Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese Medical modality that involves inserting fine, sterile needles into the skin, which are then stimulated to effect biological and physiological responses of the body. Depending on a patient's presenting signs and symptoms, acupuncture needles are placed on various parts of the body, most notably on points distal to the knees and elbows, but may also be inserted in the neck, head, back, or abdomen.
Acupuncture is known to promote the innate healing response of the body and relieve pain by re-establishing communication between sore, tight muscles and the central nervous system. While acupuncture has gained recognition due to its ability to alleviate pain, it can affect a wide range of physiological systems, such as the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, digestive, and reproductive systems. Clinical research into the efficacy of acupuncture continues to grow, with the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recognizing it as an effective and complementary medicine in the treatment of a wide scope of conditions and disorders.
What to expect during a treatment?
Initial Assessment & Treatment
Our initial consultations begin with questions regarding your given condition. Manual muscle testing, structural assessment, and orthopedic testing are also conducted. Chinese medical diagnostic tools, such as taking the pulse, observing the tongue, and palpating your upper & lower extremities are also important diagnostic methods that help us to better understand your condition. This process takes around 30-45 minutes, depending on the severity and complexity of an individual's signs and symptoms.
After the initial consultation and patient intake/assessment, acupuncture needles are inserted and retained for 20-30 minutes. In specific cases, such as stroke, needles may be retained for up to an hour. If the practitioner sees fit, the needles are attached to an electro- stimulation machine that allows electrical currents to flow between the needles. Studies have shown that using electro-acupuncture releases different neurotransmitters and natural analgesics when switched to different frequencies.
The stimulation of acupuncture needles often elicits different responses from the patient. Most often patients describe feelings of heaviness, tingling, dull aches, warmth, or an electrical type stimulus. Also, patients report feeling sensations in a completely different area of the body compared to where the practitioner is inserting or stimulating the needle. We often hear descriptions that are metaphorical in nature, and as practitioners we get a lot of joy hearing the various subjective feelings that patients experience. Further, the initial sensations tend to fade after a few moments, however the patient may continue to experience a deep sense of relaxation and comfort long after the needles are inserted.
In addition to the services listed above, our practitioners may also recommend or provide kinesiology tape, stretching exercises, nutritional guidance, and lifestyle advice.
Follow Up Treatments
Follow up treatments begin with a brief 7-8 minute intake on how the previous treatment went and any noticeable changes in the signs or symptoms that were discussed during the initial consultation. After this, treatment begins and acupuncture needles are inserted and retained for 30-45 minutes. However, according to patient tolerance and condition severity, acupuncture needles can be retained for as little as 15 minutes or as long as one hour.
Additional services, such as electro-acupuncture, cupping therapy, gua sha, kinesiology taping, and nutritional/lifestyle/supplement suggestions, are also provided within this timeframe.