What Acupuncture is
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional medicine used in the prevention and treatment of disease. A modality that can help to stimulate the body's natural pain killers and immunity. It is a form of practice assisting the body to use its own internal resources to get the system back on track. Acupuncture involves the placement of hair-thin sterile needles in specific "acu" points along the body's meridians. By stimulating carefully selected points we can release endorphins, bring stress hormones down and encourage the nervous system to enter a state of rest and digest. And to top that off it can be quite relaxing!
An Initial Treatment
Before you come in for your first session you will fill out a comprehensive intake online, this allows for your practitioner to get a general idea of your health history. The practitioner may have questions about your intake during your first session. You will let them know your Chief Complaint and they will ask questions pertaining to what you want the focus of your treatment to be. The practitioner will also check your pulse and look at your tongue, these are helpful tools for them to treat you better. After the intake the treatment will begin.
Hair thin needles are inserted into the body and retained for a certain period of time. These points are carefully selected to coincide with your body's specific needs. The needles are kept in for anywhere from 15-30 minutes during which time you can lay back, relax and enjoy the music.
History of Acupuncture
The classical Chinese texts citing back 2,000 years, say that the first acupuncture instruments were made of stone. These instruments were originally used in the Old Stone Age for things like abscesses and blood letting. The knowledge eventually grew, and the carefully carved stones turned into stainless steel needles to be used for health benefits beyond the previously mentioned. These new practitioners began to incorporate things like the body's pulse, tongue, lifestyle of the patient and the ideology of relevant adaption of the human body to the natural environment into their diagnosis. The observation of signs and symptoms presenting in the body were tested and matched with the appropriate acupuncture points that eased the symptoms. It took a few hundred years to fine tune all of these developing skills. The results spoke for themselves. Now Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are the main health care system in that country and why it has been incorporated into many different countries alternative health strategies all across the world.
Some of the most common reasons to seek acupuncture:
Helps to ease anxiety, depression, insomnia and stress. Supports reproductive and sexual health. Helps with fertility, pregnancy, labor prep and postpartum.
Enhances digestion, relieves body aches and pains, helps to manage chronic and complex health conditions, helps manage skin conditions and asthma.
Follow up Sessions
Follow up appointments is when you and the practitioner catch up on your health! A short discussion to check in on the progress of your past treatments followed by needles. We will expand on previous treatments, making adjustments where necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
A proven modality to help prevent disease in the body, stop pains and stimulate health. See the section "What Acupuncture Can Treat" to see if it would be right for you!
Does it hurt?
Since the needles are so thin it is rare for them to actually hurt but you can feel a small pinch from time to time as they are going in. Often we will feel more sensation moving throughout the body rather than in just the localized area. If you do experience different sensations throughout the body, this is a good thing, it means things that were potentially stuck or stagnant in certain areas are now getting flow and movement through them.
Where do they put the needles?
There are over 365 points located on the human body however, most of the time the needles will be used in the limbs of the body. Your practitioner will always let you know beforehand where the needles for that session will be placed.
What Acupuncture can treat
Since acupuncture is a comprehensive health care system that has been used for thousands of years, it has been proven to help with many areas of the body and addresses all aspects of mind, body, emotions and spirit. These include but are not limited to:
Low back pain
Acute and chronic pain
Post surgical pain
What exactly will the Acupuncturist be doing?
The practitioner first relies on their honed skills to observe, listen, see and feel. The tongue and the pulse are used as guides to help the practitioner confirm or deny what they have first witnessed. They listen to what the patient has to say about their life and their body. Gathering all this information together over multiple visits, the practitioner will then figure out, in accordance with TCM principles, what the root cause of the issue is. Then they will use the appropriate, carefully selected points to stimulate with the needles.
How many treatments will I need?
A frequently asked question that unfortunately ends with he answer: it depends on how long you've been struggling with the issues presenting in your body. For acute issues/pain we can often say a few treatments will do. For chronic pain it can take much longer seeing as it has been present in the body longer. Given all that, it is best to have this discussion in person with your practitioner to get an appropriate timeline.
Is it just needles?
There are many different things used to enhance an acupuncture treatment. These can include cupping, fire cupping, Moxa (burning mugwort), Tui Na (Chinese Massage), and Gua Sha (scraping tool). Whether these are necessary additions to you treatment will be up to the expertise of your practitioner.