Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Classical Oriental Medicine stems from an ancient philosophy that views a person as an energy system in which body, mind and spirit are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. The vital life force energy of “Qi” (pronounced chi) is present and circulates throughout the body along specific pathways through the body called meridians. Illness occurs if energy flow becomes blocked or stagnant. Western medicine views disease processes as isolated from the patient, and groups all patients with a particular set of symptoms or disease into a disease category (ex: A patient has diabetes). The goal is to rid the body part of the disease, attempting to narrow down the cause of the symptoms, and treating everyone with similar presenting symptoms with similar treatments (lifestyle changes, pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, etc…). These treatments may resolve the disease in the body, or may relieve the symptoms temporarily.

Oriental medicine views each patient as unique. The goal is to look at a constellation of experiences the patient has, identifying and uncovering the areas of body function that are in balance and out of balance, with the focus of treatment being to understand the nature of the imbalance and to restore harmony and energy flow to that individual. The body, mind and spirit are seen as interrelated and connected.

Acupuncture points access energy flow, and with the use of either single-use, sterile acupuncture needles or gentle shiatsu (acupressure), excess energy can be released or deficient energy along that meridian can be increased to restore healthy flow of energy. Once the blocks are opened, the patient’s symptoms are relieved. Patients are often surprised to find that symptoms that have been active for many years can resolve quickly when the core blockage is addressed. Chronic blockages may take several treatments to change the body ‘memory’ of pain in that area.

Acupuncture and acupressure treatments enhance the patient’s natural capacity to alleviate pain. Patients find that with a reduction of chronic and acute pain, there is often a decreased need for pain medications and their unwanted side effects. Balancing the body’s natural energy flows decreases inflammation, releases endorphins, boosts the immune system, and regulates neurotransmitters to assist the body in becoming pain free, and restoring vitality.

Treatment Plan

A typical treatment plan involves 1-10 treatments spaced 1-3 weeks apart, depending on the severity of the condition and how long the patient has had the pain. Acute pain, depending on the cause, typically resolves more quickly than chronic pain cases.

Typical intake is 2 hours and involves a comprehensive life history, physical intake and treatment. Follow up appointments are generally an hour in length including assessment, shiatsu muscle release and one acupuncture needle. The patient is encouraged to relax and allow the treatment to take effect for 20 minutes. Recommendations for nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes are provided. Patient is encouraged to participate in his/her own health choices to meet personal goals.

“I have some questions about acupuncture”
See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section…