Acupuncture and modern medicine, when used together, have the potential to support, strengthen, and nurture the body toward health and well-being.
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine that has been around over 3000 years. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of many medical problems such as addiction, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It also can be a great treatment for the following conditions (and so much more):
- Headaches and migraines
- Back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome and constipation
Are you ready to find your way back to wellness?
Your first treatment session begins with an in-depth conversation. This means getting to know who you are as a person and learning about your needs and goals. Your acupuncturist will “listen” to your pulses. This is a diagnostic tool that tells us a lot about the state of your qi (energy) as it flows through the meridians (the energy pathway of the body).
From this, imbalances of flow can be detected.
The tongue is another diagnostic tool. The tongue is the body in miniature and a lot of valuable information can be identified. There also may be a physical examination like what a conventional medical doctor would do. From all of this, a treatment plan will be formed.
Qi that is free flowing and not restricted allows the body’s natural self-healing to take place. This allows the body to have stability and harmony. With acupuncture the body can be reminded of its own self-healing capabilities. A meridian that is blocked is not going to allow for the free flow of qi.
Many of the situations in our lives—both emotional and physical—can block the flow of qi in our meridians. Acupuncture treatments can reset the normal flow allowing for healing and alleviation of pain and dis-ease.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles through your skin at specific points on your body. A key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain. Increasingly, it is being used for overall wellness, including stress management.
Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy or life force — known as Chi or Qi (chee) — believed to flow through pathways (meridians) in your body. By inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, acupuncture practitioners believe that your energy flow will re-balance.
In contrast, many Western practitioners view the acupuncture points as places to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Some believe that this stimulation boosts your body’s natural painkillers. (Source: Mayo Clinic)
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is thousands of years old and has changed little over the centuries. Its basic concept is that a vital force of life, called Qi, surges through the body. Any imbalance to Qi can cause disease and illness. This imbalance is most commonly thought to be caused by an alteration in the opposite and complementary forces that make up the Qi. These are called yin and yang.
Ancient Chinese believed that humans are microcosms of the larger surrounding universe, and are interconnected with nature and subject to its forces. Balance between health and disease is a key concept. TCM treatment seeks to restore this balance through treatment specific to the individual.
Treatment to regain balance may involve Acupuncture, Moxibustion (the burning of herbal leaves on or near the body), Cupping (the use of warmed glass jars to create suction on certain points of the body), herbal remedies, movement and concentration exercises (such as Tai Chi). (Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine)
Danette M. Layton, RN, BSN, MAc, LAc
I have been a nurse for over thirty years with much of that time spent in oncology nursing and helping people with cancer. I decided to become an Acupuncturist to be able to offer a different set of tools – one that focuses on wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Qi?
Qi is energy. Our bodies are energy bodies. The qi moves through our meridians. Qi is what animates us. Qi protects us. Qi regulates and maintains our body.
“Qi is matter on the verge of becoming energy, or energy at the point of materializing”
— Ted Kapchuck, The Web that has no Weaver
Does acupuncture hurt?
Not really. Acupuncture needles are very thin. A hypodermic needle used to give an injection can fit ten acupuncture needles inside its tip. There can be a sensation when the acupuncture needle is inserted such as a tingling or ache. It does not last. Some points can be more sensitive than others. The sensation is quick and not lasting.
How frequently do I need acupuncture treatments?
Initially treatment is once a week. You should start to feel better after your treatment, but it may take four to six treatments to see lasting effects.
Acupuncture treatments have a cumulative effect. The goal is to get a person to maintenance (once a month) or seasonally as needed. Typically, if the problem is acute then it will take less time for treatment to be successful than if the problem is chronic in nature.