WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is based on the theory that a vital energy, called Qi, flows through the body along channels, called meridians. Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine sterile needles into specific points along these meridians.
In a positive state of health, Qi flows smoothly and unimpeded through meridians. Any disruption in this natural flow, due to physical or mental stress, for example, causes Qi to stagnate, and may manifests as fatigue, pain or illness. Stimulation of acupuncture points moves qi in the channels, encourages the body’s innate ability to heal, treats disease, and fosters optimal health.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Many patients that are new to acupuncture believe it will hurt, but it is actually quite painless. Acupuncture needles are hair thin, in contrast to the needles used by a medical doctor for injections. While some patients feel an achy, heavy, or tingling sensation, following insertion of the needle, others feel nothing at all. Most patients find acupuncture to be an extremely relaxing experience, and leave the treatment feeling rejuvenated.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments required, will vary between patients. There are several factors that affect your overall treatment plan. For example, the nature or severity of your condition and your underlying health, factor into the number of treatments you require. For example, a mild sore throat in an otherwise healthy person may only require 1-2 treatments. If you have a chronic condition, such as migraines, you may require a 6 – 8 week course of treatment.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have outlined the following 5 theories on the efficacy of acupuncture, based on clinical studies.
THE GATE CONTROL THEORY
According to this theory, pain signals must pass through a number of high-traffic “gates” as they move from the area of injury upward through the spinal cord into the brain. These nerves can handle only a limited number of signals at one time. Acupuncture generates competing stimulus and effectively interrupts the neurotransmission of the pain signals from reaching the brain. This theory can explain how acupuncture is used as an anesthetic during surgery. In China, operations have been done with acupuncture as the only form of anesthesia.
ACUPUNCTURE CAUSES THE RELEASE OF ENDORPHINS
Acupuncture strongly stimulates the secretion of endorphins, specifically enkephalins. Endorphins are our body’s natural pain killers and are many times stronger than morphine. This is why patients may often experience immediate pain reduction while on the treatment table. For many, acupuncture is a safe and healthy alternative to prescription pain medications.
ACUPUNCTURE RAISES THE LEVEL OF NEUROTRANSMITTERS
Acupuncture can affect certain neurotransmitter levels, such as serotonin and noradrenaline. This is why acupuncture is so successful with depression and mood disorders. It also explains the effective treatment of insomnia, addiction, sugar cravings, obesity and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) which are the result of low levels of serotonin. This theory explains the euphoric feeling or bliss that patients often report following acupuncture.
ACUPUNCTURE AUGMENTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Acupuncture has been shown to boost the immune system, as it raises blood levels of white blood cells, prostaglandins, gamma globulin and overall anti-body levels. With a robust immune system, the body is better equipped to protect itself from the common cold or flu and transition between seasons. Acupuncture can also provide support as an adjunct therapy during cancer treatment, as it augments the immune system.
ACUPUNCTURE INCREASES CIRCULATION
Acupuncture has been shown to increase circulation in the body, especially in areas of close proximity to points being needled. This is an important component in healing injuries and minimizing scar tissue. This theory stems from the understanding that acupuncture releases histamine and other vasodilators.
WHAT IS MOXIBUSTION?
Moxibustion is a traditional heat therapy, often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Moxa, the processed leaves of the herb Artemisia Vulgaris, or mugwort is burned at or above specific acupuncture points. Moxibustion is particularly effective in treating patients who are easily fatigued, easily chilled, or need a boost to their immune system. It is also commonly used to relieve pain due to menstrual cramps or trauma, and can even reposition breech babies.
FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE
WHAT IS FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE?
Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is a natural holistic technique using Acupuncture to reduce the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, improve the tone and texture of the skin, as well as enhance general well being. It has many advantages over other anti–aging treatments, including: no swelling, no recovery period, no risk of disfigurement, as well as being a non-surgical treatment. Very occasionally, slight bruising may occur, but disappears in a matter of days.
The technique is based on the ancient Chinese concept that the body's motivating energy, qi, diminishes with age, causing a reduction in nourishment and support to the skin. Qi hydrates and plumps the skin, improving the appearance of facial lines, and preventing new ones from forming. During treatment, tiny, hair-fine acupuncture needles are used to stimulate the flow of qi, and inserted into specific points on the face, targeting the treatment areas.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
An initial course of treatment is typically 12 sessions, depending on age and skin condition. Progress will be re-assessed following this course of treatment and follow-up treatments (usually once monthly) can be scheduled for maintenance. The treatment may vary considerably from person to person, as treatments are designed to support your individual constitution and wellbeing.
DOES IT REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
A 1996 report in the International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture reported that among 300 cases treated with Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, 90% had marked effects with just one course of treatment. The effects included:
- the skin becoming delicate and fair
- increase collagen production & muscle tone
- improvement of the elasticity of facial muscles
- softening of wrinkles
- a less ruddy complexion
- overall rejuvenation – not confined to the face
WHAT ARE THE CONTRAINDICATIONS?
Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture is contraindicated for individuals with the following conditions:
- heart disorders
- certain pituitary disorders
- diabetes mellitus
- high blood pressure
- bleeding or bruising disorders
- during migraine headaches
- cold or flu
- during an allergic attack
- acute herpes outbreak