How does acupuncture work?

Good health is the result of the harmony and balance of the mental, physical and environment condition. By needling carefully selected acu-points in the meridians, the circulation of vital energy and blood in the body is harmonized, thereby restoring the functions of various organs and body tissues. The recovery from injuries and the return to good health and fitness is accelerated. Acupuncturists should always take a detailed history, which includes questioning, pulse analysis and tongue diagnosis, to get a complete picture of the patient as a whole. Even if it is determined that two different patients have insomnia as a result of yin deficiency, their treatments may still be different, depending on each person's constitution (strength and type of overall body and health) and other factors. This is what makes acupuncture so individualized and effective. There is no one prescription for a condition. Each time a patient comes in, they are re-evaluated, and each treatment is specifically selected. This is also why it is so common to see all sorts of symptoms clear up - not just the one someone has come in to treat. Rarely do acupuncturists just work on one symptom alone; in every treatment, the whole person is being addressed and treated.

Will acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is not painless but neither can it be described as painful. Most people's experience of needles is of those used in injections and blood tests. Acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to these. They are much finer, and are solid rather than hollow. When the needle is inserted and if the correct stimulus of the needle has been obtained the patient should feel some heaviness, distension, and tingling or an electric sensation up and down the affected energy pathway or meridian.

What should I do before a acupuncture treatment?

Spend time to think of what you'd like to achieve from the acupuncture treatment. What are your expectations? What questions or concerns do you have about acupuncture? Be realistic, if you have several conditions or symptoms you'd like to address, please rank them. On your first visit, you will be asked primarily about your chief complaint. Secondary issues will also be noted and addressed as treatment progresses. Start noticing how you feel each day and make a few notes. With respect to your chief complaint, try to answer these questions: ? When did this condition first appear? Is this a new condition or a recurring illness? ? What brought it on? What triggers it? ? Is your condition getting worse? ? To what degree does it interfere with your daily routine, work or sleep? ? What aggravates it? What provides pain relief? ? What time of day does it bother you the most? the least? Be as descriptive and specific as possible. For example, "pain" and "discomfort" are very general words. Chinese medicine recognizes subtle distinctions in different types of pain. Burning pain is not the same as pain that has a stabbing sensation. Listed followed are some words you might use to distinguish your particular pain: Sharp, Dull and achy, Constant, Burning, Contracting/Tight, Heavy, Radiating (from where?), Intermittent, Stabbing, Distending, Numb, Pins & needles, Wandering, Pounding.... If none of these are appropriate, try coming up with your own words. *On the Day of Your Appointment: Bring your notes and a list of current medications. Try not to have a big meal within an hour of your appointment as the process of digestion will alter the pattern of your pulse. Also avoid alcohol and food or drinks which colour your tongue (such as coffee) immediately prior to treatment. But, being over-hungry increases the risk of nausea or dizziness. *Wear loose, comfortable clothing: Acupuncture points are located all over the body. Many of the acupuncture points that are commonly used are located between the wrists and elbows, and the ankles and knees. You will be more comfortable if your clothing can be easily rolled up to your elbows and knees. Your comfort, warmth and ease is of importance to us.

How will I feel after acupuncture?

Usually rather relaxed and calm. Occasionally you may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the treatment has been particularly strong or there may be a short term flair up of your symptoms as your Qi clears and resettles itself.

Should I tell my family doctor?

If you are receiving treatment from your doctor then it makes sense to tell him or her about your plans to have acupuncture. The acupuncture treatment may enable you to reduce or even stop taking some forms of medication, but your doctor should be consulted regarding any change of prescription. You should always tell your acupuncturist about any medication you are taking as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.

What can acupuncture do for me?

It depends on whether you have specific symptoms or want to use acupuncture as a preventative treatment. Contact me to discuss your condition. I will answer specific questions and will be providing and monitoring your treatment.

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

This varies between patients. Certainly a course of treatment is required, one off miracle cures are unusual! Some changes either in yourself generally, or in your condition directly should be noticed after 3 - 6 treatments.

Can I buy an acupuncture machine for self-treatment?

I cannot recommend self-treatment either with needles or other gadgets. A fully trained practitioner is needed in order to objectively diagnose and administer appropriate treatment for each individual. Gadgets sold with manuals indicating 'certain points for certain symptoms' do not use traditional acupuncture theory and may cause the patient to overlook other relevant symptoms.

Should I continue with my prescribed medication while undergoing a course of acupuncture treatment?

Yes, at least until careful discussion is had with your doctor or the practitioner who prescribed the medication. Many people seek the help of an acupuncturist because of dissatisfaction with drug treatment - because it does not seem to be working or because the side effects are unacceptable. DO NOT stop taking any medication without professional guidance.

What about the acupuncture needles used?

We use single use pre-sterilised disposable needles, which are disposed of after each treatment.