What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.
An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What is Qi and how does it travel?
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or Life Energy, flows throughout the body. Qi helps to animate the body and protect it from illness, pain, and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Qi circulates through specific pathways called the meridians. There are 14 main meridian pathways throughout the body. Each is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that nourishes the land, plants and people. In the same way, meridian pathways transport life-giving Qi to nourish and energize every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle.
When Qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys good physical, mental, and emotional well-being. An obstruction of Qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting it in others. This blockage can hinder the distribution of the nourishment that the body requires to function optimally.
What can affect Qi?
Many things influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, diet, accidents or excessive activity can lead to a blockage or imbalance of Qi.
Normally, when this imbalance occurs, the body naturally bounces back, returning to a balanced state of health and well-being. When the disruption to Qi is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, then illness, pain or disease can set in.
Why does an acupuncturist feel my pulses?
There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.
Why does an Acupuncturist look at my tongue?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks, and coating on your tongue.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi.
What should I expect during my acupuncture treatment?
Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. This is called the “ Qi sensation”. All these reactions are good and a sign that the treatment is working. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
How should I prepare for my acupuncture session?
Come with any questions you have - we’re here to help you.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
Don’t eat large meals just before or after your visit.
Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to 6 hours after the visit.
Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred.
Do the needles hurt?
The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. Some people feel little pain as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain at all. The needles are tiny, just a little larger than a cat’s whisker or a human hair.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except a feeling of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
Why would my acupuncturist recommend herbs?
Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear off excess problems like cold, fever, or acute pain.
What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture has been recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Here is a list of health concerns that acupuncture has been effective in treating:
Low back pain
Addiction-alcohol, drug, smoking
Acupuncture is a therapeutic modality of Chinese Medicine that has been used successfully all over the world for thousands of years. Today, acupuncture is widely used in integrative health care settings, hospitals, general health practices, sports medicine and rehabilitation centers. At your visit, Dr. Corrie Pillon will take a thorough health history to include both your past and present health concerns, conduct an examination if necessary and develop the best acupuncture treatment plan for your specific needs.