Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a centuries old holistic medicine practice which takes into account all components of a person’s lifestyle, habits, and history. TCM examines these components and determines where imbalances have developed and certain disorders have arisen. TCM will then determine which types of treatments will be the most effective for the patient, which can include acupuncture, moxibustion (a type of burning herbal treatment often used in conjunction with acupuncture), cupping (an ancient form of healing in which a local suction is created on the skin), herbal medicine, nutritional counselling, and lifestyle advice.
Key medical organizations, such as The World Health Organization, recommends acupuncture as a treatment for many conditions, including headaches, body pain, osteoarthritis, painful menstruation, menopause, infertility, anxiety, depression, digestive issues and others.
To answer this question, consider both Eastern and Western perspectives.
Eastern Medicine perspective
Acupuncture is based on the ancient theory that our body’s energy (including blood) flows through distinct meridians or pathways that cover the body. When the natural flow of blood and energy is impeded, pain and illness can occur. Traditional Chinese Medicine theory states that acupuncture (among other modalities of treatment) can remove blockages in the body pathways thereby allowing for a restored and natural flow of blood and energy.
Western science perspective
You may consider meridians and pathways in part, comparable to the way nerves, blood vessels and muscle tissues are aligned throughout the human body. Through needling, specific acupuncture points stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles and brain, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. By triggering these natural based chemicals the experience of pain is altered which can also leads to stimulation of the body’s natural healing abilities promoting physical and emotional well-being.
We’ll begin by discussing the primary reason you are seeking treatment, including any specific ailments. Then I’ll ask you a series of questions about your medical history, including your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns, emotional state, and other aspects of your physical and mental health. Based on our discussions, I will develop a pattern of treatment specific to your condition, followed by acupuncture treatment. Your progress will be tracked on subsequent treatments, noting any changes and adjusting treatments as needed.
In general, wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees. You may need to expose your abdomen or back, depending on the condition and selection of acupuncture points. Regardless of the treatment approach, gowns and towels are available to ensure your comfort during treatments.
In the primary treatment stage, acupuncture visits generally take place on a weekly or bi-weekly (every 2 weeks) basis. Depending on the condition and the individual, this schedule may last a few weeks up to a few months. Everyone has a different response to acupuncture. Some people have immediate results and others may have a slower time responding. The goal is to gradually decrease the frequency of treatments and allow your body to take over the balancing process.
The effects of acupuncture treatments are cumulative and will continue throughout the week. Immediately after a treatment, you may feel great or you can sometimes feel slightly groggy or relaxed. If working on a muscle or specific area of the body, you may feel sore at first and then feel relief the following day. We will discuss what effects can be expected during the treatment process.
In the US, licensed acupuncturists receive 3 to 4 years of intense and comprehensive graduate school training. The schools are nationally certified and accredited by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Acupuncturists must pass national board exams, meeting strict guidelines to practice in every state. To be certain of state licensure, you may check the State website. Find a licensed acupuncturist in your area at www.acufinder.com.
At Jova Acupuncture we are committed to your safety and we take every precaution to ensure your peace of mind. Herbal formulas are only prescribed by a board-certified herbalist and procured from reputable US suppliers that ensure GMP (good manufacturing practices) certifications, laboratory and product testing.