During and after your treatment, it is common to feel a sense of euphoria. This is due to the acupuncture needles releasing endorphins and other hormones. You may also experience a feeling of deep relaxation and may sleep better after treatments. These signs are indications that the treatment was effective. As you progress through your customized health care plan, treatments will begin to feel natural. After a few treatments symptoms typically decrease and you may feel more energetic. You are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns so adjustments can be made to your care plan where needed.
Steps of Care with Acupuncture
Eat a little something before your treatment
Try to have a little something to eat within a couple of hours before your session. Receiving a treatment when you are hungry may cause you to feel faint, woozy or exhausted.
What to wear
Where loose fitting clothing that will allow the Acupuncturists access to your arms below the elbow and legs from the knee down.
Feeling the Qi
“Da Qi” Is the sensation often described as a dull, achy, tingly, heavy, or warm around the point of insertion or other remote areas of the body. Usually the sensations calm down to a dull buzz after a few seconds. It is regarded as a sign that the acupuncture needling is effective. The sensation may vary from nothing to very strong depending on each person’s comfort and preference. It may go away immediately or may last for up to 24 hours. Rubbing the affected area typically reduces discomfort.
We encourage you to talk to your acupuncturist about your experience.
How many sessions are needed?
Most people will experience noticeable relief of their symptoms within a few sessions; especially with recent onset complaints. Most people see the greatest result with regular treatment, such as 2 treatments per week for 3-6 weeks for acute conditions. Those with chronic illness may need 1 or more treatments per week for several months.
After your first treatment with acupuncture, we recommend you avoid strenuous activity for at least 1 to 2 hours. Your treatment is in effect for about 72 hours after your session. It is best to allow your body to integrate the session with minimal stress to allow for optimal healing.
The diagnostic process of Chinese medicine involves four areas, known as the Four Examinations:
The acupuncturist first observes the patient, examining their gait, muscle tone, how they move, their skin tone and color, facial expression, emotional expression, behavior and mannerisms. They examine the tongue for color, markings and coating, noting the corresponding organ systems that are affected. The tongue changes slowly over time and reveals the hidden substances and processes of the body
The acupuncturist will listen to the patient’s symptoms, medical history, and family health history just as other doctors do, for information on present and past complaints including appetite, digestion, bowel movement, bladder, sweat, pain, patterns of sleep, family health history, work, living habits, physical environment, and emotional life. But she will also listen to the sound of the patient’s voice and try to hear the underlying sound as it corresponds to the five major yin organs–is it a weeping sound, a singing sound, a groan, a shout, or a flat sound. They will also listen to the strength of the voice, its loudness and clarity, and for the moment when the underlying emotion related to the imbalance is revealed.
Smelling and Tasting:
Your acupuncturist will ask you about your body odors and any tastes you may experience. These can be clues to imbalances in the body. In addition, every person has a distinct body odor that corresponds to one of the five basic constitutional diagnoses, much as the sound of the voice as described above.
Acupuncturist touch the body to determine temperature, moisture, pain or sensitivity, and the taking of the pulse. The Chinese method of pulse taking involves placing three fingers on each wrist to measure a total of 12 pulses, each associated with a corresponding meridian. Fourteen different pulse characteristics (slow, rapid, full, empty, etc.) are compared with each of the 12 pulses, and are used to determine which organs are not working properly.
The 8 Pillars of Chinese Medicine
Chinese Medicine is composed of the 8 Pillars of healing. The eight modalities all balance different levels of our energy and together they balance the whole being. In this way the goals of health and wellness are accomplished. The first four modalities require a practitioner of Oriental Medicine however the last four are lifestyle practices which only initially require a teacher. The 8 pillars of Oriental Medicine are conceptually similar to the 8 limbs of yoga.
- Acupuncture and acupressure
- Heat therapy – Moxibustion and heat lamps
- External therapies – Gua Sha, Cupping and Tuina
- Internal medicine – Medicinal formulas
- Nutrition – food as medicine
- Physical exercise – Qi Gong or Yoga
- Breathing exercises
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