Acupuncture is a medicine thousands of years old. It works by stimulating specific points under the skin with very fine needles. There are many ideas about why exactly acupuncture works, but the best way to understand it is that it stimulates the body to heal itself.
Is it Painful?
Acupuncture is usually not painful. Some patients are more sensitive than others and they may feel slight discomfort only on needle insertion. Acupuncture needles are very thin. It is common to feel some pressure, numbness, warmth or a "funny sensation." If you experience pain during acupuncture please let the practitioner know, usually that can be alleviated by a slight adjustment of the needle. Most people start to feel very relaxed and comfortable during the treatment, and describe acupuncture as a pleasant experience.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years. At Harbour Community Acupuncture, we only use single-use, disposable, FDA approved acupuncture needles. They come in a sterile package which is opened at the start of the treatment. After the treatment the needle is discarded. Susie Allgeyer, AP is Florida State licensed which includes required "clean needle technique" specialized acupuncture training. She has completed years of training, internship, and a number of board exams to achieve certification and license status. Her extensive training and years of practice can ensure that each needle is placed with care and consideration.
What will my first treatment be like?
At your first visit you will spend time with your practitioner talking about your health history and your current concern. Then you will recline or lay down to receive the acupuncture treatment. During treatment, most people begin to feel very relaxed. Most people experience a sense of calmness and immediate relief or decrease of symptoms. Some people are very nervous before their first treatment. That is OK! We will be happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions as we go along. People find that the process is much easier and more gentle than they had ever expected.
What should I do to prepare for a treatment?
Wear comfortable clothes. Make sure you have had something to eat and drink lately. Do not drink alcohol or take illicit drugs before the treatment. Besides that, come as you are! If you have to come in clothes that are not particularly comfortable we have gowns you can change into as well as sheets and blankets.
Are there possible side effects?
Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are infrequent, but do occur. These are no cause for alarm, and despite the cosmetic inconvenience, they actually provide a kind of bonus treatment. The re-absorption of the blood continues the stimulation of the acupuncture point even without the needle in place. Sometimes you may have a slight sensation of where the needle had been that will last from 20 minutes after the treatment to as much as a day or so after. This is not unusual, and as always, if anything causes you concern or if you have questions don't hesitate to contact us. Other possible yet uncommon side effects include dizziness, fatigue, feeling faint, or a temporary worsening of symptoms.
How long do the treatments take?
Plan to be in the office for up to 2 hours for an initial visit, and up to an hour and a half for a follow up visit. At each follow up visit you will have a short consultation to check your progress, followed by the needling, and then a period of quiet relaxation with the needles in place. Typically, the needles will be in place for 15 to 45 minutes. The length of the treatment depends on the individual conditions of the patient. The first treatment may take longer because of the additional time the practitioner spends on an intake of health history.
What can acupuncture treat?
Many conditions may be treated. General pain relief and control for arthritis, cervical spondylopathy, knee pain, hand and foot pain, sciatica, shoulder pain, tennis elbow, lower back and neck pain, tendonitis, etc. Other conditions such as circulatory problems with high or low blood pressure, cold hands and feet. Nervous system imbalances can also be treated such as; anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, depression, asthma, allergies and sinus problems. Digestive disorders like: Crohn’s Disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, and constipation. Other common ailments treated include headaches and migraines, treatments to help stop smoking and many more conditions. Because acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself, virtually any complaint can be treated.
How does acupuncture work?
In traditional Chinese Medicine, there exists an energy system throughout the body. In this system, invisible passageways for energy are called meridians. There are certain points on the body (more than 360) that connect with certain organs and bodily functions. Point Groups on the body that apply to a specific organ or function are found along the same meridian. In a healthy, normal functioning body, the energy in these meridians flow freely resulting in a balanced system. When the flow of energy is interrupted from causes such as stress or injury, this energy is reduced or blocked, throwing your energy flow off balance. Your energy being off balance will cause pain, dysfunction, or disease. By performing acupuncture, the energy flow is unblocked so that balance is restored.
From a western science perspective, acupuncture stimulates the body's nervous system to send out white blood cells, endorphins, adenosine, serotonin, and other hormones. These hormones send messages that trigger the body's natural healing response. We are able to use acupuncture points that seem completely unrelated to your problem area. It is theorized that there are many connections along the spinal cord where nerves for different parts of the body cross. Therefore, by treating what may seem like a completely unrelated area, we are able to elicit a response in the problem area.
How many treatments will I need?
Unfortunately there is no clear answer to this. Depending on the problem, the severity, and how long that problem has been going on the amount of treatments needed may vary greatly. Additionally, different people respond differently. Some people are much better after a single treatment, while others may not see great improvements until after 3 or more treatments. I will be happy to give you more detailed information about this per your particular case at an initial visit.
Will it conflict with my other medications?
Acupuncture will not conflict with any of your medications. Acupuncture is used to complement and supplement your physician’s treatments NOT TO REPLACE THEM. You should discuss this issue with your primary care physician and acupuncture physician.
Harbour Community Acupuncture LLC 1300 PineTree Dr Suite 9 Indian Harbour Beach, FL 32937