Acupuncture is one of the oldest traditional Chinese medicine systems. According to TCM Philosophy our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy known as Qi which flows through a series of channels or pathways beneath the skin known as meridians which also connect to our internal organs.
Our body as an organic whole consists of blood, body fluids, muscles, bones, tendons and the skin. This flow or Yin-Yang energy balance can be disturbed or blocked by a number of things such as emotions i.e. anger, grief, frustration but also through physical trauma such as an accident or injury. Many other factors also have an impact on our health such as diet, weather, heredity & infections.
What To Expect During Your Treatment
Very fine Acupuncture needles are used to stimulate the body’s own healing response to help restore its natural balance. Throughout centuries of practice and observation each point and combinations of, have provided detailed knowledge to provide effective treatment for a wide range of disease. Before a session as much information as possible is collected through a consultation.
After your consultation you will be instructed about clothing adjustments and how you will be situated on the table. Needle placement is done with a tap so that the needle is delivered quickly through the skin. Usually, there is no sensation, but if there is, it will be a slight sting. Another type of sensation may be felt after that, depending on your type of injury. Chinese call it “Da Chi” and the sensation may be a broad distending heaviness, tingliness, or an “electric” radiation (shooting type sensation). It will last only an instant. After needles are placed, it is a good idea not to move around until the needles are removed, that is why we try to make you as comfortable as possible. Needles are usually left for approximately 30 minutes in strategic points for an effective treatment that affects the whole body, over and above the symptom; bringing the body back to its more natural state recovering the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual energetic states. After the needles are removed you may adjust your clothing and leave the room. Direction will be given to you at the reception desk regarding future appointments, herbs, etc.
What To Expect After Your Treatment
In Chinese Medicine any type of change is good, it means that acupuncture can probably make a difference. Immediately after your treatment you may feel dizzy or lightheaded. Your body may feel sore. A feeling of being “relaxed” is very common or you may feel a burst of energy. If you came in seeking pain relief, you may notice that the location of the pain has changed. Remember that change is good. We suggest taking the rest of the day easy, drinking water and going to bed early. This allows your body to process the treatment and heal.
Acupuncture is a process. More than one treatment is needed to resolve the majority of issues. You may think of Acupuncture as having a layering effect. The consistency of your treatments will greatly benefit your outcome, as we are attempting to break old patterns in the body and set new healthy ones. The number of treatments needed will vary from patient to patient, depending on what the problem is. Typical protocols can be, for example, three times a week for several weeks, or once a week for several months. During your first treatment your acupuncturist will suggest a course of treatment that is appropriate for you.
How to get the most out of your Acupuncture sessin
Acupuncture can often produce results faster than common medications, depending upon your condition. However, it’s still important to try to get the most out of your treatment and commit to healing. Here are some tips for ensuring that you receive the maximum benefits from your sessions with a licensed acupuncturist:
Keep an open mind. Positive energy speeds up any healing process.
Only visit a licensed acupuncturist.
If you are asked to fill out any forms, fill them out honestly and completely. Don’t shortchange yourself by using answers you think the acupuncturist wants to hear or omitting bad habits. Some questions may seem irrelevant to your current condition, but keep in mind acupuncture is a holistic practice and deals with all aspects of your body, mind, and spirit. The most effective personalized treatment plan will come from honest answers and a comprehensive health history. Be sure to alert the acupuncturist about any other treatment you are currently receiving and any medications you are taking.
Prior to your acupuncture session, eat a light meal or snack. You don’t want to be starving but you also do not want to be overly full. Avoid greasy, heavy foods that could upset your stomach.
Refrain from alcohol and drugs for at least 12 hours before your session. Avoid strenuous activity and caffeine within a few hours of the treatment. Do not brush your tongue for at least 24 hours leading up to your appointment. This allows the acupuncturist to use the color, texture, and coating on your tongue as a diagnostic tool.
Wear loose fitting clothes for comfort during acupuncture sessions. Make sure the clothing can be rolled up so that the practitioner can reach all of the necessary acupuncture points.
Engage your licensed acupuncturist and ask pertinent questions so that you feel confident and well-informed.
After your first acupuncture session, take notes about how you felt during and after the session. Share these notes with your practitioner so any necessary adjustments can be made.
Once the needles are set and the acupuncturist leaves, take the time to truly relax.
For the rest of the day after an acupuncture session most acupuncturists recommend that you avoid alcohol, stressful situations, caffeine, sex, strenuous exercise, food or liquid at extreme temperatures, and heavy or spicy meals.
You may feel tired after a session, so take it easy, drink plenty of water, and keep yourself at a comfortable temperature. If you are extremely drowsy you should rest. It’s fine to go to work, school, or other activities following treatment, but avoid overexerting yourself.
Be realistic. There is no such thing as an instant cure. It may take several sessions before you feel relief.