CT Integrative Medicine
How does Acupuncture work?
According to TCM theory, in a healthy person, Qi or “vital energy”, flows through the body in pathways called meridians. Qi is important to maintain a healthy life. Without the free flow of Qi, the body’s organs and tissues are not nourished and will stop functioning properly. Sometimes Qi can become excess or deficient depending on how the dysfunction began. This dysfunction leads to symptoms that we can see and feel such as discomfort and pain. Whether Qi is deficient or excess, the result can also lead to disturbances in someone’s psyche leading to mental emotional symptoms as well. If left unchecked, this can lead to chronic disease.
Acupuncturists specialize in diagnosing where the disharmony is in the body and which organs are affected the most. Using needles, they can help redirect the Qi to flow properly by stimulating specific points along the meridians in the body. Acupuncturists also have other tools in their toolbox to help rebalance the flow of Qi. These tools include techniques such as Gua Sha, Moxa, Tui Na, and Herbal Medicine to name a few.
Ultimately, the goal is to restore the patient to optimal health. But it doesn’t end there, just like Naturopathic medicine focuses on prevention of disease, TCM does the same. This means that you do not need to be sick to receive acupuncture treatment. You can receive treatment to maintain optimal health and in fact, this is the preferred way to receive care. However you choose to explore how Acupuncture can help you, we guarantee the results are worth it.
What could a typical treatment look like?
Acupuncture is unique in that the same disease can be treated differently in every person and from treatment to treatment. That is because acupuncturists look at where a patient is currently in their state of disease and how it manifests in them. Depending on how you present for each visit, we may want to use different tools such as Moxa, or Tui Na.
During the first part of the visit, we will ask specific questions that will help me effectively diagnose and treat your health concerns. We will also include TCM pulse and tongue diagnosis. This gives us an insight into how your body is internally functioning.
The second half of the visit involves the acupuncture treatment which can be anywhere from 20-45 minutes depending on what you present with. It is at this point that you can relax and possibly fall asleep while the effect of the needles takes part.
Does Acupuncture hurt?
As mentioned previously, you can expect to relax during most of your treatment and we find that many patients do just that. Some have even fallen asleep. Unlike the needles you are used to when getting your blood drawn, acupuncture needles are not hollow, but solid and very thin. While the treatment is painless, depending on the treatment, some sensations are ideal for restoring health. These sensations can range anywhere from feeling a dull ache, pressure, tingling, to even heat. Rest assured that if at any point a needle does not feel comfortable it can be removed.
Is Acupuncture right for me?
Since acupuncture is tailored for each individual, Acupuncture can become a favorite part of your health routine. Whether you come in for health maintenance or for an illness, we can help address and treat you appropriately. Are you taking Medications? Well that is alright too. Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional care without harmful side effects.
What other techniques might you use in my treatment?
Gua literally means “scrape” and sha means “bruise”. Gua Sha is a method that uses a small tool to gently scrape the surface of the skin after oil is applied. This action brings excess to the surface so that it can be released. Many people find that they enjoy this technique and experience relief from many muscle complaints. Research has shown the beneficial effects of this technique, especially pain relief from its anti-inflammaotry effects. Bruising can be expected from this treatment and should go away in a few days.
Moxa or moxibustion is derived from a Japanese word meaning, “burning herb.” When receiving moxa, a practitioner will burn the moxa close to the skin to bring heat to the area. The Moxa does not burn the skin. Moxa is harvested from the mugwort plant. It can be used in many forms such as stick, cone or thread, but the form I use most for my patients is stick. Moxa is great to warm the body and bring Qi to an area. When receiving Moxa you will experience a slight warmth over the area that is very relaxing.
For more information on what the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization have to say about Acupuncture, please visit the links below.
The World Health Organization's Opinion
Acupuncture and Pain
Generally speaking, acupuncture treatment is safe if it is performed properly by a well-trained practitioner. Unlike many drugs, it is non-toxic, and adverse reactions are minimal. This is probably one of the chief reasons why acupuncture is so popular in the treatment of chronic pain in many countries. …. acupuncture is comparable with morphine preparations in its effectiveness against chronic pain, but without the adverse effects of morphine, such as dependency.
Acupuncture and Digestive Disorders
Acupuncture provides satisfactory relief of epigastric pain—significantly better than
Injections of anisodamine or morphine plus atropine,as shown in randomized controlled trials. For gastrointestinal spasm, acupuncture is also superior to injections of atropine and for gastrokinetic disturbances, the effectiveness sof acupuncture is comparable with that of conventional medicine.
The Acupuncture that we practice is based off of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) model of health. TCM has been around for thousands of years and acupuncture is just one of the tools that is used to restore health.
What can we help treat?
Acute and Chronic diseases