Welcome to Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine 101.
Here is the super short Cliff Notes summary…
Acupuncture is an effective and safe holistic medicine that originated over 4,000 years ago. This holistic therapy was first introduced to the West in the 1970s and since then, has consistently demonstrated its therapeutic benefits. Oriental Medicine remains effective today because of its unique understanding of the body, mind, and the ability to accurately diagnose and effectively treat a wide variety of disorders. We treat the underlying, root causes of ailments, and do not simply mask the symptoms. For many, acupuncture is the one therapy to finally create therapeutic change which allows for relief and the healing process. In addition to effective and lasting results, acupuncture is safe and free of many adverse side effects commonly seen with other therapies.
How does it work?
First, let’s discuss what exactly is “health” and what are ailments and a lack of health. There is a balance to all things. Well, there should be a balance to all things. This is yin and yang. Yin and yang exist with everything at all times. The balance of this duality is masculine/feminine, acute/chronic, night/day, in/out, pros/cons, good/bad, love/hate, wet/dry, internal/external, hot/cold and mind/body as a few examples. When the energies of yin and yang are balanced, everything is all good. Ultimately, all ailments are because somewhere there is an imbalance of yin and yang. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine’s unique perceptions, diagnostics and systems offer an understanding of this balance of the mind and body. Understanding these root causes allows for quick and lasting changes.
The balance of the yin and yang of your being (mind and body) is maintained and influenced by your “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). Qi is often translated as energy or life force. The presence of qi is the difference between alive and dead. There are many types of qi that are always influencing your health. There is qi in every internal organ allowing each organ to do what it does. The heart beats because of this energy. The kidneys are able to filter waste and excrete water because of qi. The lungs breathe because of qi. From each organ, there flows a pathway of qi through the body known as a meridian. Along each meridian are collections of energy. These are acupuncture points. Each acupuncture point has a specific location and can influence the body in specific ways.
Acupuncture is the insertion of very small needles (about the size of a hair…literally) into these pathways and points of energy to influence how energy is moving through the body and how organs are functioning. By understanding the root imbalances of yin and yang, we know which acupuncture points will best bring the mind and body back to balance.
Is there medicine on the needles?
No. I am frequently asked this question. There is no medicine on the needles. These stainless steel needles are simply influencing the naturally existing energies you already have. In the world of conventional medicine where the solution (which is actually no solution at all) to most health ailments is to take a pill. It can be challenging to imagine healthcare that isn’t introducing some foreign and chemical substances into the body. The truth is, you are a complete and whole person already. You have all you need now. Sometimes you just need more balance in how it is all happening.
Does it hurt?
No. Everyone is pleasantly surprised at their first treatment. Acupuncture needles are very different compared to the needles most commonly seen today. Many clients say that they are never so relaxed as when they are being treated. Many clients fall asleep once the needles are inserted. Even small children are treated with acupuncture.
What Should I Expect?
Expect exceptional care every step of the way.
The most important part of any treatment is that it is the right treatment. The treatment that will serve you best can only be determined if your current state of health is clearly understood. So, first, we will get to know each other. The more I know about you, the more I can support you. We will discuss your symptoms and current state of health in great detail. I will review previous medical records, blood chemistry, diet, and if applicable, supplements and medications.
When it is time for your first treatment, I will explain exactly what you can expect. Usually, this includes having you lay comfortably on a padded treatment table. I have pillows, bolsters, towels, sheets and even inclining tables to make sure that you quickly become very relaxed. All needles used are sterile, single-use and disposable. Each needle is inserted into the body with a “guide tube” which maintains sterility. Often clients are unaware when the needle first goes into the skin. It is also not uncommon to feel a small tapping sensation or gentle pinch. You may also experience various sensations as the needle connects with the qi in the meridians. Often clients describe feeling warmth, temporary pressure, or a radiating sensation. At times, nothing is felt at all. Other times, clients describe a sensation in an entirely different part of their body. If you do feel anything at all, it will dissipate quickly…literally 10 seconds.
The number of needles used varies depending on a wide variety of factors. Typically, I will use 10-20 needles. At times, more. At times, less.
Once all needles have been inserted, I will make sure that there is nothing that is uncomfortable at all. I will dim the lights and step out of the room, giving you time to fully rest and relax as ambient music softly plays. I will check in on you several times during the 20-30 minutes while the needles remain in place. After that time, the needles are gently removed which usually is not felt at all.
Depending on your needs, we may then do some quick additional therapies such as the topical application of herbs, heat packs, stretching, or physical manipulation.
Most clients leave feeling relaxed, peaceful, less pain and generally much better than when they arrived.
There are no restrictions on activities following your acupuncture treatment.
Is Acupuncture Right For You?
Acupuncture is a primary form of health care for millions of people, all over the world. Acupuncture provides relief and healing at times when other forms of medicine have failed.
I have been in practice for decades and seen it all.
Not so sure? Call our office today to discuss your health care needs and goals. Really, let’s talk about it so you can make the best decision for yourself.