Acupuncture treatment involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body which relate to the condition being treated. Acupuncture needles are very small, and usually don’t hurt any more than a pin prick would.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat many conditions. The acupuncturist inserts very fine needles into the patient’s skin at specific points. The stimulation of these acupuncture points affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties.
Traditional Chinese Medicine says that the life energy (Qi) flows through the whole body. Sickness and pain are caused by an imbalance of Qi and Blood. The acupuncturist is able to influence health by stimulating specific points along the meridians to balance Qi and Blood.
Many people associate needles with pain; but acupuncture is generally painless because the needles are so fine. You usually feel a very unique sensation that can vary from tingling, heaviness, warmth, or nothing at all after the needle is inserted. Everyone’s experience is different. Should you experience any discomfort, inform the practitioner, and they will adjust the needles accordingly.
Before your first consultation we will collect a complete medical history from you by way of an online questionnaire.We will review this information before your first consultation. At your first consultation we will do further diagnostic exams. We will take your pulse, examine your tongue, and palpate your abdomen. We may also check for tender areas along the blood vessels if necessary. The initial visit usually lasts for 45 minutes, with each subsequent acupuncture treatment session lasting about 60 minutes.
Your course of treatment will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session. We will be able to give you some idea of how many acupuncture treatments you may need after your initial consultation. You have the right to expect that your major complaint will be addressed and treated in a direct and timely manner and we will always do our best to help you with that.
We do not usually apply acupuncture needles to the site where the pain is felt. A patient who has neck pain, for example, may find it uncomfortable to hold their neck in one position for long enough to have local points used. If we use distant acupuncture points, the patient is free to move their neck. This helps avoid aggravating the problem by adding stiffness to the equation and also allows the patient to appreciate the difference in pain levels and range of motion during treatment.
Before your Acupuncture Treatment
Before each treatment you should not engage in strenuous activity, smoke excessively, drink alcohol, or ingest heavy meals. It is best to eat a light meal before your treatment and wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible.
We often find it useful to teach our patients acupuncture points which they can massage to relieve pain in between treatment sessions.