Acupuncture is a remarkable tool. It works to restore balanced movement of information in the body and even after years in the field we are constantly in awe of the body's potential to heal when in balance.
When information and Qi (a vital "energy") are moving clearly and cleanly throughout the body, without obstruction, we have no pain and our systems work correctly and without complaint. When that clear movement is disturbed symptoms emerge such as pain, digestive complaints, respiratory or cardiac irregularity, anxiety or simply just "not feeling quite right". Because information is conveyed between parts of the body following certain rules that we have discovered over thousands of years of trial and practice, we know that we can stimulate one area of the body and get a change in another area. You can think of this as using a lever; by pushing down on one side, the other side is raised up. This means that we can effect the function of the lung, the speed of the metabolism and the amount of pain our brain is processing by stimulating points in other areas of the body that correspond to these systems. Acupuncture is a method of applying stimulation to correct the flow of information and Qi in our bodies so that our systems may function optimally and without pain.
Today we find ourselves in a "golden period" of innovation as new theories from the biosciences and physics merge with techniques and ideas that have been practiced and refined over thousands of years. For that reason, now is the perfect time to make acupuncture a part of your healing and wellness regimen.
What Does it Feel Like?
(Does it hurt?)
What Does it Treat?
Many people are understandably nervous about acupuncture. We are here to show you that you don't have to be!
With insertion of the needle many patients are surprised to feel no sensation at all! Some people do notice a slight pinching sensation similar to a hair pluck. As the point is activated, you may feel a few different sensations such as heaviness or a gentle tingling. You may even feel sensation in a totally different part of the body. We call this de qi, which literally means “the arrival of vital energy.” De qi is a cue from your body that the needle is doing its job and it is a great sign.
It is important to know that your acupuncturist will adjust how they are working to maximize your comfort while still getting the most from your treatment.
Acupuncture, especially when combined with the other tools of East Asian Medicine, is incredibly effective at treating a wide array of complaints. It is also famously used as a method of avoiding symptoms in the first place. From pain conditions and digestive irregularity to respiratory and cardiac disease to menstrual and reproductive health, acupuncture is often one of our main tools to quickly eliminate symptoms and address the underlying cause.
The World Health Organization has published this list of conditions for which the research supports treatment by acupuncture, and the list keeps on growing!
How Long Does it Take to Work?
Relief may be immediate for some issues, other conditions will take time and effort to treat. The number of treatments needed will vary from person to person and by condition however there are a few rules of thumb:
Acute and recent conditions may only need two or three treatments
For chronic or longstanding issues or issues that involve a number of different body systems you may need multiple treatments over a longer period in order to see sustainable results.
The sooner you seek help for your condition, the easier it will be to treat.
The more consistent you are, the better your success will be.
The key to all of our treatments is the creation of a treatment plan. This will happen in your first visit and will entail a "picture" of what we think your best route back to health and balance is.
Here are some things that will improve your visit:
You will get an email from us with a link to fill a health questionnaire after you make your first appointment. Please fill out all the forms as honestly and completely as you can before you come so that we can start thinking about your situation before you even walk in the door.
Arrive a few minutes early for your appointment. Your treatment will be more effective if you are not rushing. Also, while we like to give you as much time as possible, late-comers may receive shorter treatments.
Eat a good meal earlier in the day before your appointment, and hydrate well. This will give your body the resources it needs to make use of the acupuncture.
Don't brush your tongue before your visit, we look at your tongue to help diagnose.
After your Treatment: Relax, Rest, Hydrate. The effects of your treatment will keep going even after you leave, so give yourself some time before you have to be productive.
Some of the Acupuncture "styles" that we practice:
Tung Lineage Acupuncture: Formerly a secret family lineage of medicine, it was opened up to the world by the renowned acupuncturist Tung Ching Chang in the 1960's when he taught a small number of students in Taiwan. Tung's acupuncture system contains hundreds of points not taught in "traditional" acupuncture schools and focusses on using few needles to create incredibly focussed and powerful treatments. Especially useful in pain conditions and internal medicine, this often forms the "base" of my treatment plans.
Motor / Trigger Point Acupuncture: Though this method has traditional roots, it has been further developed by modern research to work with the connection between the nervous system and the muscular system to address Myo-Fascial Pain Syndrome, muscle spasm, chronic and acute muscle imbalances and the postural issues associated with them.
Scalp and Auricular Acupuncture: Recent developments and research have revealed a number of "microsystems". Scalp acupuncture has been demonstrated as especially effective in neurological disease, post-stroke hemiplegia, vision and hearing issues with a neurological cause and chronic stress conditions. Auricular acupuncture has been the subject of research by numerous organizations including the US military and Addiction Service Providers and has proven to help with harmful habits, addressing post-trauma and post-abuse syndromes and re-balancing the relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Electro-Stimulation Acupuncture: Most often used in conjunction with Motor Point Acupuncture or "TCM" acupuncture, E-stim provides gentle stimulation to the points. This stimulation can be used to break cycles of pain and spasm in the muscles, making both massage and other acupuncture treatments more effective. It can also be used to boost the strength of point combinations without the discomfort that may accompany strong needle techniques.
"TCM" Acupuncture: This is the series of points and techniques most often taught in the West and in China following the Cultural Revolution. While many argue that this system has lost much to the process of streamlining various acupuncture lineages, it retains many useful applications and deserves