Frequently Asked Questions
Chinese Medicine deals with imbalance in the natural, healthy states of the body. Our work is to find out where the body is struggling to heal itself, often because underneath, we are just worn out. We do not sleep enough, we do not eat real foods that build back our energy stores, and the pace of life in this culture does not support an in-balance existence. Using the Chinese Medicine model enables practitioners to determine how to help the body help itself.
Our “labs” are not drawing blood and comparing it to charts deemed “normal.” We draw information you and your body give us. We take your pulses, we look at your tongue, we look at your face, body and demeanor, the way you move, the way you hold stress. We listen to the words you use. In the first few treatments we are able to gather information that tells us exactly what is going on inside the body.
In the first appointment, we go through an extensive series of questions to find out the history of your health. We do not just treat symptoms that have brought you in to us. Symptoms are easy to address and take less time. However, no issue is an island. If you have shoulder pain for example, and there is no trauma you can pinpoint, we want to address why the body cannot heal itself.
Just because we have no symptoms like pain, acid reflux, headaches does not mean we are “fine,”and in balance. Symptoms are what make us seek help but if we were in-balance prior to pain, the body could prevent symptoms from arising.
I have a client who came in for a pain in what he thought was his tricep, the muscle on the back of the arm. There was no trauma he could remember like pulling that muscle. He kept insisting, “This is new, this came on two months ago.” No, it did not. The pain may have arisen two months ago but his posture, neck muscles, lifestyle, and diet have all been building to the shoulder pain for years, as well as an injury to the opposite hip years prior. (There are straps of connective tissue that connect one shoulder to the opposite hip. Hip pain and shoulder pain are completely related.)
What has the World Health Organization (WHO) determined can be helped with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine?
- Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
- Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
- Biliary colic
- Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
- Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
- Induction of labour
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Malposition of fetus
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Pain in dentistry (TMJ/TMD temporomandibular dysfunction)
- Periarthritis of shoulder
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
- TMJ (TMD)
What are some additional diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture?
- Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
- Acne vulgaris
- Alcohol dependence and detoxification
- Bell’s palsy
- Bronchial asthma
- Cancer pain
- Cardiac neurosis
- Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
- Competition stress syndrome
- Craniocerebral injury closed
- Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
- Earache Epidemic haemorrhagic fever
- Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
- Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
- Female infertility
- Facial spasm
- Female urethral syndrome
- Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
- Gastrokinetic disturbance Gouty arthritis
- Hepatitis B virus carrier status
- Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
- Labour pain
- Lactation, deficiency
- Male sexual dysfunction
- Ménière disease
Your appointment will take one hour. The initial interview is part of your first treatment. Filling out the New Patient Form ahead of time helps it go more smoothly but it is not required.
The questions in the initial interview are not just about your current problem. We want to know about your digestion, daily habits, sleep patterns, reproductive functions, and so on. We ask questions to get a picture of you as a whole and to uncover the locations of imbalances.
Men and Women, wear loose fitting clothing on the bottom, ex. sweats, yoga pants, stretchy shorts. Please no jeans. I will need access to feet, lower legs, entire knees, and low back. On the top we will need access to your entire torso so men, I will have you take your shirts off, and women please wear a regular bra not a sports bra and I will always keep you draped (covered) and modest for your treatments. And you only undress to your level of comfort. Children are always treated with a parent in the room and are not undressed.
For your first appointment, please come early for paperwork or your treatment time will be affected.
The next thing we emphasize is the physical examination (tongue, pulse, and palpation). You will be asked to stick out your tongue so we can examine the state of your tongue. The tongue reflects what is going on inside the body’s major systems. Each part of the tongue corresponds to an individual organ system. We observe the color, indentations, coating and shape to get an idea of what might be happening in each organ system. The coating gives us very important information about your systems and is a great measurement of improvement as we continue treatments.
When checking your pulse, we are feeling the different qualities of the pulse. With pulse taking, an acupuncturist uses three fingers on the radial artery. Each finger position represents a different organ system. We examine the quality of the pulse related to each position, as well as the overall pulse.
Palpation of the body is also used to pinpoint problem areas and underlying imbalances in the organ systems. When we palpate points on your arms or legs, we may also be looking for points that are energetically reactive, or more pronounced to you.
For more information on what to wear and what to expect from the treatment, please visit the individual services pages.