What to expect from an Acupuncture Visit
Before the initial appointment, you will be asked to complete a health history questionnaire (see "Resources" page). Erika will then interview you, asking about your primary health concern, lifestyle habits, diet, emotions, menstrual cycle, sleep, temperature, appetite, stress, and sensitivity to foods, temperature, and seasonal symptoms. During the interview, Erika will examine you carefully, noting your face color, voice, and tongue color and coating. There are also three pulse points at the wrist of each hand that she will assess to further determine the health of the 12 meridians in your body.
After the interview, Erika will determine a diagnosis and begin your treatment. Interview times vary, but generally last 30-45 minutes for the initial visit and 10-15 minutes for a return visit.
Upon insertion of the needles the client may feel a slight sting or prick. Once the needle is inserted, there should be no pain. You should feel comfortable during the treatment and will be guided into a state of deep relaxation.
Tingling, movement or a feeling of warmth and heaviness are common sensations during acupuncture treatments. Erika always listens attentively to the needs of her clients to make sure the level of sensation is comfortable for them.
Treatment length varies from a few minutes to up to an hour. The typical length of needle retention is between 30 to 40 minutes.
It is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and make sure you have eaten sometime within 2 hours before your session. This is helpful to provide a foundation for your body's energy to move and balance and for your comfort.
Acupuncture is an extremely safe, gentle and effective form of treatment and has many side-BENEFITS such as improved sleep, relaxation, and a better quality of energy.
The number of treatments a person will need varies based on the main complaint and its duration. Typically, 2 -3 sessions are adequate for acute conditions, and 10 or more treatments may be necessary for chronic illnesses.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that originated in China over 2,500 years ago. It is based on the belief that living beings have a vital energy, called "qi", that circulates through twelve invisible energy lines known as meridians on the body. Each meridian is associated with a different organ system. An imbalance in the flow of qi throughout a meridian is how disease begins.Although there are records of acupuncture being used hundreds of years ago in Europe, it was during the second half of the twentieth century that it began to spread rapidly in Western Europe, the United States and Canada. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin, disposable needles into the skin at specific points on the body - the needles are inserted to various depths. According to WHO (World Health Organization) acupuncture is effective for treating at least 28 conditions, while evidence indicates it may have an effective therapeutic value for many more.
Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.
The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.
The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, but they also regulate serotonin levels in the brain. This is why depression and sleep disorders are often treated with acupuncture.
Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.
Conditions that can be treated by Acupuncture
migraines and tension headaches
low back pain
irritable Bowel Syndrome
side effects of chemotherapy
high blood pressure
chronic fatigue syndrome
allergies; food and environmental