What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
TCM is a healing art which teaches how to see the entire human being as whole (thoughts, emotions, and physical body) and how to treat not only the symptoms, the branches, but also the root of the problem. The basic theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that there is a Life Force called "Chi" (Energy) which flows within us in a harmonious balanced way. This harmony and balance is health. If the Life Force is not flowing properly, there is disharmony and imbalance. This is illness.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the healing arts in Chinese Medicine, which improves the quality of life by reducing pain, boosting energy levels, reducing stress, and brining harmony and balance to the whole body. The Chi" circulates throughout the body along an invisible network called "Meridians". The Acupuncturist stimulates certain points (acupoints) along the course of the Meridians. Such stimulation helps restore the normal balance and flow of "Chi", so organs and body's systems can work together in harmony as intended. This sets the stage for the body repair itself and maintain its own health.
What to expect in a Acupuncture Treatment?
Patients who have received inoculations or other medical injections from a hypodermic needle are most of the time fearful that acupuncture treatments will be painful. But such is not the case. Medical hypodermic needles are stiff, thick and, hollow for forcing fluid into the patient's body. Typically, acupuncture needles are fine and flexible, no bigger around than a human hair or piece of thread. Deftly inserted into an acupoint by a skilled acupuncturist, the slender needle produce little or no sensation at all. When the needle makes contact with "Chi" (Energy), most patients experience a slight tingling sensation. First time patients are usually amazed at how comfortable they are during treatment.
The treatment plan will most likely call for treating one to twelve points on each visit.
How long do treatments take?
Depending of the patient's condition and treatment plan, the initial visit last an average between one hour and a half and two hours. Follow up visit lasts one hour.
How many treatments and how often?
Because each patient's health problems and response to treatment are unique, the number and frequency of treatments vary. In general, acute conditions require less treatment than chronic conditions.
Are acupuncture needles sterile and safe?
Yes!. The government requires acupuncturists to follow very strict sterilization procedures. In addition, pre-sterilized disposable acupuncture needles are manufactured, packaged, and shipped in sterilized containers to ensure compliance with the law.
What are other treatment options?
Besides the Traditional Acupuncture treatment, other effective modalities could be added to the treatment plan in order to get the desire physiological response, including: acupressure, Tuina (Oriental Therapeutic Massage), electronic stimulation (Electro-acupuncture), Moxibustion (warming of certain points with Chinese herbs), cupping therapy, cold, heat lamp, infrared lamp, ultrasound, and herbal therapy.
How does the flow of Chi becomes blocked or unbalanced?
The desired balance of flow of Chi can be affected by any noxious factors which could be external and/or internal. Among the Internal Factors, the most prevalent and important, is the well known factor of our current times, the "Chronic Stress" and the emotional responses it triggers in our lives, such anxiety, depression, worry, anger, guilt, frustration, and resentment.
Among the External Factors, other causes of unbalance and disease are: poor nutrition (excess and/or unbalanced diet), harmful habits (smoking, alcohol, drugs), toxic air or water, infectious of contagious diseases, ergonomic or overuse injuries. Excessive dampness, wind, cold, and heat.
How the "Chronic Stress" affects our health?
Our bodies react to stress as a natural response, even though, it is a normal defense mechanism to acute events that are threatening our health or lives. An example, if you are walking on the street and a dog is attacking to bite you, your body releases hormones (Cortisol and Nor-Adrenaline), the well called "stress hormones", which act by mobilizing energy from storage to muscles increasing blood sugar levels, increasing heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate and shutting down metabolic processes such as digestion, reproduction, growth and immunity.
Most of these responses make you react to the situation ("fight or flight" response). Then, the body's hormones levels return to normal and the body gets the natural state of balance and calm. But what happen when the body is continuously facing up "Chronic Stress" (married life problems, adolescent kid you do not get to understand, the traffic, the job you do not like, the bossy chief, the co-worker you do not get along with, the old relative you have to take care of, etc), then your body does not have time to come back to the normal state of calm and is continuously releasing those "stress hormones" causing all the undesired effects in our bodies, such hypertension, diabetes, pain syndromes (threshold pain trigger point is decreased), thyroid disorders, digestive disorders, reproduction disorders (infertility), and immunologic disorders (allergies), among others.