Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been used for thousands of years for the treatment of disease, and as part of the health maintenance for slowing down the aging process and longevity. Acupuncture is an approach used in traditional medicine that seeks to restore energy flow, and blood circulation by stimulating acupuncture points in the body with the use of hair-thin, sterilized needles. Acupuncture treatments are comfortable and painless, and patients are often fascinated by the deep relaxation feeling Acupuncture can induce during and after a treatment.
Preclinical studies have demonstrated the effect of acupuncture. According to the National Institute of Health, acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals such as hormones causing biochemical changes that help regulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being. Modern scientific theory is yet trying to find explanation for how acupuncture works.
Scientists have found that acupuncture works in three major ways and it is in this way that it can treat many different conditions: 1. as analgesia, 2. as a regulator of the physiological system, and 3. as an enhancer of the immune system. Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers), and therefore increases the body’s threshold for pain perception. As a result, acupuncture is used for the treatment of acute and chronic pain without the use of drugs or surgery. For example, in the treatment of menstrual cramps stimulating an acupuncture point called “Spleen 6” will relieve the pain.
Often times, patients will feel a sense of euphoria and overall sense of calmness and wellbeing following an acupuncture treatment due to the effect of acupuncture on increasing serotonin which allows patient to feel rested, relaxed, and happy. This makes Acupuncture a natural treatment for stress, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Acupuncture also helps to manage inflammatory conditions by increasing local circulation in areas where circulation may be low or blocked due to injury, scar tissue or muscle tension (e.g. a frozen shoulder).
Acupuncture has also been demonstrated to be effective in regulating the immune system. It helps support the immune system by stimulating natural killer cells, T-cells, and white blood cells. Therefore, it increases the strength of the human body to resist diseases. Puncturing certain points have shown to improve the white cells count after three days of treatment in immune deficient patients. Also stimulating certain points can boost the immunoglobulin level in healthy individuals. Acupuncture also helps to reduce the level of antibodies in certain diseases where immune system is overactive.
Acupuncture can alter respiratory movements and therefore can help with respiratory diseases. It does this by regulating the capacity of gas exchange, and rate of exhalation of the oxygen, as well as the contraction and secretion actions of the air ways. Acupuncture can also regulate heart rate and blood pressure. It can be beneficial for those with rapid heart rate and poor peripheral circulation. Acupuncture is therefore beneficial for patients with early-phase hypertension and varicose veins.
Acupuncture has been clinically proven to correct digestive system issues. It does this by regulating gastrointestinal tract movements and digestive secretions. This makes acupuncture an ideal treatment for problems like gastritis, stomachache, stomach prolapse and ulcers, constipation and diarrhea. Acupuncture stimulates the nervous system and affects endocrine secretions.
Acupuncture has an effect on endocrine system. Stimulating certain points can increase the cortisol content in the blood resulting in arresting the excessive secretion and contraction of the airways in asthmatic patients. Acupuncture can treat hyperthyroidism by regulating the function of the thyroid gland and reducing the synthesis of T3 and T4 as well as their secretions. In diabetic patients, puncturing certain points can regulate insulin secretion.
Acupuncture has been proven to mediate neuro-hormonal activities. Acupuncture helps shorten recovery time in patients after lumbar spinal anesthesia. For problems of the peripheral nervous system such as facial palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, sciatica and optical nerve atrophy, acupuncture helps to reduce inflammation, arrest pain, and promote regeneration of new nerve fibers.
What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?
The WHO (World Health Organization) has recognized Acupuncture to be effective for over 200 different conditions. The most common and effectively conditions treated with Acupuncture are:
• Various joint pain problems such as: ankle, knee, back, wrist, shoulder, and neck pain and sprain
• Sport injuries
• Sciatica, carpel tunnel, tennis elbow
• Restless Leg Syndrome
• Bloating, constipation, diarrhea
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and IBD
• Acid reflux, gastritis
• Depression, anxiety, bipolar, irritability, poor memory, worry, over-thinking
• Insomnia, nightmares
• Asthma, common cold, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis
Female Gynecological Issues
• PMS, period pain, irregular or heavy menstruation, discharges, menopausal symptoms, menstrual headache,
• Pregnancy, post-partum fever, miscarriage prevention, breeched baby, labour induction, sciatica, post-partum abdominal and body pain, post-partum depression
• Infertility, IVF support
• Fibrocystic breast disease, lactation issues, polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroid, and endometriosis.
Sense Organs Imbalances
• Hay fever
• Allergic rhinitis
• Migraine, headache, Bell’s Palsy, neuralgia, neuropathy
Acupuncture can also help with:
• Dermatological diseases: Eczema, psoriasis, acne, itchiness, shingles, melasma
• Facial Rejuvenation
• Hair Loss
• Chronic Cough
• Dizziness, Raynaud’s, Night sweat, Organ prolapse, Ear infection
• Slow the progression of glaucoma and retinal detachment
• Overcoming addiction to drugs and/or tobacco and more…
Services Included in Your Acupuncture Session:
A detailed conversation with the patient to understand the health concerns and design a treatment plan that is best suited to the patient’s constitution and health concern. The initial visit includes acupuncture treatment as well as diet advice and lifestyle modification.
Acupuncture is done to restore energy flow, blood circulation to balance your health by stimulating acupuncture points within body with the use of hair-thin sterilized needles.
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. People get it for many purposes, including to help with common cold, pain, inflammation, blood flow, relaxation and well-being, and as a type of deep-tissue massage. Cupping can benefit any painful congested area, in can stimulate all the internal organs to function better and can tonify the body’s energy and blood. It can also detoxify the body by clearing the excessive heat, and removing dampness and blood stagnation.
According to British Cupping Society cupping therapy can help to treat: Blood disorders such as anemia and hemophilia, Rheumatic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, cervical spondylosis, low backache, sprains, shoulder tension, facial paralysis, fertility and gynecological disorders, skin problems such as eczema and acne, high blood pressure, migraines, anxiety and depression, bronchial congestion caused by allergies and asthma, and varicose veins.
Ear seeds are small black seeds from the vaccaria plant that are secured over specific acupressure points on the ear. Ear seeds may be left in the ear for a few days to create a continuous mild pressure. Ear seeds are affixed on the surface of the ear with a piece of adhesive tape and do not puncture the skin. Ear seeds are a very good substitute of needles for treating pediatric patients in conditions such as nasal congestion, common cold, insomnia or any painful condition such as toothache or abdominal pain.
Chinese Food Cure:
Food cure advice regarding what you should consume is also given to help further balance the body.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens During the First and Follow-Up Acupuncture Treatment Sessions?
On your first visit, you will fill out the acupuncture intake form. The initial consultation is a complete question conversation with the practitioner and covers your major health concerns, the state of your health, and your past medical history. This conversation is done to find the root cause of your complaint. During the intake conversation the Chinese Medicine Acupuncturist will look at your mind and body as whole.
Then the acupuncturist will often look at your tongue and feel your pulses as part of the diagnosis. The TCM acupuncturist will interpret all the symptoms and the tongue and pulse to come up with the Traditional Medicine diagnoses. The diagnosis is the summary of the present imbalances and their location. As you get treatments and some of the issues get resolved the patterns will change in your body. In the follow-up visits the practitioner/acupuncturist will find out what changes have occurred and will adjust the diagnosis and treatment plan.
What is the Treatment Like?
In our clinic the treatments include acupuncture. Depending on the diagnosis we may employ a combination of a few of the therapies (such as cupping, electronic point stimulation, Moxibustion, or herbal therapy).
Acupuncture needles are filiform, ultra-fine needles that are often coated for even more comfortable insertion. They are sterile, single use needles that are made from surgical grade steel. The acupuncture needles are so thin the about 40 of them can fit in the opening of a hypodermic needle (the one used to draw blood).
The patient usually lays down while the practitioner inserts 10-20 fine acupuncture needles into the different acupuncture points that are prescribed based on the treatment plan. During the acupuncture treatment the practitioner/acupuncturist will check your feedback to ensure that you are comfortable and will adjust the needles to achieve a comfortable and effective treatment. The patients generally, do not feel discomfort after insertion of the needles. They may feel a comfortable sensation of warmth, pressure, or movement in the area and often relief of acute symptoms that they were experiencing prior to the treatment (e.g. nasal blockage may open up or abdominal discomfort may dissipate). Patients are usually surprised at how painless Acupuncture is.
Before leaving the room, the practitioner/acupuncturist will check with you to ensure that you are comfortable and will adjust the needles accordingly. At this point patient may slightly feel the needles or may not feel them at all. Then the needles are left between 15 to 30 min. During this time, you can relax by focusing on your breathing or sleeping. The temperature in the room will be adjusted for your optimal comfort. Often a table warmer or a heat lamp is used to keep you warm during the treatment. A dim light and a relaxing music will help you relax to increase the effect of the treatment.
How Many Acupuncture Treatments Do I Need?
It’s not possible to predict how many acupuncture treatments a patient needs. Many factors play a role on how quickly your body will respond to acupuncture. This includes the duration of the health concern, your efforts in following the advises of the practitioner and your own health goals. Therefore, it is easier to estimate the number of required treatments after observing response of the patient’s body to the first two treatments.
If you have had the health concern for longer time it will take longer to treat the condition than a more recent acute condition. Chronic and stubborn concerns will require longer time of treatment. The patient’s state of health, lifestyle, compliance and age also affects the length of the treatment.
The most important aspect the is emphasized in our clinic is prevention of the disease and power of acupuncture in reversing the inflammation process in the body and aging. We educate our patients about the importance of integrating acupuncture treatments as part of their healthy lifestyle. Weekly acupuncture treatment can enhance the immune system and reduce chances of getting sick, decrease stress and uplift the mood, improve memory and sharpen the mind, regulate appetite, bring radiance to the complexion and improve the overall health.