Dreaming and creating a world where people understand that they can trust the “no side effect” medicine or more specifically the medicine with “positive side effects”.
What is Acupuncture?
Developed in China for over 2,000 years, the practice of acupuncture is still a fundamental part of the holistic system of traditional Chinese medicine, and now a widely-accepted and popular form of treatment in the US today. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting fine needles into the body at specific points (called acupoints) along the body’s primary meridians, in order to treat illness and promote good health. Acupuncture has been shown to be very effective in managing pain caused by such acute and chronic ailments as arthritis, headaches, stress-related injuries (for instance, carpal-tunnel syndrome), back injuries, and sports-related injuries, including sprains and strains. It has also been successful in treating a variety of health problems such as disorders of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, gastrointestinal tract, and reproductive, respiratory and nervous systems.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (pronounced chee, energy) and Xue (pronounced sh-way, blood) through distinct meridians or pathways that cover the body, similar to the pathways of your nerves and blood vessels. Acupuncture allows Qi to flow toward areas where it is deficient and away from areas where it is in excess, thus restoring balance, which promotes general health and resistance to disease.
What if Needles Scare Me?
If needles scare you, you are not alone. Many of those coming to Acupuncture for the first time, and unfamiliar with the practice, express discomfort at the thought of “needling.” It is important to realize that acupuncture treatment bears no relation to the vaccinations we remember from our childhood visits to the doctor. In fact, before becoming a licensed acupuncturist, Joelle once shared the common aversion to needles. When her study of traditional Shiatsu methods led her to the ancient practice of Acupuncture and its wide range of applications, she learned to refine her technique by needling herself (!). Her 17 years in acupuncture practice have given her the ability to become quickly attuned to a patient’s comfort level and resourceful in treating a patient’s needs.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture “needles” are actually very short and slender (much thinner than a hypodermic needle), and are inserted at 1/4 to 1 inch depth. These tiny instruments are individually packaged at the manufacturer and, of course, completely sterile. Used only once, they are discarded after each treatment. Feel free to examine one before your treatment. Joelle will be happy to answer any questions and alleviate any nagging doubts you may have about the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture treatment.
Will Acupuncture Hurt?
Each unique person experiences acupuncture treatment differently. Some patients may feel a tingling sensation, and others may experience numbness, or a heaviness. Some don’t feel anything at all. While the treatment may sometimes feel uncomfortable, it will rarely, if ever, produce pain. Your acupuncturist is there to work with you at all times. Do not hesitate to voice any concerns or reservations you may have during your visit. Your comfort, before, during, and after acupuncture, is of paramount importance. Once you become accustomed to acupuncture treatment, you will probably look forward to your sessions as a relaxing retreat, and you may fall asleep during treatment!
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine, or TCM, is a mainstream medical practice in East Asia that originated thousands of years ago in China. TCM focuses on establishing and optimizing overall health by creating harmony in the body and mind, rather than treating and curing specific illness or disease. TCM includes acupuncture, herbal therapies, dietary and nutritional therapies, moxibustion, cupping, Qigong, and various forms of massage, such as Shiatsu and Tui Na. Influenced in part by Taoism and Buddhism, the basic theory of TCM argues that the human body is it’s own small universe full of complex and interconnected systems, all of which need to work together to maintain balance and health. Rather than treating an isolated part of the body, TCM focuses on treating the function of that part within this complex web of systems. The practice of TCM utilizes the following highly developed theories: the three jiaos or “Triple Burner,” the Zang Fu, Yin and Yang, and the Five Elements, but is probably most widely known for its own model of the channels along which Qi (“energy” or “blood”) flows, called the “meridians” of the human body.
What are some of the Conditions Commonly Treated with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is often effective in treating:
- digestive and gastrointestinal disorders (such as constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, hyperacidity, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, spastic colon)
- eating and weight disorders (such as anorexia, obesity)
- pain, swelling and inflammation from acute injuries (such as spasms, strains, sprains, and contusions) and chronic conditions (such as arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis)
- neurological and muscular disorders (such as diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, frozen shoulder, headaches, migraines, neck pain, neuritis, osteoarthritis, sciatica, tennis elbow)
- respiratory disorders (such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis);
- skin disorders (such as acne, eczema, psoriasis)
- stress disorders (such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia)
- urinary, gynecological and reproductive disorders (such as dysmenorrhea, hot flashes, incontinence, infertility, sleep disturbances)
- ancillary care during cancer treatment to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation