Traditional Chinese Medicine
-What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which originated at least 3,000 years ago. This modality is used to promote the body’s healing potential, while encouraging a natural state of balance (homeostasis). This is most often achieved either by inserting hair thin needles, applying heat (moxa), or electrical stimulation (e-stim) at very precise points along the body. The TCM approach is different from that of Western medicine in that it interprets the human body based on a holistic understanding, and the treatment of illness has a primary focus on the diagnosis and differentiation of syndromes through that holistic approach. On a wider scale, the practice of TCM aims to serve as preventative care and improve your long-term quality of life.
-What are the benefits of acupuncture?
Many patients have shared that with ongoing treatment they observe:
· Improved immunity and faster recovery time.
· Less medical and health care expenses.
· Lessening of their symptoms and greater comfort overall.
· Being more aware of their body and its needs.
· Increased vitality and endurance.
· Feeling more centered, grounded & balanced in all areas of their life.
· Experiencing more inner peace and sustained calmness.
· Improved quality of sleep.
-How does acupuncture work?
The classical explanation is that there are channels of energy that run in regular patterns throughout the body and along its surface. These channels, known as meridians, provide paths for the energy to travel along. The energy itself is referred to as qi (chi) and is understood to be our vital life force. When the flow of qi travels appropriately throughout the body, it nourishes the tissues and allows for exceptional health. However, when there becomes an obstruction in the movement of these meridians, it backs up like a dam. Quite simply, acupuncture un-blocks these dams, and restores the qi to its natural, healthy flow.
The contemporary scientific explanation is that by needling the acupuncture points, better functioning of the nervous system is promoted. This activates chemical releases in the brain, spinal cord, and muscles, encouraging the body’s own internal regulating system and natural healing abilities. The improvement in energy and the biochemical balance produced by acupuncture changes the experience of pain and permits physical and emotional well-being.
-Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, acupuncture is extremely safe as long as it is performed by a qualified, licensed practitioner. I use needles that are FDA approved, individually packaged, pre-sterilized, and disposed of after a single use. Additionally, all licensed acupuncturists receive extensive training in anatomy so they avoid inserting needles in any place that may cause damage.
-Does acupuncture hurt?
Each person experiences acupuncture differently, but most find it to be extremely soothing and therapeutic. Acupuncture is nothing like receiving a shot or injection. The needles are extremely thin, usually resulting in very little discomfort when inserted. Many people do not feel the needles, although some may feel a slight pinch when the needles are inserted. You may notice different sensations including warmth, numbness, tingling, or pressure. This is evidence that your energy is flowing or redistributing. While there may be very brief discomfort, it is short-lived and differs from pain. More commonly, patients become very relaxed and fall into a restorative sleep during their treatment.
-How many treatments will I need?
The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture. Acute conditions can usually be treated with one to five sessions, while chronic conditions take longer. With each treatment you should see more relief and improved wellness.
Typically acupuncture treatments are given once a week. Acute, painful conditions may be treated 2-3 times a week during the beginning phases of treatment. After attaining the desired results, many people come in once a month for a periodic “tune-up” or as needed for maintenance. Acupuncture is an essential component to your lifetime health program and can be used for specific conditions or general well-being.
-Can western and Chinese Medicine work together?
Yes. Very frequently the two approaches can bridge together for the patient’s advantage. If you are under a doctor’s care, be sure to advise us of your course of Western medical treatment including any medications, surgeries or implants. This will allow us to best supplement your course of treatment.
-I’ve received acupuncture from another health care practitioner such as an MD, naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, etc. How does what you do differ from this type of acupuncture?
There are many health care professionals who are able to perform acupuncture under their existing license. Unfortunately, they receive very limited training or education in acupuncture or Chinese Medicine. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners have thorough and intensive training in the diagnostic and therapeutic principles of TCM. This form of healing is not limited to acupuncture. It is an entire system of medicine with its own interpretation of how the body works and how disease and disharmony can be eliminated.
-Do you have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is not a belief system but a medical theory. All of the modalities that TCM entails work, regardless your belief in them. However, having a positive attitude is still a key component to healing in general.
-What is Functional Medicine?
Practitioners of Functional Medicine consider the whole person and their unique medical history, taking into account a wide range of physical, psychological and emotional factors, rather than basing their diagnosis on a narrow, textbook-defined approach or treating the symptoms alone. From the perspective of Functional Medicine, any ailment or disease is the expression of a deeper imbalance, which can only be fixed by working on the root cause. This is addressed through a systems-oriented approach. While still very science based, this approach cultivates a partnership between the practitioner and the patient, in which the patient is encouraged to take an active part in their healing process and program of care.
-What is meant by “complementary and alternative therapies (CAM)”?
Functional Medicine can often integrate different forms of complementary and alternative therapies. These are healing practices (some of which are thousands of years old), but are yet to be considered mainstream in the Western world. Complementary therapies are used in conjunction with conventional treatments, such as the use of acupuncture alongside traditional pain relief treatments. Alternative therapies are those used instead of conventional treatments, because they have proven more effective or better suited to the patient’s individual needs. CAM practices include energy medicine, mind-body therapies such as meditation and biofeedback, homeopathy and the use of herbal remedies, nutrition, and many others. The list of what falls under CAM is ever changing, as a growing body of research demonstrates the effectiveness of some of these practices.
-What is the medical community’s take on alternative & holistic approaches to medicine?
Given the wide range of practices that qualify as alternative medicine, the answer widely varies depending on the practice in question. However, in the past decades there has been a growing interest in alternative medical practices within the scientific community. As research uncovers the undeniable health benefits of therapies like acupuncture or biofeedback, the divide between alternative and conventional medicine is becoming more and more fluid. A growing number of doctors are beginning to integrate such techniques within their practice or to refer their patients to alternative therapies or Functional Medicine when conventional treatments fail to alleviate their ailments.
-How many sessions will I need?
This will vary depending on the condition for which you seek care and on the therapy you choose. Following an initial consultation, I can help you devise the best treatment plan. This may include one or several sessions of different types of modalities according to your specific needs.
-How are my diet and lifestyle relevant to the treatment?
Diet and exercise are crucial to overall health. I will need to get an in-depth view of your lifestyle to be able to identify the root cause of your condition and propose a treatment plan best suited to your needs.
-What should I bring along at my first appointment?
If you are on long-term medication, you should bring along a comprehensive list of all the medicine you take, including the dosage and frequency of administration. Also be sure to wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing for your treatment.
-Do I have to believe in an alternative therapies or functional medicine for it to work?
These therapies will work irrespective of your personal faith in the procedure. While it always helps to have a positive outlook, there is a scientific basis for these therapies, and they work regardless of your believe in them.
-What is Neuro-Emotional Technique (NET)?
NET is a stress reduction technique that identifies and neutralizes the neurological imbalances produced by unresolved or hidden stress. It is a mind-body tool that can facilitate healing on a psycho-emotional and physical level by releasing emotional blocks and helping restore the body’s balance.
-How does it work?
Through the subconscious, the body has memory of everything it has experienced; in particular those experiences we consider negative or traumatic. Often, without our awareness, the subconscious mind can be triggered by such memories and generate a conditioned response in the body that expresses on a physical level. Through the process of remembering (even if unconscious) the body produces a similar physiological state to match the emotional state that was found in the original event. Neuro Emotional Technique taps into the limbic system to access that memory or the belief system that resulted from the experience and resets the nervous system’s conditioned response. By engaging that part of the brain through deep breathing and certain reflexes, it helps to neutralize the stuck emotion and allow for healing in the body.
-How many sessions do I need?
This greatly varies depending on the individual and the depth at which they are able to work on the negative emotions that may arise. Some people have experienced differing degrees of trauma which will play a major role on the number of sessions a person may feel they need. So, the number of sessions and time in between sessions will greatly vary.
-What can it help with?
Neuro Emotional Technique helps you identify emotional triggers and offers an effective way to neutralize the charge, making it a good tool to help deal with trauma and PTSD. It can help harness those “untamed” portions of the brain to enhance integration and harmony, clearing energy blocks that allow you to restore your body’s natural balance and encouraging self-healing to occur.
-How long will it take to get results?
Many people state they experience immediate relief. However, it takes 24-48 hours for the nervous system to finish resetting and rewiring the way your neuro-pathways fire around the belief systems and emotional triggers addressed during that session.