What is Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture & How Does It Work?
By now most of us have heard about the fascinating effects of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is one of the oldest healing modalities in existence and is now more widely used than ever before - for good reason. Acupuncture is used for a large scope of conditions and can be effective in treating all of them. It works by using tiny stainless steel needles to stimulate specifically chosen ‘acupoints’ designated for a particular condition. These ‘acupoints’ are located directly on pathways in our bodies called meridians. Meridians carry our vital energy (or Qi) throughout our bodies to ensure smooth movement. When these pathways become blocked, this is when we experience pain or discord.
What Conditions Can TCM Acupuncture Help With?
Acupuncture is known for its ability to treat nearly any condition. Commonly treated are some of the following conditions:
Anxiety & depression • Mental emotional disorders • Stress management • Fatigue • Burn out • Hormonal imbalances • Insomnia • Digestive disorders • Infertility • Irregular periods • Headaches & migraines • Pain conditions • Skin conditions • Pregnancy • Addictions
The effectiveness of acupuncture is based in the fact we treat the body as a whole system.
Every piece of the puzzle needs to be working together to have optimal health. Acupuncturists do not believe in a Band-Aid solution - the idea is to find the root problem and start healing from there. Often times you will fill out a specific intake form, this is so your practitioner can pinpoint the imbalances and find any lifestyle habits that may need to be adjusted. Lifestyle habits go hand-in-hand with treatment, this is because your Qi is mostly comprised of the air you breathe and the food you eat. If you are not getting adequate nutrition or exercise, or have many stressors, this will stop the flowing energy and cause stagnation, which can lead to certain health issues.
What Can I Expect From An Acupuncture Visit?
Acupuncture is a progressive medicine, which means each session builds on the healing happening in the previous session. Since each individual body is different, treatment plans will vary. On average, research finds most conditions will improve with 6-12 sessions. On the other hand, some patients report instant results. Needles are generally retained for 15-30 minutes depending on the condition, and an average of 10-30 needles can be used per session.
A common misconception is that acupuncture can hurt, but it should not be painful. “Du qi” is the sensation felt when they are inserted into the muscle, which can come in the form of a tingle, pinch or dull ache - it should always subside. During a treatment, we want you to be as relaxed as possible. By relaxing, sleeping, or focusing on proper breathing techniques you will automatically be giving your body the conditions it needs to heal itself.
Your practitioner may choose to use another modality to assist with treatment. It could be usingelectro-acupuncture, gua sha (skin scraping), moxibustion or another method of healing.Using acupuncture in conjunction with other practitioners such as chiropractic, physiotherapy or massage therapy is also important to ensure you are getting the best care possible. Remember, there are no Band-Aid solutions. Getting to the core of your problem is our goal so you can enjoy living symptom free.
To book an appointment for an initial assessment with Amanda Conrad, R. Acu or to book one of our other clinicians call Choice Health Centre at (902) 404-3668 or book online.