What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine which originated around 3,000 years ago. It gradually made its way out of China and across Asia, eventually reaching the rest of the world in the last century. In recent years acupuncture has rapidly increased in popularity. More research is being carried out all the time, and we are now beginning to scientifically understand how this ancient system of medicine works and its far-reaching benefits.
Acupuncture aims to both maintain health and treat disease. It is carried out by placing fine needles at specific points on the body called acupuncture points. These needles are as thin as a hair, sterile and disposed of after a single use. Once the needles are in place people experience a range of different sensations. These vary between a warm, tingling sensation and a light, dull ache.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more than one treatment is necessary. For acute conditions you can expect to have 10 to 15 treatments, but you will usually begin to feel relief after just the first few. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Preventative treatments and treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.
What To Expect Your First Visit
When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment I will ask you to complete a comprehensive intake form. The acupuncture intake form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine takes everything into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.
After reviewing your intake form, we will discuss what concerns you have and what you would like to work on. I will examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basic diagnostic methods used in patient diagnosis. The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition that we are treating. Once the needles are inserted, I will leave you to lie comfortably for 20 minutes with the needles in place. Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time. I will check on you halfway between your treatment to see if everything is going okay and if you need anything readjusted. After 20 minutes I will come back into the room and remove your needles. We will discuss any herbal recommendations at that time and address and questions you may have.
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