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What is acupuncture?

accupuncture_coleharbourchiropracticAcupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice developed over thousands of years. It is an effective holistic health care system that can both resolve symptoms and enhance overall health.

In TCM it is believed that health is achieved when the body’s natural energy, called Qi (pronounced “Chee”) is in balance and flowing smoothly throughout the body. If there is any imbalance or blockages of Qi, then disease and pain results.

Qi flows though the body following specific patterns called meridians. Along these lines there are certain areas where the Qi concentrates close to the surface which are known as the acupuncture points. An acupuncturist can stimulate these points to help the body regain balance and heal itself.
Modern acupuncturists may also use points outside of the meridians that correspond to nerves, muscles, or trigger points.

Acupuncture is not an instant fix. Depending on your current health and symptoms, you could feel better right away, or you may need frequent treatments to achieve the results you want.

What are treatments like?

The initial visit is generally 90min in length and will include a thorough consultation and complete treatment. Follow up treatment usually are between 60 minutes in length.

During the initial consultation your acupuncturist will be getting to know you and your health concerns. You will be asked to fill out a thorough health history form which your practitioner will evaluate while asking you additional questions.

Next, you our practitioner will employ diagnostic tools that are unique to TCM such as tongue and pulse diagnosis. All of this information together will help your acupuncturist develop a TCM syndrome diagnosis, which is the basis for developing a treatment plan.

During treatments, you will be seated or lying comfortably while needles are inserted. Needles are retained for 15-30 minutes, during which time you will be left to rest quietly in a warm room listening to soothing music.

How should I prepare?

The most important thing you can do is come with an open mind honest with your practitioner about all aspects of your health. Avoid eating large meals or excess stress just before or after.

Try to wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points, but be aware you may need to undress for access to some points, similar to having massage.

Do the needles hurt?

The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. Some people feel a little pain as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain at all. The needles are tiny, just a little larger than a cat’s whisker or human hair.

Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. All these reactions are good and a sign that treatment is working.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is extremely safe when practiced by a properly trained professional. Acupuncturist are trained in prevention of disease transmission and proper medical aseptic techniques.

All needles are sterile, single use and discarded immediately after removal. Antiseptic is used on the skin before insertion to avoid introducing infection.

What other therapies are used?

Depending on your condition you practitioner may use additional TCM therapies during treatment including:

  • Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture Seeding – herbal seeds or metal beads are taped on acupuncture points on the ear and left in place for days, often for addition therapy.
  • acupunctureCupping- glass or plastic cups placed on the skin to create a vacuum to help release muscles and fascia while also increasing blood flow to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Gua-Sha– a smooth tool is used to scrape or rub the skin creating an intense massage sensation, used to release muscles and fascia and increase blood flow.
  • Moxibustion– a Chinese herb called Mugwart is burned above a needle to warm the point for treating cold conditions
  • Electrostimulation– small electrodes are connected to some of the acupuncture needles to send an electrical current though the needle. This is similar to a TENS machine used by a physiotherapist and is used to help speed healing of muscles, tendons and nerves.

What can acupuncture help?

Acupuncture and TCM can be used to help almost any condition, some of the most common are:

  • Addictions
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Digestive Disorders
  • Dizziness
  • Edema
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines
  • Neurological disorders
  • Overweight/Obesity
  • Sports Injuries
  • Post-surgical recovery
  • Strains/Sprains
  • PMS
  • TMJ syndrome
  • Many More

Acupuncture Fees:
Effective March 1, 2022

Initial Consultation and Treatment (90 minutes) $120
Subsequent Treatment (60 minutes) $85

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