TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE AND ACUPUNCTURE
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture are a very ancient form of Chinese medicine which pre-dates recorded history. It is a complete medical system that has been used to diagnose, treat, prevent illness, and promote well being for thousands of years. The ancient Chinese found that there are 14 major energy channels called meridians that run through the human body including the head, arms, hands, legs, feet, torso, and internal organs. Energy, called Chi (pronounced chee), circulates through these meridians to all parts of the body. Its balanced, unimpeded flow is critical to sound health. Any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of the amount, flow or balance of Chi may result in pain, dysfunction, and ill health. By inserting hair-fine needles into certain points (acupoints) along the course of the meridians helps to restore the balance and flow of Chi so organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony. This sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health. However, if your Chi is too deficient; your body will not be able to hold the acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture uses your own bodies energy and if your body is deficient in energy, the results will not last long. Herbal medicines will be prescribed in order to strengthen your system and then acupuncture can be given, if it is needed.
For more than 5000 years acupuncture needles and herbal medicines have mended common ailments and prevented disease. The ancient Chinese would meditate and observe the flow of energy within and without the human body. They were also keen to observe man’s relationship with the universe and how it was affected by the daily and seasonal cycle of nature. A seed planted in spring blooms in summer, seeds itself in late summer to autumn, dies in winter, and a new seed grows again in spring. It is part of a never-ending cycle and each phase has its role to play in maintaining the balance of nature. The same process of change occurs within the body. Cells grow and die to make way for new cells, and body systems depend upon each other in a similar way to the seasons, working together to ensure the balanced functioning of the body, mind and spirit and the healthy flow of life through the whole person. The balance of forces within us (yin-yang, blood-chi, heat-cold, wet-dry) determines our internal climate, our health or disease. When these forces get out of balance we experience symptoms, the body’s natural way of telling us that a correction needs to take place. If this imbalance is left uncorrected the symptoms will continue to get worse and new symptoms will arise. No symptom is too small to ignore. This is the time when herbal medicines and/or acupuncture is needed to bring about a correction.
The best remedy for sickness is prevention!
Acupuncture is amazing. That’s why Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Stanford, and many elite U.S. hospitals offer it. Acupuncture has healed countless millions for thousands of years. It helps to understand how acupuncture works so expectations are realistic. Although there are no guarantees for cures or improvements, most people enjoy good results. Be patient, your body heals as fast as it can!
Acupuncture works cumulatively; one treatment builds on the next. Therefore, a series of treatments is standard protocol. Those with chronic and multiple conditions may require more, others less. Acupuncture results depend solely on the state of the person’s health and how well they have cared for their bodies. The amount of pharmaceutical usage indicates a history of imbalance as well. Do know that acupuncturists training, skills, knowledge, and experience vary greatly.
Acupuncture works most optimally with treatments 3x per week, or minimally 2x, until desired results are achieved. Those in acute pain may need daily treatments until relief occurs. Those who stop treatments prior to completing a series have no right to say acupuncture doesn’t work. It is like taking 2 antibiotic pills in a prescribed course of a 7 day series, then saying antibiotics don’t work. If one’s body is too weak, the acupuncturist may discontinue treatments and recommend Chinese herbal medicine to strengthen it. This is like a battery unable to hold a charge. Strengthening the body must occur first.
Acupuncture is not a magic bullet. Do not expect years of health concerns to be miraculously gone in 1-2 treatments; this is unrealistic. Your body did not get this way overnight, nor will it heal in a 1 hour treatment. Results often depend on how well lifestyle and food recommendations are consistently followed. Those who do not forgo daily alcohol, smoking, sugar, or other detrimental activities while undergoing treatments, only cheat themselves. They cannot judge the efficacy of this medicine which works best when following nature’s ways. Perfection is not expected but doing the best you can is. Since all healing comes from within, healing is cultivated one day at a time. Walking daily helps.
Like allopathic medicine, there are risks involved. Those include but are not limited to bleeding, nerve pain, strong sensations at needle insertion site, or radiating from that location. These risks are unlikely to occur or last. Bruising, however, is not uncommon. Aggravation of symptoms may occur but are also unlikely and should not last. Please advise the acupuncturist if any adverse symptoms are experienced.
Follow up treatments include approximately 10 minutes of discussion to review results prior to treatment. In order to get the most from acupuncture, please provide a brief overall health update, followed by specifics related to your condition. Treatments focus on priority health concerns of that day. Should you desire to talk more, please book extra time to do so, however, an additional fee is applied.
It is wise to book your appointments in advance in order to secure treatments and preferred times. We require 24 hours notice for canceling treatments without a charge. Please wear comfortable clothing that can be rolled up to expose areas above the elbows and knees. Rarely is it necessary to remove any clothing. Be prepared for your treatment by removing socks and shoes in the treatment room. No nylons/panty hose please.
“The appearance of disease is swift as an arrow, its disappearance is slow like a thread.” Chinese Proverb