your blood it might be dangerous.
  • You may find that you experience bruising, bleeding, and soreness in the areas the needles are inserted.
  • Some people have had bouts of dizziness.

What Conditions Acupuncture Treats 

Many individuals have reported feeling better and more relaxed with acupuncture therapy. Acupuncture has been successfully incorporated as a complementary and/or alternative form of therapy for:

  • Chronic back pain 
  • Allergies 
  • Arthritis 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Headaches/Migraines 
  • Digestive complications 
  • Fatigue 
  • Fertility 
  • Sciatica
  • Skin Issues

We talked about the physical ailments that acupuncture can treat but this ancient treatment can also help treat stress and anxiety. How does this practice help with mental concerns? It all boils down to the reduced blood flow that comes along with acupuncture. 

This increased blood flow signals to your body that it’s time to release select chemicals that not only help instigate your body’s healing capabilities but also signal to your brain to release chemicals that help control emotions. 

These chemicals help with anxiety and stress. Also, the increased blood flow to one’s muscles helps relieve the stress and tension in them. This can help improve sleep which is a key element in helping to deal with stress and anxiety. 

While this by no means all the conditions that acupuncture is utilized for, acupuncture therapy is continually being researched to discover other benefits it may provide to other underlying health conditions.  

The physical symptoms of your underlying health conditions can significantly impact your emotional health as well. Patients need to be emotionally open to the positive healing ability of acupuncture therapy.

While some Western beliefs may imply that acupuncture therapy has a “placebo” effect on individuals, positive thinking has demonstrated improved results. This open, positive mentality may even enhance the treatment effects of acupuncture.  

Get Started:  

If you are interested in learning more about our Acupuncture therapy and packages or would like to schedule an appointment with our office, CALL Shakthi Health and Wellness Center today! 

Speak with our dedicated staff to schedule your consultation with Dr. Jyothi Rao and begin optimizing your body’s vitality. Call (301) 703-5067 and speak to our concierge staff today!

About Us

We believe in practicing medicine that focuses on whole-body health. As integrative medicine doctors, we focus on the root cause of your condition with comprehensive treatments that heal the body rather than just masking the symptoms of your illness.

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Patient Testimonials

Patient Testimonials

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Susan Doyle

I started by seeing Dr. Sudhir Rao for my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome. I had an accident in July 2010 that caused nerve damage in my ankle. After treatments and surgery, it spread up the entire left side of my body. The only way to describe how you feel is by saying you’re a human pinball machine ? you just never know where the pain is going to be that minute. I had asked about acupuncture because someone had told me that it worked for them. I was at the point of trying anything to lessen the pain because it was getting worse every day.

Anonymous Patient

I am actually a relatively healthy 50-year-old woman. I try to eat well and exercise, but I (like many) felt the creep of age in the form a subtle pounds and decreasing energy. Dr. Rao helped point me in the direction of the correct detox program for me (Core Restore!) as well as the supplements I needed to boost my metabolism and increase my energy! I still need to eat what works for me and avoid the things that don't, and I still have to exercise every day, but my clothes fit better and I have more energy!!

- Shakthi Patients

Anna Smoot

I came to see Dr. Rao with symptoms of chronic fatigue, abdominal pains, depression, and weight gain. I had seen a couple other doctors and they had found that I had very high inflammation levels and over 15 food allergies/sensitivities. They wanted me to just take prescription drugs, but I wanted more than a quick fix. I wanted my health and my life back! When I scheduled the appointment, I was surprised how by helpful Kelly was on the phone. I didn’t know the details of my insurance coverage and Kelly offered to call my insurance for me. I’ve never had anyone at a doctor’s office do that before.

Debbie Helman

After visiting the Shakthi website and reading other patient testimonials, I was curious about the wide variety of treatments that were available. I have a very slow metabolism, was fatigued, had insomnia, back pain, and just didn’t feel as well as I wanted to in general. I had more allergic reactions and respiratory issues in the preceding months before coming to see Dr. Jyothi Rao. I had completed three courses of prednisone while under the treatment of my traditional doctor and was fed up with that cycle and was looking for another path.

- Debbie Helman

Linda J.

I was given the gift of Dr. Rao's integrative specialty care for Christmas in 2016. I didn?t take advantage of it until March of 2017. My mindset at the time was negative. I had heard about changing eating habits and I felt that I liked the foods I was eating and I was nearly 70, so why change now? After meeting with Dr. Rao and hearing her suggestions, I said I would take it one small step at a time and see what happens.

I was in the worst shape of my life

I was in the worst shape of my life with depression and anxiety. I had given up. Shakthi provided me with a manageable plan that included supplements, diet, and an exercise program that has transformed my body and given me a new outlook on life. Perhaps the most surprising outcome was learning how to be healthy and have a good relationship with my body. I am now more productive, energetic, and focused. The fog that had been clouding my thoughts has lifted.

- Shakthi Patient

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What To Expect

How Treatment Works

Our doctors and staff take time to get invested in your health and well-being. We've taken a step back from mainstream medicine and are challenging the norm. Everyone's healthcare needs are different. You are different. We believe patients shouldn't settle. Our practice is not a revolving door. We listen, and most importantly, we hear you.


Appointments are conducted on an as-needed basis. Patients can expect appointments to be more thorough and focused on their needs. As Integrative speciality care doctors, we see a limited number of patients which means each of our patients receives dedicated care without the concern of being “rushed” our of an appointment.

Diagnostic Testing

We offer patients scientifically backed health assessments to better understand the root causes of their health conditions. We evaluate any disruptions to your health and body to develop effective wellness plans to optimize your vitality. To learn more about the specific tests we offer visit this page here

Costs Involved

Patients receive personalized and tailored care in exchange for a flat fee. Overall cost will be discussed during your initial consultation. Each subsequent appointment will not need to be individually paid for. All patients receive unlimited access to their physicians which leads to better overall health and wellness.

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Contact Us

Our Locations

Our patient care coordinators are available to answer questions Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00pm.

Mt Airy

2702 Back Acre Circle

Mt. Airy, MD 21771


6816 Deerpath Rd Elkridge, MD 21075

Get In Touch!

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067

Main Phone

(301) 703-5067



Fax #

(301) 703-8880

Fax #

(301) 703-8880