Acupuncture is a physical treatment based in Traditional Chinese Medicine that dates back about 3500 years! It involves inserting extremely fine needles into specific points on the body to help stimulate change – read influence bodily functioning. The placement, angle and depth of the needles all contribute to the shifts experienced during and after an acupuncture treatment.
What are the benefits of acupuncture?
Chinese Medicine continues to demonstrate how the use of acupuncture can harmonize one’s energy or life force – known as qi (chee) – which flows through your energy pathways (meridians). By needling along these meridians and other specified points, an acupuncture treatment can help support and align your energy flow/qi. These points of insertion can support nervous system restoration – allowing for shifts in organ functioning, inflammatory response and whole-body healing. Nowadays, it is commonly used for pain management and overall wellness, including stress reduction. Acupuncture can help with chronic and acute conditions, various ailments, injuries, emotional difficulties and is a great part of your preventative health plan! Even if you cannot quite put words to what it is you are experiencing in your mind or body – a session with your local acupuncturist may be exactly what you need to begin feeling a bit more centered, relaxed and grounded.
What can I expect during a treatment?
Many practitioners combine Eastern and Western elements into their practice; all have their own unique style they bring into the treatment room! Your first visit will include an initial assessment, where your practitioner will ask your questions about all aspects of your lifestyle and current ailments – they will also examine your tongue and the pulse in your wrists. After coming up with a treatment suited to your needs, you will relax on a massage table/supportive chair and they will insert needles into specific points. Depending on the points used, sometimes you may experience mild discomfort during the insertion. As well, these points may seem distant from the affected area, trust this is all part of the magic! Your acupuncturist may manipulate the needles slightly – gently moving, heating, twirling, or using electrostimulation – all depending on the practitioner and their practice. The needles generally stay in for about 20 minutes and then you will be on your way, there is generally very little discomfort or even sensation during removal. It is recommended to try and keep the rest of your day a little more mellow, especially after your first treatment or two as your body adjusts. Some people respond extremely well and may even feel extra-energized afterwards; it is still a good idea to be gentle with your Self.
How frequently should I receive acupuncture to see the results?
Depending on the severity of your condition or concerns, your acupuncturist will come up with a treatment plan. It may initially involve more frequent visits to help foster that inner harmony, but over time, treatments can be reduced to an as-needed or preventative basis.
Are there any side effects to receiving acupuncture?
Side effects are rare but some people experience slight bruising at the needle-insertion site. If you are extremely nervous about needles, you may have some slight shock symptoms including nausea, chills, and light-headedness; these can be amplified if you have low blood sugar or have not eaten prior to your treatment. If this does happen, practitioners are well-equipped to deal with whatever arises and often some rest and relaxation is the answer. If you have any pre-existing conditions that may interact with your treatment or concerns surrounding your treatment, during your initial consultation is the perfect time to voice these.
Overall, acupuncture is an incredible modality to add into your healing or preventative regime. We have amazing practitioners around the city and soon-to-be acupuncturists right here at our school clinic! Book your appointment today to experience the magic of acupuncture!