Below is a walk through of a typical treatment
We begin the treatment by discussing your main complaint(s) as well as reviewing your health history questionnaire. After we talk, you may need to change into loose, comfortable clothing such as shorts and a tank top, which will make accessing the acupuncture points easier. Many of the points that are used are from the knees down and the elbows down, so any clothing that can be rolled up is usually fine.
I then examine your tongue and pulse and possibly palpate both the abdomen and areas of tenderness along the meridian channels which correlate to your complaints.
Then, depending on the assessment, you may be asked to lie face up or face down, and needles will be inserted according to your unique findings. Some people wonder if the needles will hurt and the answer is No. The needles are no bigger than a thick hair on your head. So, nothing at all like the needles most of us are used to at the doctor's office.
Many people, at this point, enter a deep state of relaxation. You will be left to rest for about 20 to 25 minutes; occasionally the amount of time will vary. At this time you might fall asleep, enter even deeper into a tranquil state, or have emotions wax and wane. All or none of this is fine; your experience will be uniquely yours.
The needles will be removed; the treatment, though, will continue to do its work. Acupuncture leaves a footprint reminding and coaxing the body towards wellness. Your journey towards feeling better has begun.
Other treatments might also be incorporated into the acupuncture session. These modalities include:
Gua Sha: a form of rubbing the skin with a dull edge to eliminate toxic residues from the underlying tissue that have built up through repetitive chronic inflammation.
Cupping: the attachment of a glass cup through suction onto the skin to function in warming and promoting the free flow of Qi and Blood within the meridians thus dispelling congestion, swelling and pain.
Moxibustion: the application of burning Artemesia Vulgaris, a type of Chrysanthemum, on or above the selected acupoints in order to produce warmth along the skin, muscle and channel, to induce the smooth flow of Qi and Blood and to prevent further disharmony or disease.
Focusing: this is used when emotional issues creep up during a session in which I will help you connect with your felt senses. This is perfected by practicing Wu Wei... do, by not doing. Allowing your body and emotions freedom from constraint is the key to health and well being.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies person to person. If the onset of your chief complaint was recent and the problem is straight forward it is possible to resolve the issue with one to three treatments. On the other hand, if the problem is chronic it may take more treatments. Most people can expect to see some change within three acupuncture treatments.
Acupuncture can not only treat disease but actually help prevent illness. Some people seek weekly, monthly or seasonal treatments to stay well and optimize their health.