WHY ACUPUNCTURE SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR MONTHLY SELF-CARE ROUTINE?
The aim of acupuncture is not only to address concerning symptoms, but to treat the underlying cause and improve the patient’s overall quality of life. One of acupuncture’s strong points is that it focuses on treating the individual, not a disease or symptom.
WHY USE ACUPUNCTURE?
The World Health Organization(WHO) recognizes acupuncture to be effective for many health conditions, including the following: anxiety, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, colitis, fatigues, fertility, fibromyalgia, headache, IBS, low back pain, pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, sinus problems, stress, tennis elbow, and wrist pain. Acupuncture can treat more conditions than are listed here, so feel free to ask about your specific concerns to find out if it is an appropriate treatment for you.
WHAT IS CUPPING THERAPY?
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which special cups are placed on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. This "reverse" massage lifts the muscle and fascia, allowing the area too to be flooded with new fresh blood and improved lymph movement.
This treatment can assist in numerous conditions including pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation, general well-being and even cellulite reduction!
WHAT IS GUA SHA?
“Gua sha is a healing technique of traditional East Asian medicine. Sometimes called ‘coining, spooning or scraping’, Gua sha is defined as instrument-assisted unidirectional press-stroking of a lubricated area of the body surface to intentionally create transitory therapeutic petechiae called ‘sha’ representing extravasation of blood in the subcutis.”
Using a smooth stone or a specially designed instrument, along with the appropriate oils for lubrication, the gua sha practitioner strokes an area of the body, such as the patient’s neck or back. After a few moments the skin begins to turn red, and then a particular kind of marking starts to appear on the skin. You will notice bright red spots which are a trademark of Gua Sha.
If you’ve never seen the technique in action before, you might mistake the markings for bruises – but that’s not what they are, exactly. Fine capillaries (tiny blood vessels) start to give off the “sha” or petechiae. This is a good thing. What it does is to release toxins from the blood and greatly stimulate circulation in the area. It also has “an anti-inflammatory and immune protective effect that persists for days following a single Gua sha treatment. It gives almost instantaneous relief from pain and congestion as well as freeing up a greater range of movement in joints and ligaments.
WHAT IS MOXIBUSTION(MOXA)?
Moxibustion is a type of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves burning moxa, a cone or stick made of ground mugwort leaves, on or near your body’s meridians and acupuncture points. The heat generated during moxibustion helps stimulate these points and increase the flow of vital energy (also known as "qi" or "chi") throughout the body via certain pathways (known as "meridians").
In traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating the flow of Qi is considered essential to achieving health and wellness. In fact, physical and mental health problems are thought to develop (in part) as a result of blockages in the flow of Qi. So, this increased Qi circulation can help with a range of health issues, from chronic pain to digestive troubles.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN INITIAL CONSULT?
At your first consult, you will discuss current and past medical histories as well as current diet and lifestyle habits. For the first appointment, we ask you to avoid or reduce caffeine intake in order for an accurate picture of your health can be obtained. We will create a diagnosis and treatment plan by asking about your current and past medical history, current diet, and lifestyle habits as well as feeling your wrist pulses – even looking at your tongue.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Acupuncture needles are very thin and flexible. This allows them to pass between skin cells as opposed to causing damage to these cells, resulting in minimal discomfort. However, each patient is unique and some may be more sensitive to the sensation than others, depending on the location treated.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
It is very safe. The needles that are used are disposed of after each use, so each client receives a set of new sterile needles. The most common side effects are minor bleeding and bruising at the site of insertion.
WHAT TO BRING TO YOUR INITIAL CONSULT?
Please bring along a three day diet recall, a list of any supplements or medications you are currently taking and come 5-10 mins early to fill out new patient form.
If you are coming for an acupuncture treatment, wear something comfortable and easy to maneuver to allow your practitioner access to the required point locations.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, acupuncture works to free flow the Qi (energy) through the meridians thus returning the body to a sense of balance. The needles work to alleviate "blockages" that cause signs and symptoms that we may experience.
From a Western perspective, acupuncture works to engage the body in dealing with a problem (the needles). While the body is being engaged it then also begins to notice other areas that need attention. So the best way to think of it, is that acupuncture helps the body recognize issues and work towards healing.
There is much more that acupuncture can do, this is just a simplified version. Your practitioner can explain in more detail during your consultation.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NECESSARY?
Like physical therapy, it is most effective when done in a series, especially, in general, for conditions that have lasted for a long time(Chronic) or are more complicated, which may require more treatments than new(acute) problems. We generally recommend 10 treatment sessions at least to deal with your chronic or complicated condition.
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE CALL IT DRY NEEDLING? WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Acupuncturists have undertaken at least a Master in Health Science and have an in depth understanding of both Eastern and Western Medicine and as such can apply the appropriate needling techniques to address different conditions. Dry needling refers to needling by practitioners who have not undergone this extensive training and predominantly addresses musculoskeletal pain and tightness.