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What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is just one part of a whole-body system of care known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). For over 2000 years, this method of treatment has been developed, tested, and used to restore optimal health. It's efficacy continues to be validated today.
Acupuncture is a safe, gentle, and drug-free therapy that promotes health and alleviates the symptoms of various illnesses, pains, and discomforts. The body's own natural healing ability is stimulated by the insertion of hair-thin acupuncture needles into specific points on the body.
The TCM approach to wellness emphasizes health maintenance and illness prevention. The focus is on an energy (Qi) based approach to patient care rather than a diseases-oriented diagnostic and treatment model.
How Does It Work?
The energy that animates your body and affects how you move, think, and feel is called Qi (pronounced "chee"). Qi runs in regular patterns throughout the body in channels called meridians, nourishing the tissues as it moves.
When Qi flows smoothly, abundantly and unobstructed, health is good. If for any reason this flow is blocked, the result is pain, illness, discomfort, and disease. All symptoms of physical, mental, and emotional illness are due to specific imbalances and funtional disharmony of the body's Qi.
Sterile, pre-packaged, disposable acupuncture needles are inserted into various points on the body along the meridians. These points (called acupoints) are chosen to treat specific disorders/patterns of disharmony as revealed by the symptoms and signs that are noted in a comprehensive health history and physical examination. Acupuncture unblocks obstructions and restores the smooth and balanced flow of Qi in the body, relieving symptoms and improving health.
Is Acupuncture For Me?
- MUSCULOSKELETAL: pain of the lower back/neck/shoulders/joints, arthritis, repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, sports injury
- NEUROLOGICAL: headache, migraine, stroke recovery, post-operative pain, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Bell's Palsy, sciatica
- DIGESTIVE: heartburn, indigestion, nausea & vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- RESPIRATORY: sinusitis, allergies, Common Cold, asthma
- GYNECOLOGICAL: PMS, irregular menstruation, menopausal conditions
- SLEEP & STRESS DISORDERS: anxiety, insomnia, depression, hypertension
enhanced athletic performance
immune system tonification/boost
What Can I Expect at a Treatment Session?
Allow yourself 60-90 minutes for the first treatment, as it will be the longest. This session includes:
- Health history intake
- Traditional Chinese Medicine assessment (using inspection, palpation, auscultation, olfaction)
- Acupuncture treatment
Follow-up sessions will be shorter (45-60 minutes) and include an update summary and acupuncture treatment.
Acupuncture needles are sterile, pre-packaged, and single-use only (disposable). They are so thin that several can fit inside a needle used to draw blood or for injections. The insertion of acupuncture needles goes unnoticed by some, while others may feel a slight pinch. Each needle is usually inserted to a depth of 1/4 to 1 inch and are left in place for 30-40 minutes.
Once the needles are in place, you may have a feeling of warmth, tingling, or numbness locally or even in a part of the body distant from the needle. These sensations are normal and are an indication that the body's Qi has been stimulated. When the needles are removed you may occasionally notice a scant amount of blood at the insertion site and small bruise may develop. These are not harmful but if you are concerned please let your acupuncturist know.
At the end of a treatment session many patients report a degree of symptom relief (partial to total) and feeling more relaxed. For others the effects of the treatment are more gradual with a diminishing of symptoms occurring over the next few days.
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