Acupuncture is the main therapy offered but traditional Chinese medicine has many other branches so sessions can involve:
- cupping and moxibustion (heat therapy)
- education around lifestyle factors (eg. movement patterns, nutrition).
Pain, both chronic or recent pain ( eg. from an injury) can be effectively treated with acupuncture. Usually you will get some immediate relief but to have lasting effects, a series of treatments is typically recommended.
There are many other conditions that can be effectively treated with acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine is a holistic medicine that not only treats the body but also the mental-emotional (psyche) aspect of our being.
Digestive issues, insomnia, TMJ are all conditions that are treated with acupuncture but all of the systems of the body from respiratory (eg sinusitis) to reproductive (eg. menstrual pain) can be treated with traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
Acupuncture is also an excellent therapy for stress which is the underlying factor in many illnesses. In this way, people may choose it for self-care and come in for regular sessions as a way to keep well.
How many sessions will I need?
Usually a treatment plan will recommend 6-10 sessions for more complex and/or chronic conditions. They will generally need a longer time to resolve. For acute conditions, typically 3 to 6 sessions are recommended. Each individual does respond uniquely to treatment so these are general guidelines. People generally see improvements from the start but get a bigger increase over time as the sessions work cumulatively.
What does a Session Look Like? Your first appointment will include an assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan.
Your initial assessment will include health history taking along with pulse diagnosis and palpation of acupoints and meridians. You can ask any questions that you have during the initial assessment or at any time during follow-up appointments.
Needles are placed on the front and/or back of the body and usually between 5 and 15 needles are used during a session. The needles are sterile, single use and extremely thin so it’s a safe process with minimal discomfort. You are then left to nap/relax for about 25 minutes while the process takes effect. Sometimes both sides of the body are treated in one session depending on the condition.
The usual advice is to eat in the hours before an acupuncture session so that you’re not running on empty and to take it easy afterwards. You may not feel any drastic changes during the treatment but symptoms usually shift as the treatment takes effect in the hours following the session. Avoiding strenuous activities and letting the body rest facilitate the treatment effects.
Many of the acupuncture points used are below the knees and elbows as the meridians begin and end in the fingers and toes so many effective points are located there. Wearing loose comfortable clothing is a good idea and feel free to bring your own music if you like. Music is always an option during a treatment and is conducive to relaxation for some.