Frequently Asked Questions
What is Acupuncture?
Classical Acupuncture is one of the world’s most ancient forms of healing. Practiced in China for over 5,000 years, acupuncture continues to be used worldwide in both restoring and maintaining health. As a drugless therapy with no medicinal side effects, acupuncture relieves the cause (rather than just treating the symptoms) by incorporating the body, mind and spirit in restoring the harmonious energetic balance of the body. Life energy, or Qi (pronounced “chee”), flows through a distinct network of channels within the human body. These channels, called Meridians, have pathways somewhat like the body’s nerves and blood vessels have. Illness and pain result when an obstruction restricts the energy from flowing fully. Acupuncture removes obstructions to restore the free flow of Qi through the channels. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into one or more points along the meridians. The needles are rarely felt upon insertion. The needles are solid and as fine as a human hair. They are individually packaged, pre-sterilized and made of the highest quality stainless steel. They are disposable and used only once.
What are Meridians?
Meridian is a traditional Chinese medicine term for the distinct network of pathways or channels that run throughout the body. Life energy or Qi flows through this network of channels. The Qi or vital energy is accessed through specific acupuncture points and each point has a specific energetic function which may influence the physical body or the mental or emotional state.
What is Qi (Pronounced chee)?
Qi is a Chinese term for vital energy or life force. It is the energy that animates us and gives us vitality. In traditional Chinese medicine, Qi is believed to regulate a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical balance, and is influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang.
Do the Acupuncture needles hurt?
Some people may be hesitant to try acupuncture for fear of the needles and a belief that they are painful, but the needles are rarely felt upon insertion. However, on rare occasions, there can be a slight sensation of a dull ache when the needle meets the Qi. The needles are solid and as fine as a human hair. They are individually packaged, pre-sterilized and made of the highest quality stainless steel. They are disposable and used only once.
Will Acupuncture interfere with my medication?
The short answer is no. A word of caution though. After a series of treatments you may find your medication working more efficiently since acupuncture has a tendency to remove blockages and balance the energetic pathways. If your medication is dosage sensitive, make sure you see your doctor to monitor your dosages and learn if your medication has any signs of over
dosing. Many Western pharmaceuticals are potent so it is never a good idea to stop taking medication without your doctor’s guidance. In many cases you need to reduce dosages gradually to avoid unpleasant reactions. After a series of treatments acupuncture has been effective for eliminating pain and improving general well being, thus reducing the need for pharmaceuticals
What does acupuncture treat?
In 1997 the World Health organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) recognized acupuncture to be to be effective in treating a variety of medical problems, including:
- Addiction – alcohol, drug, smoking, food
- Acute & chronic neck & back pain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Common Cold & Influenza
- Dental Pain
- Digestive disorders
- Emotional Issues
- Facial palsy/tics
- Irritable bowel
- Irregular menstruation, painful menstruation
- Pain – Low Back pain – acute & chronic – Sciatica
- Stress & Stress related disorders
OsteoarthritisThis is not a definitive list though – there are many other acupuncture benefits. The acupuncture treatment does more than simply cure symptoms. It assists the body in restoring overall health and immune function, relieving not only the pain for which treatment was sought, but also often providing improvements in more restful sleep, less stress, increased mental well-being and greater energy.
What to expect during a treatment
The purpose of the initial visit is to understand your reasons for seeking acupuncture treatment and assess the underlying causes leading to symptoms. Initially the acupuncturist may spend up to 30 minutes discussing your primary complaint, such as how long you’ve had the problem, your current symptoms, your health history, your diet, sleeping habits, bowel movements and other
information that may seem irrelevant to you – just remember that Chinese Medicine is a holistic medical system that recognizes the link between body, mind and emotions. Your physical ailment may well have an emotional component. Depending on the condition being treated, you can expect anywhere from 4-15 acupuncture points to be selected. Generally, the needles are left in place for about 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the protocol and condition being treated. A common benefit of acupuncture is that it is usually very relaxing – all you have to do is lie still. It is quite common for people to fall asleep during their treatment.
Duration & Frequency
The duration and frequency of treatments depend on your condition and how long you’ve been experiencing it. A course of treatment can range from a few visits to several weeks or months of regular treatment. Everyone has different lifestyles, health habits, activity levels, conditions and medications, so each person responds to treatment in a unique way. Some people quickly feel revitalized mentally and physically, while others scarcely notice any change at all, only marking progress when they look back and consider how they used to feel. Usually a new patient is seen twice a week at first, then weekly visits as the person progresses until visits become seasonal or on an as needed basis. After a course of treatment, many people choose to use Classical Acupuncture as a means of maintaining optimal wellness and diminishing the negative effects of stress on the mind and body.
Response to treatment
During or after treatment, you may experience either small or profound changes. The first changes that occur may not improve the main complaint but may improve your overall state of health. Individuals may notice they sleep better, feel more relaxed, feel more at ease within themselves or enjoy an improved body temperature. These are all positive signs of a better energy balance which if continued and supported will lead to an alleviation of the main symptoms. Every aspect of the person is affected by acupuncture treatment, and changes may take place mentally, physically or emotionally as balance is restored.
Doing Your Part to Get The Most Out of Your Treatments
You will get the best results from your treatments if you:
- Continue any prescription medicine as directed
- Avoid hot bath/shower up to 4 hours before or after treatments
- Avoid heavy meals before or after treatment (light meals recommended)
- Avoid alcoholic beverages on the day of treatment
- Avoid recreational drugs
- Do not engage in anything strenuous or stressful, either emotionally or physically, before or after treatment