- For insurance clients, please check with your provider to confirm your coverage and limits. Remember your insurance card for the first visit.
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes (like sweat pants or shorts and a tee-shirt or tank top). There are points all over the body but the most common points are on the legs below the knees and on the arms below the elbows. Clothes that can easily be rolled up to the thigh or upper arm are best.
- Eat something the day of your treatment, but no less than 1.5- 2 hours before your appointment. It is not good to be treated on an empty stomach, nor on a full stomach.
- Do not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes directly following your treatment. For 3-4 hours afterwards please try to take it easy and refrain from heavy physical activity, intoxicants, bathing, and extreme weather. Following these simple guidelines will help you receive maximum benefit from your treatment. If you feel tired afterwards and need to take a nap that is normal. The treatment can continue to take effect over the next 24 hours.
- Please do not wear any scents to your appointment (perfume, cologne etc). Other people may be sensitive or allergic.
First visit: The first treatment usually takes between 60-90 minutes. First we talk about your current health condition, your treatment objectives, and your long term health goals. This is followed by an exam which may include: an inspection of the problem area if it is a physical condition; checking out your eyes, tongue, and pulse for diagnostic indicators; and palpation of the channels on the arms and legs. Once we have a clear picture of what is causing the problem, we will begin acupuncture treatment which lasts about 30- 45 minutes. If appropriate, we may go over some possible lifestyle changes or exercises that could help improve your health.
Return visit: A return visit usually takes between 45-60 minutes. We spend about 5-15 minutes talking: You report any progress or changes since the previous visit, we discuss any new concerns you may have, and we review your current health status. Then we commence treatment which usually takes about 30-45 minutes.
This is a complicated question because there are many variables to consider including the age of the patient, the length of duration of the condition, and individual response to acupuncture. Most people feel relaxed on the table and leave the office with an increased sense of ease and often with reduced symptoms. While a typical course of acupuncture is 10 treatments, most patients see clear signs of improvement within 3-5 treatments. A protracted illness may take a long time to treat, yet some people are cured in a few sessions. Results may have a delayed onset, with patients leaving the office feeling the same but reporting improvement by the next day. You can improve the efficacy of your treatments by abstaining from food or drink for 30 minutes following treatment; by refraining from heavy exertion, intoxicants, and bathing for 3-4 hours after treatment; and by following the advice of your provider including any dietary or exercise recommendations.
Acupuncture improves the way our body functions and helps us heal by managing and regulating our body’s communication and distribution systems. In other words, it regulates our physiological and biorhythmic patterns. Our body is a discrete organism with a network of mechanisms that distribute blood (red and white blood cells, platelets and plasma), body fluids, nutrition, hormones, oxygen, and all the other things we need to live. These vital substances have an interdependent relationship with our organs, being both the fuel and the products of their processes of transformation. For example our digestive system is responsible for nutrition for the entire body, yet at the same time it relies on the body’s resources to carry out the digestive process. If this complex network becomes disrupted in any way (musculo-skeletal, hormonal, in the organs, or on any other level), there can be local disarray and over time potentially the entire system will be affected. Generally speaking, acupuncture relieves symptoms and addresses the cause of illness or dysfunction by re-establishing open lines of communication throughout the system and regulating distribution of the body’s resources.
All of our needles are sterile and are only used once. We do not inject anything or use any drugs of any kind. The relief you receive is entirely a result of the body’s response to the needle’s specific location.
Most of us don’t like needles and that’s OK. Acupuncture needles are nothing like the ones we are used to seeing at the doctor. They are extremely fine (about 0.2 mm diameter), about the width of a hair. There are many factors that affect one’s sensitivity, but generally it doesn’t hurt. We may feel some sensations or we may feel nothing at all.
Acupuncture is used to treat many chronic and acute conditions, including:
- pain (both chronic and acute) including sciatica, myalgia (muscle pain), neuralgia (nerve pain)
- headaches of all kinds from generic to migraines to cluster headaches etc
- cervicalgia (neck pain)
- arthritis and arthralgia (joint pain)
- frozen shoulder
- lumbago (low back pain) and acute back sprain and spasm (thrown out back)
- allergies (seasonal, food, environmental, chronic and acute)
- digestive issues including GERD/ indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, Crohn’s, weak digestion, gas and bloating etc
- circulatory issues including Reynaud’s (cold hands and feet), high or low blood pressure
- auto-immune diseases
- frequent, difficult, or painful urination
- emotional instability
- psychosomatic disorders
Fertility and Reproductive Health
- infertility (male and female)
- men’s health
- women’s health (dysmenhorrea, amenhorrea, other menstrual issues, pre and post natal care and induction, menopausal relief)
- sleep disorders (insomnia)
- weight control issues
- cold and flu
- and more (please contact us if you would like to discuss a specific issue).
In general, acupuncture performed by a qualified, well trained practitioner should not have any negative side effects. In fact, many people report positive effects including increased sense of ease and emotional stability, reduced stress, reduced symptoms, and a feeling of calmness or relaxation during and after treatment. While the treatment is taking place it is normal to feel mild sensations of movement in the body. This is the treatment in action. Occassionally there may be slight discomfort or bruising at the site of the puncture after the removal of a needle. If this occurs it will usually go away within about 10 minutes, though it can last longer. If you show up to your treatment extremely fatigued or on an empty stomach it is possible to feel light headed, so make sure to eat a couple hours beforehand and read about our recommended preparations for treatment.
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with conventional medical care and will not interfere with other types of therapy. Multi-faceted approaches to health issues can be more effective than singular approaches, so combining acupunture with physical therapy, massage, naturopathic or convetional care, etc is often the best way to go. It is also often important to look at lifestyle factors that contribute to disease, and we are happy to work with you to find things you can do yourself to improve your outcome (in particular relating to diet and exercise).
Some of our patients come with a goal of reducing their need for medication either because they don’t like the side effects, because their liver or kidneys are being damaged from long term use of pharmaceutical medicine, or because they just want a more natural approach to healing that can address the root cause of their issues and do more than simply covering up the symptoms. If this reflects your situation we are happy to work with you and your primary care provider to see if there is a way of managing your illness through natural medicine to the point where your medication can be decreased or eliminated. This must be done in collaboration with your physician as certain medications can have harmful effects if they are removed too suddenly and should include monitoring while dosage must be tapered down.