Acupuncture – The Basics

What acupuncture works for

Acupuncture has been used to treat everything from pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis to asthma. The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for many respiratory diseases, eye and mouth problems, orthopedic problems, neurological disorders and gastrointestinal ailments.

It also has been used to help patients regain movement after strokes, and to treat anxiety, depression, headaches, low back pain, tennis elbows, and  substance abuse. A study in Neuroscience Letters suggests it may even be useful for treating Parkinson’s Disease.

Does it hurt?

The needles used for acupuncture are only as thick as a single human hair. You will feel a pinch and a “releasing” sensation as the blocked qi is freed. The needles usually only stay in for one or two seconds. Occasionally, needles will stay in longer depending on the type of treatment.

Recommended sequence of acupuncture treatments

Treatments take place once a week for two months or so and then are spaced out to once a month and eventually 5 times a year. Most patients find that once they reach the once a month schedule they are well on their healing path and the monthly treatments help them stay happy and healthy.

There are five steps in 5-Element Acupuncture Treatment:

1. The Traditional Diagnosis
2. Clearing Treatments
3. Balancing Treatments
4. Re-Building Treatments
5. Maintenance Treatments

Each steps builds on the next and ushers you to a new level of health and vitality.

Acupuncture Treatment Steps
Step One: Traditional Diagnosis During your Traditional Diagnosis, my job as a 5-element acupuncturist is to determine your Causative Factor. Once it is correctly identified and treated, all the other imbalances will resolve naturally. The focus on the Causative Factor is what sets 5-Element Acupuncture apart from other systems of acupuncture.
Step Two: Clearing There are number of energetic blocks, which can overlay the Causative Factor and must be removed before work on the Causative Factor element will be effective.
Step Three: Balancing After years of neglect our bodies become imbalanced. Like a bicycle tire that is out of balance and vibrates dangerouly if we go too fast. By restoring the body’s balance, we are able to move onto the next phase of treatment, nourishment, without causing more distress.
Step Four: Re-Building Once treatment blocks are removed and your energy balanced, it is safe to re-build your energy so the capability of your body to heal and your spirit and mind to grow is restored.
Step Five: Maintenance Seasonal treatments are similar to changing the oil in your car. They keep the day to day stresses in our environment from building up and restarting the downward spiral toward illness.

How this all comes together in the clinic

Your first acupuncture session is the longest and most intense. It combines  steps one and two, the Traditional Diagnosis and the Clearing Treatments. This session lasts two to three hours depending on which treatments are required.

The next seven balancing treatments last about an hour each and are scheduled one week apart.

After your energy is balanced we move onto monthly Re-building Treatments. This is the longest phase and about two years depending on the level of depletion and the current amount of stressors in your life.  After your energy is restored, you are ready for seasonal treatments.

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That’s an old Chinese saying “The wise person is sick of being sick.” Don’t let another day slip by without starting your path back to health.

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