What Is Acupuncture?
A first visit with a naturopathic physician is about 1 hour. A detailed history is taken and physical exam is usually given which may include blood pressure, abdominal exam or other pertinent tests.
Recommendations are then made that may include the use of supplements, botanicals (herbs), homeopathics, nutritional work, lifestyle counselling, or acupuncture. A referral may also be made for further lab tests or to acquire a copy of recent medical test results.
How Does It Work?
There are many theories about this, ancient and modern. Acupuncture is based on ancient theories of the flow of Qi (Energy) through the meridians or pathways that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels do. Some explain that the insertion of the needles creates a ripple of Qi through the body; others use a microcosmic viewpoint and map the body onto a particular region such as the ear or hand. For the West, most people think of acupuncture as stimulating the nervous system since many points are located at, or near neural structures.
Does It Hurt?
Prior to the first acupuncture treatment, many wonder if it will hurt. While certain areas of the body are more sensitive than others, the sensation generally varies from, warmth, pressure, prickle, numbness and often a light electrical sensation along the course of an acupuncture channel. Once the needles are inserted, there is commonly no sensation.
Is It Safe?
When practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. As a system of health care, acupuncture has several inherent safeguards. Because the treatment is drug-free, there is no worry of having to take any medication or suffer from side effects or interactions. The needles are only used once and then disposed after the treatment. Slight bruising may occur, but this is rare.
What Can Acupuncture Do?
Many people use acupuncture for painful conditions such as headaches, back and neck pain or arthritis, but acupuncture has a very long history of treating neuromuscular conditions including:
- such as insomnia and dizziness
- emotional & psychological disorders (depression and anxiety)
- circulatory disorders (hypertension and angina)
- addictions to alcohol nicotine and other drugs
- respiratory disorders (allergies and bronchitis)
- and gastrointestinal conditions (gastritis and bowel diseases).
Because it is a whole body approach, it can be used to effectively treat almost any health concern.
How Many Treatments Will I Need?
That depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of five to fifteen treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time or maintenance sessions.
How Long Is The Treatment?
This varies depending on the condition. You should expect to spend 30-60 minutes for your first visit, and then with subsequent visits less time is needed.