Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy that is used to treat a variety of different symptoms and conditions

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a complex holistic system of medicine that is estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old. TCM originated in China but is now available around the world in a variety of forms and techniques, helping millions of people every day with a wide variety of health conditions.

TCM’s understanding of the body originally developed through the observation of nature and its myriad of interactions, viewing humans as a microcosm of the environment that surrounds them.  TCM’s holistic approach is based on the idea that no single part can be understood except in its relationship to the whole.  It focuses on the specific disharmony between the relationships of different systems within each individual person, but treatment addresses all aspects of the body together to gain overall balance. TCM has created a unique system to diagnose and treat a variety of symptoms and syndromes within the body.  Because of this, the TCM approach to treatment is very different to that of Western medicine.

In TCM, the body and its systems are viewed as an integrated whole and not isolated into individual parts.  It is this relationship within the body and between the organ systems that allows for internal disharmony to be identified.  If there is disharmony between the different organ systems in the body, patterns will emerge and the different syndromes will become clear for the TCM practitioner.  Once the syndromes are identified and treated, the balance can be re-established within the body and symptoms can be relieved.

Evaluation of a syndrome includes a variety of factors including symptoms, history, pain,  pulses, temperature, excess, deficiency, location, skin color, systems effected, discharges, nature of the illness, tongue diagnosis, etc., as well as the degree between the pathogenic factor (if there is one) and the body’s resistance to it.

Treatment is not based solely on the symptoms, but on differentiation of patterns and syndromes.

Therefore, people who present with identical symptoms may be treated in a variety of different ways depending on the pattern or syndrome.

In addition, people with different symptoms may have the same pattern or syndrome and therefore be treated in similar ways.

TCM encompasses a wide variety of different therapies such as acupuncture, acupressure, herbal and dietary therapy, moxibustion, massage, breathing and movement exercises.

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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy that is used to treat a variety of different symptoms and conditions as well as being used as a preventative measure to improve a person’s general health and well-being. Acupuncture, which originated in China over 2500 years ago, is an integral part of TCM. Acupuncture involves the insertion of sterile, hair-thin, single-use needles into specific points on the skin to stimulate the body’s own healing systems.

The practice of acupuncture is based on the theory of meridians.  There are energy pathways called meridians running vertically along the length of the human body, each one linking to a specific organ system.  Symptoms are caused when energy flow is obstructed at certain points along these meridians.  Acupuncture therapy stimulates meridian flow to harmonize and balance the body.  According to this theory, Qi and blood circulate in the body through these meridians which connect the internal organs with external organs and tissues.  By stimulating certain points on the skin the underlying meridians can be affected and the flow of Qi and blood can be regulated to treat a variety of symptoms, conditions and syndromes.  The points used are called acupuncture points or acupoints.

The acupoints are located along each of the meridians.  There are 14 major meridians that are most often used which correspond to the 12 major organ systems in the body as well as the two main extra meridians that run along the midline of the front and back of the body.  Along these meridians there are over 300 acupoints, each with its own unique therapeutic action.  Different acupoints are selected for treatment based on the client’s specific requirements.  Once selected, the needles are inserted and then retained for about 15-30 minutes.

The needles that are used to stimulate the points are extremely small.  They are so small that 10-20 of them can fit in the end of an 18 gauge hypodermic needle, the kind most commonly used for taking blood.

The needles do not cause any discomfort and most people do not even feel them being inserted.  Only disposable, single use, sterile needles are used for each client.

Millions of happy acupuncture recipients across the globe have been touting the health benefits of this therapy for thousands of years.  Over the past few decades there has been an increase of interest within Western medicine to incorporate acupuncture into a more mainstream role as numerous studies focusing on acupuncture have consistently proven the positive results of the therapy.

Acupuncture is finally getting the recognition it deserves in the US.  More people than ever are enjoying this successful, time tested mode of therapy and will be for many years to come.

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Acupuncture FAQs

What TCM modalities are used?

TCM treatments can include acupuncture, acupressure, dietary and herbal therapy, and moxibustion.

What can be treated with acupuncture?

There are a multitude of symptoms, conditions and syndromes that are helped, relieved or resolved with acupuncture.  Currently The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes over 250 illnesses successfully treated by acupuncture.

Just to name a few: Pre-menstrual syndrome, Anxiety, Gastro-intestinal disorders, stress, fatigue, tension, allergies, arthritis, joint problems, sinusitis, sciatica, gynecological disorders, headaches, pain, injury recovery, muscular-skeletal disorders, etc.

Alyse treats a wide variety of symptoms and conditions but her favorite things to treat are gastro-intestinal disorders, psycho-emotional disorders, food and environmental sensitivities and allergies.

What are meridians?

Meridians run throughout the body and integrates all of the body’s systems and functions into a unified whole.  The meridians begin deep in the body and flow internally and externally to connect the different organ systems. Internally, they connect with all the organs, tissues and systems of the body. Externally, they flow along the layers of the skin, where they can be accessed through the acupoints.

What are acupoints?

Acupoints are points along the meridians that connect the area on the surface of the body with the meridian below.  The points are stimulated with a needle to initiate change in the corresponding organ system’s meridian.  There are over 300 points on the main meridians.  Each point has its own unique characteristics for a variety of treatment possibilities.

Does the insertion of the acupuncture needle hurt?

Alyse prides herself on a pain free visit.  The needles that are used are the smallest gauge available.  In fact, they are so small that 10-20 of them can fit in the end of an 18 gauge hypodermic needle, the kind most commonly used for taking blood.  The needles do not cause any discomfort as most people do not even feel them being inserted.  Only disposable, single use, sterile needles are used for each client.

Can I get a treatment without needles?

Yes.  There are a variety of things that can be done without needles.

For adults the focus of the treatment can move to a more dietary and herbal approach with less emphasis on the acupuncture or just different stimulation for the points.

For young children, where it is typical to not use needles during the treatment, other stimulation can be used such as acupressure, and/or acutonics.

In cases where needles are not used, the points can be stimulated with different types of pressure instead of needles.  Press pellets or moxa can also be used on the points to stimulate the points.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed will vary from person to person as many factors can contribute to the length of therapy.   The duration, severity and nature of the complaint are all important as well as the person’s constitution, overall health, compliance and their response to treatment.

Many people respond very quickly while others can take several treatments before improvement is seen. After the initial evaluation and treatment the practitioner will have a better idea of the amount of treatments that may be needed.

Alyse strives to get client’s health issues resolved in as few treatments as possible.

Generally, within two to three visits a person will have a sense of whether they will receive benefits from acupuncture. Those with acute conditions may only need a few treatments, while those with chronic or complex conditions may benefit from regular sessions over a longer period of time.

Acupuncture may be combined with diet and herbal therapy along with other lifestyle recommendations for the most rapid results.

Do I need to do anything before my Acupuncture treatment?

Patients should arrive 10 – 15 minutes prior to the Initial Session to complete the necessary forms.

Please wear comfortable and looser fitting clothing. Points on the extremities are used during treatment so the clothing will be rolling up or pushed out of the way.

How long is the initial session and follow up sessions?

The initial session takes about an hour and fifteen minutes and follow up sessions take about an hour.

Do you take health insurance for the acupuncture treatments?

No.  We do not take health insurance.

How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment online by going to the Contact/Booking page of this website or by calling the clinic directly at 512.608.0077.  You do not need a doctor’s referral.

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