Acupuncture and Related Therapies
Do the needles hurt ? Acupuncture needles are very thin - similar to the thickness of a hair. They are very different from needles that are used to withdraw blood or inject fluids into the body. Sometimes there is a pricking sensation or nothing is felt at all, depending on the amount of flesh in the area to be treated. If something hurts for more than 30 seconds, I will remove the needle and try another location. Some people are very sensitive or have a condition where touch is uncomfortable and do not find an acupuncture session to be helpful. I would then offer a Colorpuncture or tuning forks treatment.
How long is a session? The first session is about 2 hours. I explain how I practice and answer questions. Subsequent treatments are typically 1 1/2 hours or less.
How many treatments are needed before improvement is noticed? This varies according to whether the condition is acute or chronic, and what you do on your own to assist your healing. A guideline is one month of treatment for every year you have had a problem. Some people get immediate relief . Others don't notice improvement until after a few sessions. I usually treat once a week for 3 to 6 weeks, with follow-ups as needed. Acupuncture takes awhile to be effective, but the results last longer.
Will I feel anything during the treatment? Most people feel relaxed and sometimes fall asleep. Some feel nothing. Others feel a pulsing or wavelike sensation. I usually leave the needles in for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the treatment. ( 15 minutes on front of body, 15 minutes on the back.)
Why Acupuncture? People come to me as a last resort. They've been to many doctors and practitioners and they still don't feel any better. They are afraid of having surgery and I am thankful for that. I now have the opportunity to teach them to heal themselves - with a little help. Acupuncture doesn't fix your problem for you. It stimulates your body to do its own healing. It helps you to become more aware of your body. You learn where imbalances exist and make changes in habits and behaviors. Acupuncture is energy medicine. It tries to get things moving - increase the flow of chi (energy/life force), blood, and other fluids. (Stagnation can lead to illness.) There are acupuncture points to warm, cool, calm, strengthen, and disperse. Acupuncture affects the body, mind, and spirit. It focuses on treating the whole body, not just a symptom. Everything is interconnected. We need to move beyond the view of treating parts of bodies and chemical reactions. Modern physics has shown that we are not solid bones and organs. We are vibrating energy! I like to include Colorpuncture in my practice, since the frequencies of light waves are a natural form of healing energy. .... Chinese dietary guidelines include foods that have been classified according to their energetic properties - rising, descending, warming, cooling, moistening, and drying. The five flavors of salty, spicy, sweet, sour, and bitter are also considered. ... Another way to keep energy moving is by practicing Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and self massage. These are all reasons why I feel acupuncture is the healthiest therapy.
How did you come to be an acupuncturist? My first introduction was a magazine article after President Nixon went to China. There was a picture of a woman having a Caesarian operation and she was wide awake! I thought, "There's got to be something to this!" Many years later I read a book about the Chinese theory of Breast Disease. I thought it made a lot of sense. Acupuncture could actually prevent some problems from occurring. I liked the acupuncture experience. I read more and realized this was a skill I could use, as I am a small person and liked making things with my hands. When I worked with hospice patients, many of them were heavily medicated and not able to communicate with their family during their final days. I thought acupuncture might be able to ease their pain and concerns and let them have a more peaceful death. I had studied Chinese culture, appreciated their respect for the elderly, like their philosophy of following patterns of nature, and had practiced Tai Chi for many years. I felt acupuncture was the right path for me.