What should I expect?
The first session includes the initial consultation – we review your medical history, lifestyle, diet, concerns and any current symptoms. These symptoms and concerns are clues in helping me to devise and implement a treatment plan tailored just for you. This fist session lasts about two hours. Follow-up visits run an hour.
As a lifelong athlete myself, I see acupuncture as training for an event – in the beginning I train most intensively and consistently building up a base, then I can begin to spread things out a bit. It’s the same with acupuncture. In the beginning you are becoming more aware of your body, more aware of cause and effect; you’re generally sleeping better; your immune system is beginning to strengthen; some of your symptoms and pain generally begin to fade and you’re able to see your way more clearly to the next steps. For optimal results, I recommend coming in for treatment once a week for 5-6 weeks. From there we can usually begin to spread the sessions out a bit, depending on your response to the treatments and how you’re feeling.
What training have you had to be an acupuncturist?
I have a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture from Maryland University of Integrative Health in Laurel, MD. It was formerly called Tai Sophia Institute and was one of the first schools in the US to offer masters degrees for acupuncture. Our 3-year, full-time, year-round schooling also involves more than five hours of clinical practice.
What if I’m already feeling pretty good – can acupuncture still be of benefit?
Acupuncture helps maintain a strong immune system, improves sleep, reduces stress/anxiety and aids in getting you through the changing seasons. It is used not only to restore but also to promote and maintain good health.
Does it hurt? And what kind of needles do you use?
The needles are sterile, single-use and about the width of 2 human hairs. Initially at the time of insertion, there can be a sensation of pressure or tingling which usually subsides quickly. It is not contra-indicated with other medications and can provide a great deal of relief from the side effects of many medications including cancer treatments. Most people report feeling more at ease after treatment and usually begin sleeping better right away.
What are some of the conditions Acupuncture helps (a very incomplete list!):
- Menstrual Disorders and Infertility
- Side effects of chemo and radiation, nausea/vomting
- GERD/Reflux/Digestive Disorders/Irritable Bowel
- Speed recovery from surgery
- Chronic Fatigue
My physical therapist does dry-needling. What’s the difference?
Physical therapists undergo a great deal of training for physical therapy but very few hours for acupuncture or “needling” as they call it. Generally, they are placing their needles into an area of pain. With acupuncture we are working to find and treat the root cause of your symptoms and the points we treat are often not at the site of the pain. By treating the root cause, your symptoms generally dissipate.
Gua Sha: also called “coining” or “scraping” of the skin: creates anti-inflammatory and immune-protective effects. It can help decrease pain, fever, nausea and is effective in acute and chronic internal organ disorders.
Cupping: a technique whereby small glass or silicone cups used as suction devices are placed on the skin to break up congestion of blood and energy.
Auricular Acupuncture: the placing of small needles in the outer ear; often used to treat addictions, by the military on the battlefield and for post-traumatic stress.