What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine involving the insertion of sterile, disposable needles (as thin as a hair) into the skin at specific points on the body. Acupuncture is safe and effective, and is often successfully used as an alternative to or in combination with conventional therapies or medications.
How does it work?
Chinese medicine has an interesting explanation as to how and why illness occurs. Qi (pronounced chee ) or vital energy flows in our body through a network of meridians, like a highway system. Injury, congestion, or just plain stress can interrupt the smooth flow of energy throughout the body, creating a ‘traffic jam’.
In a highway system, when there is road construction or an accident, traffic may also be backed up on secondary roads that feed into or out of the affected area. This is true in the body, too. Stress, or any disruption in the flow of energy, can affect many processes of the body, for example digestion, the ability to sleep and the immune system.
Acupuncture helps to clear blockages (traffic jams) in the flow of energy, enabling our natural healing processes to function effectively.
What can acupuncture help with?
Acupuncture has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a valuable healing modality for over a large host of conditions, including:
- anxiety & stress
- coughs and colds
- fertility concerns, male and female
- digestive issues (constipation, bloating, diarrhea, gas, heartburn)
- headaches or migraines
- high blood pressure
- lower back pain
- menopausal symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats)
- menstrual issues (PMS, painful/heavy periods, absence of periods)
- morning sickness
- muscle or joint pain
- side-effects of medications (e.g. chemotherapy)
- sinus congestion
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture should not feel painful. You may experience a tingling or slight aching feeling when the needles are placed. Most people become very relaxed and often even fall asleep during their treatment!
Having acupuncture could be described as a period of deep stillness in which nothing seems to be happening, but all sorts of things get done.
How often should you come for acupuncture?
For acupuncture to have optimal and lasting benefits, you’ll want to receive it frequently enough to result in progressive improvement. One or two sessions will feel good due to acupunctureʼs relaxing effect, but regular treatments over the course of 4-6 weeks is the best way to achieve sustainable results.
Experience shows us that those who get the best results with acupuncture begin with 2-3 treatments a week for 2-3 weeks. After that, many people follow up with weekly treatments for another few. For chronic or complex conditions, it may be necessary to do more prolonged treatment. This is why it’s so important that it be affordable.
Always, our goal is to help support your body (including all aspects of mind, emotions, and spirit) as you move through the healing process. Our approach is one of “supported independence” in which we help to move you as effectively as possible to a place of stability that is sustainable through the activities of your daily life.
Herbal Medicine and other Recommendations
Chris Pickrell, our primary practitioner at the RCAC, is also trained as a Clinical Herbalist and a Naturopathic Doctor. As such, herbal teas or tinctures, as well as other lifestyle or dietary advice may be offered (provided of course you are interested) as an accompaniment and complement to your acupuncture treatment.