What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most common and dependable medical therapies used in the world. It is by nature simple, safe and effective health care.
Acupuncturists use thin, sterile, one-time-use disposable needles inserted superficially into specific areas of the body in order to help the body's ability to heal itself.
Over the three decades or so in which acupuncture has developed in the U.S., it has been proven to be not only exceptionally safe when performed by licensed acupuncturists, but statistically effective in an increasing body of scientific studies.
Our experience tells us acupuncture can reliably and safely decrease pain and inflammation, quiet spasms, boost immunity, dispel migraines, shrink swelling, relieve pain in almost any location, regulate hormones, cut recovery time from surgery almost in half, calm anxiety, lift depression, restore mobility, improve digestion, and create a deep feeling of rest. Acupuncture is particularly helpful for people with chronic diseases, meaning conditions that can be managed but not cured. Because these folks often need to take many medications with multiple side effects, acupuncture can greatly improve their quality of life by helping with mood, energy and sleep – without creating any more side effects.
Acupuncture will normally cause people to feel sleepy during the time of treatment. In our treatment spaces you'll find family, friends, and neighbors literally napping together as they work towards common goals of better health, less pain, and relief from stress.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Your body is built with the ability to heal itself. This ability is maintained by your blood flow. Blood contains all the nutrients vital to your existence (oxygen, water, platelets, hormones, proteins, glucose and etc.) and wastes & toxins produced from cellular activities. It is through your blood that your body is able to self-heal. If nutrients are not delivered to every cell in your body, then those cells that lack nutrition will shrivel up and die, just like if you don’t eat and drink every day, eventually you will start to wither away. On the other hand if waste elimination is hindered then the result is accumulation of wastes and toxins in the area, this is what we call inflammation. If the accumulated waste is not eliminated, eventually the toxins will start to kill all neighboring cells. Basically what started out as a small problem becomes a big problem. Similar if you don’t urinate or have bowel movements every day, guess what happens to all the waste. Since it’s not coming out of your body regularly, then it’s sitting in your intestines and in your body, causing various symptoms and eventually various health problems. Acupuncture can stimulate your blood flow and guide it to specific areas of your body to nourish cells that have been deprived of nutrition. Acupuncture can also increase blood flow to areas where toxins have accumulated to decrease the accumulation or inflammation. Acupuncture basically turns on the “ON” switch to self-healing for your body.
What are the Causes to Health Problems?
Our treatments are focused on the three common causes to health problems. We call them the three stresses: emotional, chemical and physical.
Everybody has emotional stress, but it can create a physical response. For example, notice the posture of someone who is sad or depressed. What's happening is when you are stressed your body is constricting your blood vessels, which decreases blood circulation to your muscles. If your muscles don't get enough blood, they are going to feel tight.
Common sources to chemical stress include junk food, poor nutrition, pollution and chronic use of medications, as well as tobacco, alcohol, and pollens.
Physical stress can be caused by traumas, falls, accidents or sports injuries. These could have occurred 10-20 years ago and just never fully healed, which caused chronic inflammation.
When these 3 stresses attack your body, they are disrupting the circulation of blood somewhere in the body. If there's a disruption of blood flow to your organs they are going to start to MALFUNCTION. Now, this initially starts at the cellular level and that's why you don't feel any symptoms at this time. If the blood circulation is not improved, then what happens is your organs start to accumulate waste, because there's 2 parts to blood circulation: #1 is bringing nutrients to a certain area of the body and #2 is draining the waste, just like you need to eat and eliminate. If you don't do either one, then eventually a DISEASE PROCESS begins, and during this time you still won't feel any symptoms. If you don't restore your blood circulation at this stage, THEN eventually symptoms develop. So, by the time you get symptoms some of your organs are actually functioning at a very low percentage. Our job is to help restore that function, by improving your blood circulation. We do this in 4 phases:
Phase 1 is called Relief Care - First and foremost our #1 goal is to get you feeling better.
Phase 2 is called Corrective Care - Here our goal is to correct the problems that made you feel bad in the first place. It's one thing to take away a problem, but it's another thing to make sure it doesn't come back.
Phase 3 is called Strengthening Care - Once we've corrected the problem, we need to train your body to take over. During this phase we are slowly weaning you off of our treatments so that your body has a chance to take over.
Phase 4 is called Maintenance Care - After your body is able to take over, it is up to you to maintain your health and all that restoration of your function.
Acupuncture Treatment Process
An acupuncture treatment begins with you sitting in a recliner. The acupuncturist will then insert acupuncture needles in specific points on your legs, arms, head or ears. The acupuncture needles are then retained for 30 minutes. You can expect to be in our office for 45- 50min each treatment.
When the needles are inserted you will feel a “spark” sensation. It's similar to when you turn on a light switch, there’s a little electric spark that ignites the electricity to turn on the light bulb. Acupuncture is very similar, when the acupuncturist inserts the needles he/she is attempting to contact the nerve which will produce a spark sensation. This spark sensation signifies that the acupuncturist turned on your blood circulation. The spark sensation can feel like numbness, tingling, aching, heaviness, or stinging. The spark sensation usually lasts a few seconds and then goes away; inform the acupuncturist if the spark sensation does not dissipate after 10 seconds.
Preparations for Acupuncture Treatments (The following suggestions will help maximize the benefits of acupuncture treatments)
1. Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection
2. Wear loose clothing that can easily be rolled up to expose your arms & legs. Avoid wearing tight clothing
3. Prior to coming for acupuncture, eat a little snack if you are hungry. Acupuncture can reduce blood sugar, therefore if you arrive starving you may leave a little nauseous
1. RELAX. The most important part of your treatment is for you to relax. Your body starts to heal and cells regenerate when you are resting, that’s why sleep is so important.
2. DO NOT change your position or move suddenly. Small adjustments are acceptable. If any of the needles cause pain during the treatment, please inform the acupuncturist.
3. INFORM the acupuncturist if you feel dizziness, nausea, cold sweats, shortness of breath, or increased pain or burning sensation during the acupuncture treatments.
4. Midway into your treatment session, an acupuncturist may check on your progress and insert any additional needles deemed necessary.
Rest & Relax = take it easy for the rest of the day. Try not to fatigue yourself or over-exercise after treatments. This may prevent your body from healing itself and nullify the treatment. You can continue your daily activities and do a light workout as long as you don’t fatigue yourself.
Acupuncture increases blood circulation throughout your body. When fresh oxygenated blood travels to your problem areas, it allows the cells and organs to heal. During this healing period, your body may experience one
of the following:
1) improvement of symptoms
2) no change of symptoms
3) slightly increased intensity of symptoms, but DO NOT be alarmed, the intensity usually decreases before your next treatment.
99% of patients experience either an improvement of symptoms or no change of symptoms. If you are the 1% that experiences an increase in the intensity of your original symptoms, do not be alarmed. This just means your body has begun to change & is reacting to the treatments. Normally, after the 2nd or 3rd treatment, your body will have adapted to the treatments and begun to heal.