1. What will the treatment be like?
First, I’ll also ask you some general questions about your constitution (diet, digestion, breathing, allergies, etc.) to identify the pattern of imbalance.
During actual treatment, there will always be acupuncture, but I may use other modalities such as moxibustion, cupping, medical qigong, and very often prescription of Chinese herbal formulas. I will try to explain everything I am doing, and why I am doing it, but if you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask.
After treatment, we will discuss next steps for treatment and any homework I’d like you to do before your next treatment.
If you are at all nervous about being needled, please don’t be. The needles I use are usually about the thickness of a hair from your head, and they are put so shallowly they often hardly break the skin. I also use a Japanese insertion technique that is so gentle you will hardly feel them.
2. Will it hurt?
3. Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. All licensed acupuncturists today use individually packaged, pre-sterilized, disposable needles. Practitioners undergo 3-4 years of graduate-level training, covering both Eastern and a substantial amount of Western medicine, and must then pass rigorous provincial licensing exams before practicing.
4. What modalities might be used in your treatment?
Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion of fine, sterile, disposable needles into strategic points near the surface of the body. These points, which are effective in treating disease, have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of two thousand years.
▶ Chinese Herbs
Chinese herbal medicine represents the cumulative clinical experience and time-tested theories of over two millennia of continuous practice by traditional Chinese physicians. Today, it is developing rapidly as a potent complementary and alternative medical practice in North America.
When recommended by a skilled practitioner, Chinese herbal medicine is a safe, effective and natural way to treat a wide array of health-related conditions. Most herbs are plant, flower and mineral derivatives. Often five or more Chinese herbs are combined to make one formula. Formulas are usually made into decocted teas, powders or pills to be ingested. Chinese herbal medicine is often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Together, they are an effective combination for the treatment of many disorders. In many cases, acupuncture helps to regulate the energetic (yang) component of the body while Chinese herbal medicine helps to harmonize bodily deficiencies or excesses, the (yin) component.
Cupping is a form of traditional medicine used in many cultures all over the world. It involves the practitioner creating vacuum in a cup, and then applying the cup to the patient’s body. Cupping is very effective in treating patients with digestive problems, menstrual problems, respiratory problems like coughing or wheezing, as well as with many other aches and pains. Cupping has also been found to affect the body up to four inches deep. It causes the tissues to release toxins, triggers the lymphatic system, clears colon blockages, and helps stimulate and clear the veins, arteries and capillaries.
There are many benefits to Moxibustion Therapy. Clinically it increases blood cell counts especially that of white blood cells which strengthens the immune system. The heat produced from the burning moxa penetrates deeply into underlying tissues improving circulation and helping to reduce both pain and inflammation. If done properly, the heat of the Moxibustion can penetrate into the core of the pain location and has results far surpassing that of pain medication.
5. What kind of herbs and formulas do we use?
Chinese herbs may be used to increase the efficacy of the treatment. The majority of these herbs are plants (flowers, grasses, stems, roots), but some are shells and minerals and more rarely, animal parts such as deer horn.
Herbs come in a variety of different forms, and I will discuss which is best for your condition and lifestyle
Herbs in their raw form are packaged up for you in little bags, and you cook them at home. Normally, you will reduce for 20-30 minutes into a tea to be taken a couple times per day. I will usually have you cook a 2-day supply so you only have to actually brew the tea once every couple of days, and it has the highest efficacy of all the methods of taking herbs.
Herbs are ground into a powder, which you mix in some warm water and drink. It offers high efficacy, and is easier to prepare than raw herbs.
The above powder is rolled into little balls (about the size of a bee-bee), so are even easier to carry with you and take throughout the day.
6. How often/how many times will I need to come?
This depends on what it is we are working on, but it is common to have patients come in 3-4 times. Acute presentations (suddenly appeared in the last few days) can often be chased out in 2-3 treatments, whereas more chronic conditions usually take longer to treat. Normally I see patients once per week, but many people also come for ‘maintenance’ once a month.