What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a powerfully effective and naturally relaxing form of medicine. The oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world, it is used by nearly one third of the planet’s people as a primary health care system and many more as an adjunctive therapy.
The principle of acupuncture is treat each person as an integrated whole in body, mind, and spirit, and to remedy the root cause of illness and disease as well as the symptoms.
Acupuncture practitioners use thin, sterile needles inserted superficially into specific areas of the body in order to initiate healing and promote health. Over the three decades or so in which acupuncture has developed in North America, it has been proven to be not only exceptionally safe when performed by licensed professionals, but statistically effective in an increasing body of scientific studies.
Why would I want to experience acupuncture?
Here are a few responses to a question that may have hundreds of answers…
As acupuncture is part of a whole and logical medical system, there is almost always an approach for an acupuncturist to take for helping to manage a health problem – or even better, help you to live with vitality.
The World Health Organization published a short list of conditions seen as appropriate for treatment with acupuncture. This is not a complete list of conditions appropriate for treatment, but just some examples.
The list includes:
How does it work/what is it really doing?
This is the million dollar question. The answer is – there is most likely no one answer. Whether seen as a result of particular chemical/hormonal processes, movement of bio-electricity, vascular excitement, regulation of the central nervous system, connective tissue communication, ‘placebo’ effect, positive thinking or the manifestation of qi, acupuncture works.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Usually not much at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin, about the width of two hairs. There are certain sensations associated with therapeutic effects of acupuncture. These may include heaviness, distention, tingling, slight cramping or electric, traveling sensation. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild and temporary. Most people are deeply relaxed and/or asleep once all points are placed.
What’s the difference between a typical acupuncture practice and a community acupuncture practice?
Most US acupuncturists treat patients on tables in individual cubicles. This is not traditional in Asia, where acupuncture usually occurs in a community setting. In our clinic we primarily use recliners, clustered in groups in a large, quiet, soothing space. Treating patients in a community setting has many benefits: it’s easy for friends and family members to come in for treatment together and many patients find it comforting to be sharing a healing space.
In some styles of acupuncture, the needles are removed after only a few minutes or after a half hour at most. The style of acupuncture we practice at TAS allows patients to keep their needles in as long as they want, and the “right” amount of time varies from patient to patient. At minimum we would like you to have the needles in for thirty minutes. Most people learn after a few treatments when they feel “done,” or “cooked.” This can take from thirty minutes to a couple of hours! Many people fall asleep, and wake feeling refreshed.
When you are feeling as though you are ready to end your visit, or need to get our attention, just give us a nod or smile, and we will remove your needles or be available otherwise.
How often should I come?
That depends on what condition(s) you’re experiencing, how long you have been managing the condition(s) and how your body responds to treatments. Many conditions respond more quickly to frequent acupuncture treatments, while other patients only need to come in once a week. Once your condition is stabilized, you won’t need to come in as frequently. When you come in for your first treatment, we’ll formulate a specific treatment plan for you.