What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It's based on the theory that energy, called Qi (say "chee"), flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians.
Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances your Qi. An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence Qi and help it flow back into balance.
Initial visits generally last from 75 to 90 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. Be prepared to be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, digestion, emotional states and anything that may offer insight into your health.
Your practitioner will also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such as looking at your tongue and feeling your pulse.
Your Treatment Plan
Once your acupuncturist has gathered enough information, you’ll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:
-Your underlying imbalances
-Your time line of care
-What types of treatment you will receive
Getting The Most Out Of Treatment
For the best treatment results, keep a few things in mind:
- Please show up on time
- Don’t eat a large meal before your visit
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes
- Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your acupuncturist
- Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for at least six hours after treatment
- Follow your treatment plan between visits
- Keep all of your appointments, as each visit builds upon the previous ones
How Treatment Works
To treat any Qi imbalances, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways. Your acupuncturist will concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
Your acupuncturist may include other related therapies in your treatment plan, such as cupping, Gwa Sha or moxabustion. Herbal remedies are another important aspect of acupuncture and TCM, and it is important to understand and follow your practitioner’s directions in order to get the most benefit from these treatments.
Your Role In The Healing Process
Your actions are a key component of your treatment plan. Focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take for your well-being. Together, you and your acupuncturist can heal your imbalances and help you achieve harmony and balance.
Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture can assist you in maintaining your health, and possibly prevent future imbalances. The more you incorporate acupuncture and TCM into your life, the more you’ll learn to nurture your body, mind and spirit.
Acupuncture is not an instant fix.
True healing takes time and dedication. Depending on your current health and symptoms, you could feel better right away, or you may need treatments for weeks, months or years to achieve the results you want. Your acupuncturist can give you an idea of what to expect. With a little patience and an open mind, you’ll be on your way to health and vitality.
Acupuncture and TCM offer a safe and effective holistic health care system. This natural approach can both resolve symptoms and enhance your overall health.
By taking the right steps and planting the seeds of health, you are on the road to a healthier you!