- provides safe, effective health care and is based on a reliable and substantial body of knowledge that dates back thousands of years. Hundreds of recent studies carried out using standardized scientific protocol support the empirical findings of the ancient Chinese acupuncturists.
- is a system of healing that focuses on improving the overall well being of the patient. It does not mask or band-aid symptoms.
- treats the underlying cause of disease as well as alleviating symptoms.
- does not just treat a particular symptom or part of the body, but treats the body as a whole so is true “holistic” medicine
- After several treatments people report overall feelings of well being, not just improvement in the condition they came for.
Differences between Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine
- focuses on a particular disease or symptoms and treats these independently. For instance, high blood pressure is treated with a drug that affects a particular biochemical or physiological pathway in the kidney. The drug may induce unpleasant side effects, and often another drug is prescribed to alleviate these side effects. Often what follows is a cascade treating individual symptoms or of alleviating side effects with more and more drug medication. The result is that the body can no longer regulate itself and relies on the drugs to “function”.
- Pharmaceutical medicines are prescribed for specific conditions, eg. high cholesterol, and don’t take into account anything else about the person.
- A western doctor will prescribe similar medication (statin drugs) for anyone with high cholesterol.
- groups seemingly unrelated sets of symptoms into recognizable patterns, and then treats the whole pattern at the root cause.
- treats each person individually, and two people with say, high blood pressure may receive totally different treatments.
- will treat the same condition many different ways according to the underlying pattern in each individual.
- as your condition changes, the treatment will adjust accordingly.
- each patient is assessed individually for type of acupuncture that is best for them, point selection, frequency and duration of treatments
- Other methods will be used as deemed necessary – cupping, moxibustion, gua sha, laser acupuncture, electro-acupuncture
For more details on different types of acupuncture, see the sub menus.
The aim is to bring you into a state of wellness and balance.
How is it done?
A full health history is taken at the initial consultation. You are asked to fill out a health appraisal questionnaire prior to the visit. This gives me a broad understanding of how your body is functioning and allows me to identify TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) patterns. You will be asked to show your tongue and your radial pulse will be felt on both arms. Sometimes other areas on your body may be palpated to gain necessary information. Your skin colour and tone, posture, facial expressions, subtle odours, scars etc. also give valuable information about your constitutional type and imbalances.
From all this, a TCM diagnosis is made. Then individual point selections will be made. The points chosen may vary from visit to visit, depending on changes occurring.
The acupuncture needles used are sterile, blister pack, single use, finest grade needles that are disposed of in sharps containers and later incinerated.
The insertion is done with a guide tube that minimizes any discomfort. The needles are usually inserted to a depth of 2 to 10 mm, but some are deeper, depending on the area being treated. You may have from 8 to 20 needles at a session.
Once inserted, the needle is gently manipulated to obtain the “qi” sensation, which can vary from a dull ache, to heaviness, to tingling or sometimes a small jolt that is just at the point or travels down the meridian. This shows the meridian has been activated. Once all needles are inserted, you are left to rest for 20 – 30 minutes. After a few minutes, most people feel a deep sense of relaxation and will often sleep. If you are very stressed, it may take longer to relax.
Sometimes electrodes are clipped to the needles to enhance the stimulation. (See Electro-Acupuncture).
After an acupuncture treatment, you may feel spaced out, tired or energized, and pain usually is relieved. Sometimes it takes 1-3 days for the treatment to exert its full effects.
How does it help?
Acupuncture brings you many benefits
Acupuncture stimulates and enhances the free flow of Qi (energy) through the body, bringing about self healing and pain relief. It does this by removing blockages to the flow of energy in the particular meridians linked to the cause of your health problem. Moving the stuck Qi removes the pain. It may takes several sessions to achieve this, particularly if you have had the problem for a long time or have had surgery. Acupuncture is unique in that over time it can clear most blockages and restore normal (or near to normal) function.
Acute problems like the flu may only need one or two treatments.
Long term issues like arthritis, whip lash, chronic infections etc, may need 10 to 20 treatments.
Initially it is better to have treatments 2 or sometimes 3 times weekly for the first 2-4 weeks, then space them out as improvement occurs.
Because it is a truly holistic therapy, acupuncture does not treat symptoms only. It re-balances the entire body and stimulates your own body to heal itself.
People often report improvements in their health in totally unrelated ways to their initial problem. Many report a sense of well being, clarity and motivation that they had been lacking without realizing they could feel so much better.
Many choose to remain well once the initial problem has resolved and opt to have regular acupuncture, say every 4-6 weeks, to maintain wellness.
There are several different systems of acupuncture. (See menu)
I will choose which way to treat based on the condition being treated and the individual nature of the person before me.