Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture treats the patient, not the disease.
Acupuncture has been used for well over 3000 years and is currently an integrated part of East Asian health care systems. An acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of very small, fine needles into specific spots (acupuncture points) on the body. There are over 400 acupuncture points on the body. The effect of the needles is multi-faceted:
- Over the centuries, Chinese doctors have discovered correlations between stimulation of certain spots on the body and the subsequent increase or decrease in particular physiological and mental functions.
- According to TCM, Needles affect the movement of an energy source called ‘qi’, which is stored along channels throughout the body. Qi is thought to be the foundation of life, and any interruption or insufficiency in this flow of Qi leads to disease.
- Needles can treat local pain through breaking up fascial adhesions and release muscle trigger points. These actions result in the release of tension and relief of pain. Acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness in addressing pain related to injury, chronic conditions, surgery, and more.
Through these mechanisms acupuncture focuses on preventative medicine by treating the root cause of disease. The World Health Organization recognizes recent research that demonstrates acupuncture’s ability to induce analgesia (pain relief) and regulate physiological functions.
Who can benefit from Acupuncture?
The World Health Organization has acknowledged acupuncture to be an effective in the treatment of over 100 medical conditions, including:
- Pain Disorders: low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, knee pain, periarthritis of the shoulder, sprains, facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders), headache, dental pain, temporomandibular (TMJ) dysfunction and rheumatoid arthritis
- Mental Health: depression and anxiety, stress management
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: Various concerns can benefit
- Neurological Disorders: stroke recovery, bell’s palsy and post-herpetic neuralgia pain, MS
- Cancer: symptom management of the adverse reactions from radiation or chemotherapy
- Gynecological concerns: primary dysmenorrhea, morning sickness of pregnancy, PMS
- Respiratory: allergic rhinitis including hay fever, asthma
Does it hurt?
A little. It’s similar to a mosquito-bite level of discomfort for 3 to 5 seconds. Once that fades, it’s typically completely painless. Many of my patients fall asleep with the needles in them.
NOTE: People with bleeding disorders or with injection and needle phobias may not be good candidates for treatment. As well, those taking blood thinners, may find that they bruise more easily during their treatment. Please advise your practitioner if you are taking any kind of medication.
What to expect:
If you are a new patient:
During your initial visit for acupuncture treatment your acupuncturist will take a full history. They will take your pulse and check your tongue to help her select appropriate acupuncture points for your treatment. Follow-up visit duration depends on the type of treatment you require.
If you are an existing patient:
Acupuncture treatments last up to 60 minutes. You may need to disrobe, always to your comfort level, depending on the area being treated. Usually clients are treated on a treatment table, although in some instances we will treat you in a seated position. After the needles are inserted, you have some time to relax and settle into the treatment. In some cases we will intermittently stimulate your needles during your treatment. The needles remain inserted for up to 40 minutes; duration varies according to what is being treated.