I use acupuncture and other forms of Oriental medicine, including cupping, Chinese herbs and moxibustion (a localized heat treatment). These forms of treatment have been proven effective and have been the primary type of healthcare for centuries in China safely treating a wide range of health concerns ranging from asthma to weight management.
All treatment begins with a proper diagnosis, which takes place during your first visit. I spend a lot of time getting a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. I examine the condition of your tongue to see for example, if it is cracked, thickly coated or excessively red or pale. I will also check your pulse on both wrists, because the quality of your pulse gives valuable information about possible energetic imbalances. I’ll also ask questions about your emotional state, and specific symptoms you may have to construct a thorough picture of all aspects of your health. This is done because unlike Western medicine, Oriental medicine treats the whole person. Instead of merely focusing on the symptoms of your condition, I seek to treat the underlying cause of those symptoms so that they will be resolved and not return.
The first visit (with diagnosis) can last from an hour to an hour and a half, and end with an acupuncture treatment lasting 30-45 minutes. Your subsequent visits will be much faster – usually an hour long. At these visits we’ll make a short review of your progress followed by an acupuncture treatment.
If it will help with your care, I will also prescribe an herbal formula. Herbs are always prescribed in a balanced formula, with different herbs, each having supporting and balancing effects. Thousands of years of use and research have shown that this is far more effective than large doses of a single substance.
Typically acupuncture treatments are given at least once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, treatments may be given 2-3 times per week until the condition starts to come under control. The exact duration of treatment depends on how long you have had the condition, your basic level of health, and your individual response to care. Acupuncture treatments are cumulative, because each treatment builds on the previous one to resolve your symptoms and restore balance.
What You Can Expect During an Acupuncture Treatment
During your initial consultation you can expect to complete a detailed health history and discuss your treatment goals. In keeping with the philosophy of Oriental Medicine it is important to properly identify the causes associated with your individual health concerns. This will help me determine the nature of your condition, your overall state of health and the treatment strategy best suited for you. I will also utilize diagnostic techniques unique to Oriental Medicine, including observing your tongue and taking your pulse at both wrists.
After determining your diagnosis, I will develop a treatment plan incorporating acupuncture and other modalities and if warranted, herbal medicine, nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.
It is not usually necessary for you to undress during treatment; wearing loose fitting clothing often allows access to the areas that require needling. Your comfort is always crucial during acupuncture care. During the treatment sterile ultra fine needles are placed at acupuncture points that correspond to your specific needs. The needles are about the thickness of a human hair, are used only once and disposed of immediately following your treatment.
You will feel a light tap when the needles are first inserted and then tingling, warmth, a heavy sensation or pressure around the site. Often you may feel nothing at all, but sensation is normal and desirable. The needles remain in place for approximately 20-40 minutes while you rest comfortably on a massage table. Acupuncture promotes deep relaxation and many people fall asleep during treatment. Most people feel a profound sense of calm, general well- being, or even euphoria after treatments- a sign that the body’s natural healing mechanisms have been activated.
The duration of your treatments will depend on many factors including your basic level of health, the chronicity of your condition and your individual response to acupuncture. Acute conditions can often be treated with three to six treatments, while chronic conditions take longer. Each individual case is unique but I ask that you give yourself the gift of at least eight treatment sessions in order to begin to fully experience the benefits of acupuncture. Acupuncture is cumulative, so with each treatment you will usually see improved wellness and reduction in symptoms and a sense of equanimity or “balance” in your daily life.
After achieving the results that you have desired, many people come in on a monthly or bimonthly basis or for seasonal ” tune ups.” Many people also benefit from daily use of herbal remedies. Oriental medicine is an invaluable component of a proactive health maintenance program and will help you to feel your best in body, mind and spirit.