Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy that is used to heal illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. Tiny, hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points in the body, where they are gently stimulated to trigger the body’s natural healing response. Acupuncture is effective for controlling pain and can regulate the body’s physiological functions to treat various internal dysfunction and disorders.
According to traditional acupuncture theory, there are twelve energy channels called “meridians” running vertically along the length of the human body, each one linking to a specific organ. Illness is caused by obstructed energy flow at certain points along the meridians. Acupuncture therapy stimulates meridian flow and harmonizes the body’s energy to influence the health of both body and mind.
Researchers have begun to examine in Western medical terms the mechanisms by which acupuncture brings about physiological change. Studies have shown that acupuncture influences both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Further evidence indicates that acupuncture stimulates the release of brain chemicals such as endorphins, which function to relieve pain. Research also suggests that acupuncture increases immune system functioning, improves the circulatory system, decreases muscle tightness, and increases joint flexibility. Clinical trials lend credence to these results: acupuncture has been shown to bring about significant improvement for a variety of diseases.
In countries such as Japan and China, which make up about a fifth of the world’s population, acupuncture has been established as a primary form of health care for thousands of years, where the acupuncturist’s role was comparable to that of the physician. Today in such countries, acupuncture treatment remains an integral component of the health care system, offered in conjunction with Western medicine. In North America, acupuncture has drawn growing public attention in recent years.
This expanding paradigm is changing the face of medicine as we know it. Acupuncture has already been accepted as one of the more common forms of pain management therapy in many pain clinics in US and Canadian hospitals. Doctors are recommending acupuncture for their patients for various conditions and insurance plans are beginning to include acupuncture treatments
A single acupuncture appointment may include any combination of acupuncture and these other Chinese Therapies as part of the patients treatment.
- Cupping: warmed “cups” that slide across the skin
- Earseeds: tiny metal balls that are taped to acupuncture points in the ear
- Chinese herbal medicines and nutrition
What is “qi”?
In Chinese qi (pronounced “chee”) translates to mean vital energy and is considered to flow through channels called Meridians that traverse the body in a manner similar but not identical to the nervous and circulatory systems. Acupuncture can regulate the flow of energy by moving it away from areas that have too much to create a balance by moving to areas that are deficient for the patient.
What will I feel?
Acupuncture is considered to be relatively painless, however, with stimulation, the movement of qi for a patient may cause a sensation that has been variously described as heaviness, distention, tingling or electric. This sensation may only be at the location of the needle or may travel up or down the meridian (energy pathway) that is being affected. This sensation is what the acupuncturist wants to happen for the patient as it is a sign that the patient’s qi is adjusting towards balance.
Are the needles clean?
All needles used in this clinic are disposable. This means that only pre-packaged, sterile needles are used on a patient, one time only. Once used, they are discarded appropriately as indicated by law.
What can I expect at an Acupuncture appointment?
After completing your initial patient questionnaire/intake form, you will be seen by your acupuncturist who will perform an extensive interview and any physical exam which may be required to formulate a working Oriental medicine diagnosis and treatment plan specifically for you.
Case taking includes a detailed history and present concerns. Additional questions may be asked that seem unusual but are quite essential for a Chinese diagnosis and treatment. A few examples of usual questions might be:
- Do you perspire? Where?
- Do you wake to urinate? What time?
- Are you warm or cold blooded?
Exam will include taking your pulse at both wrists and inspection of your tongue. The information gathered will allow the clinicians to develop a personalized treatment plan for you.
How do I decide if acupuncture is for me?
Some key things to keep in mind when choosing a particular mode of treatment are the frequency or length of the treatment and cost.
Frequency: Acupuncture can be very effective with just one treatment but in many chronic disorders that involve a patient’s constitution, several consecutive appointments may be necessary. How many and how often can be worked out between you and your practitioner
Most of the Chinese medicine treatment is done right here at the clinic but on occasion, a patient may have to prepare an herbal tea or brew one at home.
Finally, whether or not you can have acupuncture done on you really depends on how you feel about it. If you are hesitant about needles, we also offer Amma, Asian bodywork, Shiatsu, moxa, gua sha, cupping, earseeds and herbs.
Call Pulse to find out if we currently have any acupuncturists working with us, or who we recommend.
Book online or call us today at 955-8272 to learn more.