It is likely that more people have been treated by
Oriental Medicine throughout history than any other formalized system of
health care. Acupuncture originated in China and Korea over 3,000 years
ago. At that time, people understood that the body, mind, and spirit were
This therapy works with the natural, vital energy
inherent in all living things to promote the body’s ability to heal itself.
Working in concert with the practices of healthy living, acupuncture is a
cornerstone of the treatment and prevention of illness.
Since traditional acupuncture does not separate
the mind, body, and spirit, it looks at the whole person, including the
person’s lifestyle and approach to health. If the underlying cause is not
addressed, more serious problems may occur.
Acupuncture is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine.
The ancient Chinese recognized a vital force that
is the basis of all life forms. This is known as Qi (pronounced “chee”).
This Qi flows along specific pathways in our bodies, known as meridians.
The acupuncturist has learned precise points at
which blockages can occur. The proper placement of needles enhances the
flow of Qi, restoring the body, mind, and spirit to its harmonious state.
Each point has a predictable effect upon the energy passing though it. The
system was derived from carefully recorded observations, passed from master
to student for thousands of years. Modern science has been able to measure
the electrical charge at these points, thus verifying the locations of
meridians mapped by the ancients.
Acupuncture needles are just a little thicker than
a human hair. They are not hollow like hypodermic needles and are made of
the highest quality surgical steel.
Needles are pre-sterilized, individually packed, and disposable. They are used once, and then discarded.
With proper placement techniques, the needles
cause little or no discomfort and are painless after placement. A feeling
of tingling or heaviness may be felt as the needle contacts the Qi. People
generally enjoy their acupuncture treatments and report feeling deeply
relaxed during and after treatment.
Acupuncturists cooperate with other healthcare
providers and do not recommend altering your medications and other therapies
without consulting your physician or primary care provider. There are
certain conditions best treated by Western healthcare, and the acupuncturist
may recommend seeing a physician.
The initial visit generally lasts about two
hours. This will include a discussion of your health concerns, a health
history, and a physical examination. Subsequent sessions last about an hour
and are generally scheduled 3 days to a week apart for six to eight sessions.
The Course and Frequency of Treatment
An adult will typically be in my office for about an hour.
We begin by discussing your history and main problems that have brought you to the office. We start each acupuncture session reviewing how you have felt since the last session in light of your original complaints. I will evaluate the pulse at each wrist, and with your report of how you feel, and other assessments, I will make the decision of how to proceed.
The first part of the acupuncture treatment is called a root treatment and it strengthens your fundamental constitution.
This is followed by the branch treatment that addresses specific needs. Sometimes the root and branch treatments are performed together. I have found this two-part approach to be the most successful for long-term results.
You can expect your overall results to be extremely positive. After treatments, most people express feeling light and more awake while being more relaxed. They usually report further improvement for approximately 24 hours after treatment. You will find the results are cumulative with successive treatments.
Frequency of Treatments
Treatments are scheduled according to your condition. For acute conditions, we may need to have two treatments per week for one or two weeks. Treatments are then spaced out according to your progress.
By your second or third treatment, we will be able to determine how effective be for you. Every treatment builds on the foundation of the previous treatments to ensure that the effects last longer each time. I also use homeopathy or Chinese herbal formulas to enhance treatments and to reduce the frequency of clinic visits when possible.
Once your symptoms subside, two or three
additional treatments will strengthen you and provide a better defense
against the return of your symptoms.
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