What acupuncture treatments may be used?
Techniques & tools that Kris, the acupuncturist may use to administer an effective treatment vary a lot in the acupuncture / herbal world of Chinese medicine. Listed below are a number of the most commonly used tools I use in my clinical practice:
- Acupuncture needling ( Chinese, Japanese, American)
- Oriental bodywork (use of Thai massage, shiatsu, or acupressure). Very useful modality to use to open weakened or congested meridian pathways before acupuncture needles are used.
- Electro-acupuncture, the stimulation of acupuncture needles or pads connected by electrical cords & clips, utilizing a low level of microcurrent electrical frequency. Used for acute, inflammed, painful areas such as sciatica, tennis elbow, muscular spasming.
- Ear or Chair Acupuncture, both of which are inexpensive, take 5 to 15 minutes to administer. Tiny ½ inch needles are used & retained in 1 or both ears for 20-40 mins. Ear acupuncture addresses psycho-emotional support, addiction & recovery, glandular rebalancing, digestive challenges. Continued stimulation of acupuncture points can prolong the treatment care at home using pellets, tacks, or seeds in specified therapeutic regions of the ear.
- Chair acupuncture works while the patient is comfortably seated. No disrobing is required but shoes & socks are removed. Symptom care relief is used with limited diagnosis. Needles are applied to the face, arms, legs, hands, & feet. Tooth aches, anxiety, insomnia, drug withdrawal, smoking detox, and headaches, digestive discomforts are examples.
- Electrical cupping, the application of suction cups is utilized to bring poor circulation areas with more blood & warmth. Useful for blood stagnation areas & dense layers muscles & connective tissue, as in the neck, shoulders, low back, hip joint areas.
- Moxibustion, a gentle & nurturing form of acupuncture that heats up selected acupuncture points or areas. This type of treatment is notifying for weak or cold areas of the body. Effective for those that is elderly or weak. Can be done at home as homework to rekindle the life force of the body. Kidneys love moxa.
- Chinese or Japanese herbal formulas are used for many physiological effects. Especially useful for patients who can’t afford ongoing acupuncture treatments. Continued care can be maintained fortifying weak or painful regions 2-3 times a day by taking specific dosages. Dried herbs, tablets, or capsule form.
- Acuscope, a non intrusive low level electrical stimulation that circulates microcurrent utilizing nutritive gels & application probe to traumatized or weak areas. Examples: herniated discs, post surgery care, painful trigger points.
- American acupuncture for allergy desensitizing use food samples & supplements contained in glass jars, pollen specimens, homeopathic vials. These may be stored on the person’s body for a period of time (2-48 hrs) especially useful for severe food, pollen, or animal dander sensitivities.
Acupuncture : How Does it Work?
Oriental medicine is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient Chinese recognized this vital Qi energy behind all life forms and life processes. In developing an understanding of the prevention and cure of disease, they discovered that this energy flows along specific pathways, called meridians or channels. Each meridian is associated with a particular physiological system and internal organ. Disease is considered to arise due to deficiency or imbalance of energy in the meridians & their associated physiological systems.
Acupuncture points are specific locations along the meridians. Each point has a particular effect upon the vital energy passing through it. Acupuncture is a form of holistic health care that supports the body’s natural healing process. Modern science, specifically Kirlian photography has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points. Oriental medicine uses this intricate system of pulses and tongue diagnosis, palpation of points, organs and meridian, American muscle testing and other signs and symptoms to create a composite Oriental diagnosis. A treatment plan is then formulated to induce the body back to a balance state of health.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
The question, “Do the needles hurt ???” is probably the most frequently asked question for first time users exploring acupuncture as another option to their health care. Some Americans are fearful and skittish about needles, based on painful experiences with dental work, blood draws or injection shots.
Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. You may experience a sense of dullness or achiness around some needles at some congested acupuncture points, when the needles are stimulated but that sensation quickly dissipates. If you happen to be a lot more sensitive than the average patient, you may be more sensitive to needles being inserted if you are menstruating, did not sleep well or have had a very challenging day at work. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and find themselves getting into what I call an altered deepened space which I’ve nicknamed the “zen zone place”. You may even decompress enough that you feel sleepy.
At first glance, acupuncture needles can appear strange, being strategically placed in the skin, at various locations in the body. Sometimes needles are placed distally and totally away from where the painful or debilitated areas are being treated. It is best to prepare for acupuncture treatments by eating and hydrating before coming for a treatment.
What Kind of Care Can I Expect?
At our clinics, you will be asked to describe your primary & secondary health problems. You’ll answer questions about your health and stress factors. During the consultation, I will bring awareness to your lifestyle, diet, work & family health history, injuries & surgeries you’ve experienced and offer some palpation assessment .
I may incorporate muscle testing to check nutritional supplements you are presently using, (if you bring them to your session) to see which ones are working optimally for you. I may ask you for any allergy blood tests you have done over the last 2 years to determine what specific seasonal pollens or food sensitivities are reactively in your immune system. I will apply the principles of Chinese medical theory to determine the patterns of disharmony for your particular condition and a treatment plan will be formulated.