How shall I prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

  • It is not recommended that you receive treatment if you are very hungry and/or extremely tired. Therefore, patients should have a small meal or snack before the appointment.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows us to access your arms and legs, as we mostly use points on the ears and below the elbows and knees. There is no need to undress for treatments.
  • Let us know if you are pregnant or have a pacemaker so appropriate acupuncture points can be selected.
  • Bring a list of any medications you are taking.
  • Refrain from wearing any perfumes or scented oils within the clinic. Many patients, including pregnant women and those undergoing radiation and chemotherapy are very sensitive to fragrances.
  • Keep in mind that there will be others in the room with you receiving treatments. Turn your cellphones off when entering the clinic and please be respectful of those around you who have come to relax and renew as you have.

What should I expect during my first community acupuncture session?

During your first visit, you will have a private consultation. Your current health concerns as well as your pertinent health history are addressed. This gives you the opportunity to express any concerns or questions you may have. Then we proceed to the treatment area where you take a seat in the reclining chair of your choice. There is a thorough traditional diagnosis, which consists of looking at the tongue, and taking your pulse to get to the root of your current imbalance. Edward carefully observes and palpates the muscles and meridians to determine the patterns of imbalance. Where are the muscles tight or weak? Which meridians are blocked, leading to tightness, weakness and chronic complaints? After a complete examination, he inserts needles to relieve the tight areas and allow energy to flow to the weak areas. This encourages the body to return to proper alignment, and rejuvenation. A typical treatment can last from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the condition being treated.

It is important however to remember that acupuncture is a process, and one which usually takes multiple treatments to help most conditions. A treatment plan is discussed with you during the initial intake. On subsequent visits, we do a quick check-in to see how you’ve been feeling since the previous treatment, and if anything new has come up which needs to be addressed.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

After needles are in place, most people fall asleep or nod in and out for the rest of the treatment, so overall it is very much a relaxing experience. If a point is uncomfortable during insertion, it is more like a pinch or a mosquito bite, then it quickly passes. Sometimes, while the needles are in, the points will feel warm, tingly, numb or heavy.

Acupuncture needles are approximately the thickness of two average strands of human hair. We use high quality Korean and Japanese manufactured needles, which are sterile, single use and disposable.

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by stimulating your body’s natural healing abilities. According to acupuncture theory, vital energy flows throughout the body, along pathways called meridians. This energy is the source of our physical, mental and emotional function. When this energy is not flowing abundantly and smoothly, pain and other symptoms develop. Acupuncture improves the flow of energy by placing needles in points along the meridians, where the energy is most easily manipulated, which leads to the elimination of symptoms.

How are the acupuncture points chosen?

Each point has a specific function and indication. There are several hundred points all over the body. As well, there are several different styles of acupuncture and no one style uses all of the points. Based on your health history and present symptoms combined with your Chinese Medicine Diagnosis, the appropriate acupuncture points are chosen. At Powell River Healthworks, we have noticed that we get the best results from using points at a distance from the area where pain is experienced.

How fast can I expect results?

Acupuncture is a therapy that works best with regular treatments. More than one treatment is needed to resolve the majority of problems. The number of treatments needed varies from person to person. Important factors include the duration and severity of your health condition as well as consistency of treatment. Two to three treatments may be sufficient to treat an acute condition and a series of 8-15 may be needed to resolve a longstanding chronic condition.

If you’ve had your health issues for many years, it will take longer to get relief. You will feel a strong sense of general wellness starting from the very first treatment, and will notice over the course of several treatments that many areas of your health are improving.

What will I feel after the treatment?

This will vary for each patient. Most people feel very relaxed and sometimes euphoric. Sometimes after treatment, a feeling of light headedness may occur. If this happens, please sit in the waiting room for a few minutes, and the feeling will soon pass. Drinking a glass of water may also help. It is advised to refrain from vigorous activities for 2 hours after your treatment.

Why am I suffering from chronic pain?

Powell River Healthworks focuses on helping people with chronic pain, which has lately become almost epidemic. There are several possible reasons for such a large prevalence of pain. One of the most important is a lack of adequate exercise, combined with too much sitting and poor postural habits. Other major factors contributing to pain, as well as other chronic health complaints, are stress and poor diet.

Our bodies react to stress today just as our ancestors’ did in the face of danger, by pumping us full of chemicals that make it easier to react quickly with a burst of strength and energy. Unfortunately modern stressors turn on this “fight or flight” response frequently. When the chemicals released in our bodies are not used in a highly physical way, many systems begin to malfunction. The extra stress chemicals can lead to inflammation, insomnia, headaches, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure and other related problems.

If you have more questions about acupuncture you can download the free e-book Why Did You Put That Needle There?