|What types of illnesses can be helped by Classical Five Element Acupuncture?
This is the most commonly asked question. Because Western medicine primarily focuses on treating symptoms, it is common for people to assume acupuncture operates the same way. The ancient Chinese considered an illness an indication of an underlying energy imbalance. We are unique individuals, thus we will each have a different cause for any labeled disease.
What most people mean when they ask: “Can you cure migraines, depression, high blood pressure, back pain, sleep disorders, addictions” is “have you had success with conditions similar to mine?” Even though I am a classically trained acupuncturist who has successfully treated many people with these and other diseases and conditions, I cannot be certain how much you will benefit from acupuncture until I complete an examination and see how you respond to the first few treatments.
How does acupuncture work?
When very fine acupuncture needles are inserted into particular points that lie along the body's pathways of energy, imbalances are corrected and innate balance and harmony are re-established.
Classical Five-Element Acupuncture recognizes a vital force in the body that governs the balance and health of all the organs and systems of the body. This vital force, or ch'i energy, circulates from one organ to another along channels, or pathways, called meridians.
Each meridian is associated with one of the main organs/functions of the body: heart, small intestine, bladder, kidney, heart protector (pericardium), triple-heater, gall bladder, liver, lungs, colon, stomach, and spleen-pancreas. In order for us to be healthy in our body, at ease in our mind, and vibrant in our spirit, the ch'i energy must flow freely and in the correct strength and quality through each of the meridians and organs. If you are sick, this ch'i energy is out of balance. The pain or symptoms you experience are a distress signal, which notifies the acupuncturist of this imbalance, be it due to physical, mental or spiritual causes.
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What about the needles?
Do the needles hurt? Ah! This is the next most commonly asked question. The needles are about the thickness of one-to-two strands of hair and insertion often goes unnoticed. When the needle touches the acupuncture point there can be a sharp or a dull aching sensation. These sensations are momentary and much less unpleasant than a hypodermic injection.
As a classically trained practitioner, I use the fewest needles possible to get the most benefit for you in any given treatment.
Are the needles sterilized? Yes. I use the highest quality stainless steel disposable needles. They come in pre-sealed packets and are properly disposed of after each use.
What are the nuts and bolts of treatment?
The initial examination includes a thorough medical and personal history, a description of your complaints, a review of your body systems, and a physical examination, which includes a structural exam, and the “reading” of the 12 pulses. Only then can I develop an effective treatment plan, unique to you.
What is “reading” the pulses? A unique and elegant aspect of Classical Five-Element Acupuncture is the palpation of the 12 pulses upon the radial artery of the wrists. This reading gives an enormous amount of the information related to the quantity and quality of energy in each of the meridians and their associated organs and functions.
At each of your treatments, your pulses are “read” and needles and moxa (an herb) are used. Your response to treatment is carefully monitored. Lifestyle recommendations will be discussed when appropriate. Each time you come for treatment, we'll talk about any changes that you notice within yourself and you'll have time to tell me about how your body, mind, and spirit are responding to treatments.
Often the acupuncture points are heated with a special herb, artemesia vulgaris latiflora, (moxa). Moxa is rolled into tiny cones and placed on the skin over an acupuncture point, ignited, and removed when you feel its warmth. Like needles, moxa revitalizes, reinforces, invigorates, and restores balance and harmony to the vital ch'i energy.
How many treatments will I need? The number of treatments varies from person to person and depends on the severity of your situation, how long you've suffered from a specific condition, your lifestyle, and other factors including your own unique constitution. Typically treatments begin on a weekly basis for the first four-to-ten weeks. As you improve, visits are reduced to every two weeks, three weeks, once a month, and so on.
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Is Classical Five-Element Acupuncture preventative as well as curative?
Yes. Because your pulses reveal a problem before you experience symptoms, it is advisable for healthy patients to come in seasonally for checkups and maintenance. These recommended seasonal tunings are like a “get well-stay well” plan.
Can Classical Five-Element Acupuncture help with non-physical problems?
Yes, definitely. Physical disorders can cause an imbalance in your mental outlook. This may manifest as depression, anger, anxiety, and the like. Mental disturbances, stress and emotional conflict can cause a host of physical complaints. Treatments aim to restore the harmony of the body, the mind and the spirit, and as one of these three levels improves, so do the others.
What is meant by spirit?
Spirit is the divine sparkle within each and every one of us. It is the natural and spontaneous recognition we see in each other's eyes. It is the part of us that gives purpose and meaning to our lives and our innate ability and need to love and be loved.
Without spirit, we'd be nothing more than clever robots. Spirit fuels our lives and the clearer, stronger and more resilient it is, the better chance we have of resisting and/or coping with sickness and all the challenging situations that come our way. Classical Five-Element Acupuncture is not just about surviving, but about thriving!
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What about medication and other medical care?
Western medical care may certainly be used in conjunction with Classical Five-Element Acupuncture. I need to know what medications/doses you are taking as this is taken into account in the planning and assessment of your treatments.
As you progress, the need for certain drugs may decrease and it may become appropriate to reduce or even discontinue medications. Any reduction or discontinuation of medication needs to be done with the cooperation and approval of your prescribing physician. Many people have reduced or come entirely off their medications for such conditions as high blood pressure, pain, sleep problems, depression, digestive and menstrual disorders, as well as many others.
Classical Five-Element Acupuncture can be received in conjunction with other healing modalities such as massage, physical therapy, osteopathy, and chiropractic. If you are currently undergoing any of these forms of therapy, please let me know as this information is also taken into account when planning and assessing your acupuncture treatments.
Can Classical Five-Element Acupuncture be used during pregnancy?
Yes, when it is administered by a qualified and seasoned practitioner because when treating a pregnant woman, the unborn child is also being influenced and treated. An experienced practitioner can use CFEA to promote a healthy pregnancy, free from morning sickness, weight problems, depression, and so on. In the final month of pregnancy, treatment often facilitates a natural delivery.
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Is Classical Five-Element Acupuncture effective with children?
Absolutely! There is no age limit. I also offer needleless acupuncture called Plant-Spirit Medicine, which is very effective in balancing the pulses.
What are your office policies?
Insurance reimbursement: While many insurance plans recognize acupuncture as a covered benefit, Courage Mountain Classical Five-Element Acupuncture does not bill insurance directly for treatments. However, I will be happy to provide a superbill that you can use for reimbursement from your insurance company.
Cancellation policy: Except in cases of emergency, a 24-hour notice is required to cancel your appointment or you will be charged the full fee.
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