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Acupuncture

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an essential part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is based on ideas and theories formulated over thousands of years. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles into specific sites on the body chosen according to the guiding principles of Traditional Oriental Medicine. Needles may also be used with an application of moxibustion, an herbal heat source, or sometimes an electrical pulse is combined with the needles for increased stimulation.

How and where the needles are inserted encourages the body to promote natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity, physical and emotional health and improves overall function and well-being. Acupuncture balances and maintains our health in a natural way.

How long has Acupuncture been practiced?

As a system of medicine, acupuncture is over 2500 years old, and may have been practiced in China in a rudimentary form 5,000, even 7,000 years ago. The oldest continuously used medical textbook is the “Huang Di Nei Jing” (“Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic”). Still relevant today, this textbook remains a valuable reference on the theory, and on acupuncture techniques that practitioners still use today. The practice of acupuncture has evolved and changed in the last 2500 years – many new techniques have been developed, and continue to be developed today.

Is Acupuncture treatment safe?

Yes. Only sterile disposable needles are used. Because of the training an Acupuncturist receives, acupuncture is very safe. If a comprehensively trained acupuncturist performs the treatment, your safety is assured.

“Although tens of millions of acupuncture needles are used annually in the United States, only about 50 cases of complications resulting from acupuncture have been reported in the medical literature over the past 20 years.” – Birch, et. al., “Clinical Research on Acupuncture”, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2004

Is Acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture needles are very thin. Most people do not find the insertion of such hair fine needles to be painful. Acupuncture needles are thin hair-like, unlike injection needles, which are thicker, hollow and have cutting edges. This is why acupuncture feels nothing like getting a shot or having blood drawn.

Why should I try Acupuncture?

Acupuncture can relieve the symptoms of your health issue, strengthen your body’s resistance to disease, and restore balance and normal function to your system. There are also many beneficial side effects to acupuncture. Patients report that most of the time they:

Feel better (76%)
Miss fewer work days (71%)
Get along better with others (69%)
Have less pain (64%)
Have more energy (58%)
Are more focused (58%)
Can work better (64%)

How does Acupuncture work?

The Traditional Chinese Medicine explanation of how acupuncture works is that channels, or meridians, of energy run in regular patterns throughout the body and over its surface. These energy channels flow through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues and organs. An obstruction in the movement of the energy is like a dam that can cause obstruction in the flow of blood, bodily fluids and metabolic waste, thereby creating imbalances in the body.

Needling the acupuncture points can influence the meridian by unblocking the obstructions and re-establishing a healthy flow through the meridians. Since the meridians link with the organs, a treatment can therefore, also help to improve the function of the internal organs. The improved energy flow and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities and in promoting physical and emotional well being.

Western science has also suggested several theories for how Acupuncture works, including (1) conduction of electromagnetic signals, (2) activation of opioid systems, and (3) changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary bodily functions. (NCCAM Research Study, 2002.)

Chiropractic Care

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Yes. A New Zealand government study found that adjustments are “remarkably safe.” Chiropractic care enjoys an excellent track record. A thorough exam can identify the rare person from whom chiropractic care might be unsuited.

Will adjustments make my spine too loose?

No. Only the spinal joints that are “locked up” receive adjustments. The occasional spinal joints that move too much, are passed over so weakened muscles and ligaments can stabilize and heal.

How many adjustments will I need?

The number of adjustments varies with each patient and their individual health goals. Many patients sense some progress within a week or two of frequent visits. Visits are less often as your spine stabilizes. In difficult cases, complete healing can take months or even years.

Why would a newborn get adjusted?

Even today’s “natural” childbirth methods can affect an infant’s spine. Colic, unusual crying, poor appetite or erratic sleeping habits can be signs of spinal distress. Adjustments are gentle. Knowing exactly where to adjust, no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato is involved.

Can I adjust myself?

No. Some people can make their joints “pop” but that’s not an adjustment! Adjustments are specific and take years to master. Even your chiropractor must consult a colleague to benefit from chiropractic care.

What does an adjustment feel like?

Most patients report a sense of well-being or a feeling of calmness. Since repeated adjustments are necessary, if adjustments didn’t feel good, patients wouldn’t return to finish their care. Chiropractors are experts at making adjustments feel good.

Can patients with osteoporosis get chiropractic care?

Of course. When developing a care plan, your chiropractor considers the unique circumstances of each patient. There are many ways to adjust the spine. The method selected will be the best suited to your age, size and spinal problem.

Isn't some back pain normal?

No. Back pain is not normal. It’s your body signaling to you that something is not right. Regular adjustments to the spine release the built-up pressure that often causes muscle tension and irritation in the back and neck.

Massage Therapy

What should I expect during my first massage therapy visit?

Your massage therapist may require you to fill out a health history form. Afterward the therapist will begin by asking you general questions to establish what areas you would like worked on, if there are any conditions needing to be addressed, and to determine if massage is appropriate for you. Your massage therapist may perform certain assessments and testing to evaluate your condition and to see if you have any presenting complaints.

It is important to list all health concerns and medications so the therapist can adapt the session to your specific needs without doing any harm. It is also important to list any allergies so the therapist is aware if he/she needs to use a different oil or lotion during the session.

What does Massage Therapy feel like?

Massage Therapy will feel different depending on the techniques used. Many Massage Therapists use a form of Swedish massage, which is often the baseline for practitioners.  A typical Swedish massage session may start with broad, flowing strokes that will help calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body relaxes, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. Often, a light oil or lotion is used to allow your muscles to be massaged without causing excessive friction on the skin. Do not hesitate to ask questions or mention any discomfort you feel so that the Massage Therapist can use another approach or technique.

Is a massage always appropriate?

No, there are several medical conditions that would make massage inappropriate. That’s why it is necessary that you fill out the health history forms and before you begin your session. The massage therapist will ask general health questions to rule out if you have any contraindications to massage. It is very important that you inform the practitioner of any health problems or medications you are taking. If you are under a doctor’s care, it is strongly advised that you receive a written recommendation for massage prior to any session. Your massage therapist may require a recommendation or approval from your doctor.

How will I feel after the massage therapy treatment?

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage. Massage therapists sometimes recommend a hot Epsom salt bath that encourages the release of toxins that may have been stirred up from the massage treatment.

Will the massage hurt?

This depends on the type of massage and the depth of the strokes. A light, relaxing massage that doesn’t probe very deep into the muscles, shouldn’t hurt. A good massage, even a really deep tissue massage, should always stay in the ‘feels good’ hurt range.
Pain can be an indication that the muscle is possibly injured or inflamed and pressure should be adjusted. Also, pain can cause you to tighten up and negate the relaxing effects of the massage. The most effective and deepest massage always works with your body’s natural response, not against it.