What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy. An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body's Qi (energy) and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It can also improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless, and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What can I expect my first visit?
Initial visits generally last from thirty to ninety minutes. Your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history, perform a physical exam, and provide you with your unique treatment plan. During your first exam, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. You may be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional stress and anything that may offer insight into your health. Your acupuncturist will also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such and tongue and pulse diagnosis.
What should I expect during treatment?
Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling, or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving all around the needle. This is called the "Qi sensation." All these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve that acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to significant changes.
How should I prepare?
Come with any questions you have - we're here to help you. Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points. Don't eat large meals just before or after you visit. Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs, or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit. Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest. Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
Do the needles hurt?
The sensation caused by acupuncture needles varies. Some people feel a little pain as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain at all. The needles are tiny, just a little larger than a cat's whisker or a human hair.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
What type of schooling do acupuncturists get?
Today, acupuncturists receive four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.
Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?
Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build, and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever, or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.