To The Point Acupuncture FAQ
Acupuncture is usually a very relaxing time for our patients. The needles are very thin and ultimately should not induce any pain.
If anything, you may feel a slight prick with the insertion of the needle. That sensation typically eases right away. If for some reason you continue to feel a pinching or a burning sensation at the needle site any longer than this, let us know. It simply means the needle needs adjusted or removed. If on the other hand you are feeling a slight ache or heavy feeling near the needle, this is usually a good sign – a clue that the body is reacting in a positive direction.
The needles should never keep you from getting into that deep relaxation or sleep during your session. We will adjust the needles to ensure your comfort. Ideally we want you as relaxed as possible so the mind and body can heal..
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are fourteen main meridians inside the body. The diagram to the left shows the meridian pathways in the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs and glands.
Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.
Wear loose fitting clothing. You will be draped appropriately at all times during your treatment.
Make sure to have eaten within 2-4 hours of your session to manage blood sugar levels
Be sufficiently hydrated
Take all medications as prescribed. There is often the urge to not take any medication, to “see what the acupuncture does”. Let’s let the acupuncture take effect before removing anything from the mix. It may take a few sessions, meanwhile let’s support your system with the medication it’s accustomed to.
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine provides an excellent explanation of this:
A typical acupuncture treatment begins with a consultation or check in with your acupuncturist. This is where the acupuncturist can get a better idea of what is going on,the location of any pain, previous medical history and its contribution, and your treatment goals. After this portion the acupuncturist will discuss a treatment plan including any additional modalities that may need to be used, face up or face down treatments, the recommended frequency of treatments, etc. The acupuncturist will also feel your pulse and look at your tongue in order to determine a better Chinese diagnosis. The pulse allows us to feel the quality of energy throughout the various channels we work off of. The tongue allows us to know what’s going on more internally. Once this is done the acupuncturist will begin the treatment, placing anywhere from 5-30 needles. The needles are then usually left in for about 20-45 minutes. It is during this time that most usually sleep, meditate or simply relax. There will be soothing music playing and you will be left to find a relaxation that we are sure you may have not experienced before!
This usually depends on the primary reason(s) for treatment and your specific treatment goals. Everyone is very unique and can responds differently. The acupuncturist will work towards whatever your desired goal is and provide re-evaluations to make sure you are responding as we would like to see and expect.
For short-term issues, a handful of acupuncture treatments should do the job. For chronic or long-standing issues, a maintenance schedule would be in order to keep systems running smoothly and steadily after the initial period of relief and change.
For some, the issues are structural which may mean maintenance for pain relief is what they need. For others it may just be that the environmental stressor or aggravator to their condition is not able to be changed therefore maintenance is required.
“For example, patient Melissa comes in for help with pain and swelling from a new ankle sprain less than 24 hours old. This type of injury responds best with acupuncture treatments two out of three days, which would probably be plenty to help Melissa’s body sort out her injury completely.
On the other hand, David gets acupuncture treatments to work toward better management of long-term anxiety and insomnia that he’s struggled with for five years. Chances are good he’ll start to see clear changes in the pattern and intensity of his symptoms with steady treatments over four weeks or so. After this time, his acupuncturist will likely recommend regular but less frequent treatments for another stretch of time to help make sure the process of change continues moving forward. Once David finds himself in a place where he’s consistently happy with his sleep and anxiety levels, we’ll know it’s time to dial back the frequency of his treatments even further. The aim here is to provide as few acupuncture treatments as possible while maintaining gains made.” https://www.pocacoop.com/faq
Our acupuncturists are required by law to use disposable one-time-use sterilized needles. Additionally, we are trained in and adhere to Clean Needle Technique standards in our clinic. Each acu-point site is swabbed with alcohol prior to needling to reduce risk of infection as well.
Usually not. As the needles are retained after being placed in the body, energy is being redistributed. Hormones and neurotransmitters are released and healing process begins. On occasion symptoms may worsen for a few days, or other general changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns, or emotional state may be triggered. Don;t worry, these are simply indications that the acupuncture is starting to work. Actually, it is common to have a sensation of deep relaxation following the treatment.