Acupuncture belongs to an ancient system of medicine that is nearly 2000 years old. Originating in China, acupuncture is now widely practiced in the West. It involves inserting ultra fine, hair like sized sterile needles into the skin to manipulate qi, or the body’s energy source, and restore the body’s free flow of energy. Pain and illness are looked at as the body being out of balance, and whether this balance is physical, emotional, or mental, acupuncture can restore harmony in the body.
For your first acupuncture treatment it is suggested that you wear loose fitting clothing, as many of the acupuncture points are on your arms and legs. This way pants and sleeves can be rolled up to access these points. Make sure you eat something light before you come for your treatment also.
When your treatment starts, you will first be asked all sorts of questions about your chief complaint, personal health, and health history. These questions may seem completely unrelated to your condition, yet they help the physician form a pattern and come up with a treatment plan. You will be asked questions about your energy, sleep, overall mood, digestion, and other seemingly random questions like whether or not you experience floaters in your eyes or a bitter taste in your mouth. Women will be asked about menstrual cycles. Again, this all means something to the physician and helps to uncover your own personal pattern and how it can be treated.
Next you will be asked to extend your tongue. The tongue is a micro system of the body and imbalances in the body can show up on the tongue. Things that are observed are whether or not you have a coating, what color or thickness it is, what color your tongue is, or whether or not you have a red tip. The shape and size of your tongue is also observed and each organ in the body has its own correspondence area on the tongue. Observing this, the practitioner can see which organs are out of balance.
Next, your wrist pulses will be felt and assessed. While Chinese medicine does observe the rate of which your pulse is beating, that is not the only thing that is observed. Each organ in your body has a different position on your radial pulse. There are nine positions on each pulse and your pulse will be felt on three different levels. Using pulse readings, a diagnosis can be formed and can help the practitioner uncover the pattern of imbalance in your body.
After you have been asked a series of questions and had your tongue and pulse observed, you will receive an acupuncture treatment where certain points are chosen that are specifically beneficial for you and your condition. The treatment should be painless and many people who are afraid of needles tolerate acupuncture needles without any anxiety once they see how non-threatening the needles are. They are so thin that they can easily be tied in a knot and all that is felt upon insertion is the tiniest prick and sometimes nothing is felt at all. The needles are gently manipulated to acquire a sensation that generally feels like a dull ache, warmth, tingling or dullness at the needle site. This is a great response and just means that the body’s qi, or life force of energy, has been activated. After all of the needles are inserted the patient usually feels a sense of calm immediately. The needles will stay in place for generally about 20 minutes while the patient relaxes. The treatment is so peaceful that many patients fall asleep while the needles are in.
Acupuncture is an enjoyable, relaxing experience and evidence based clinical research shows it to be extremely safe when performed by a competent Acupuncturist. Try it today and see for yourself why more than 8 million Americans use acupuncture to treat a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional health problems.
We only use sterile, one-time use, disposable needles.