Acupuncture is probably the aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine most familiar to people. It is based on the theory of meridians, a system of channels by which qi "chee" circulates, connecting internal organs with external organs or tissues. By stimulating certain points of the body through needling, the flow of energy and blood can be regulated.
Each of these 300 acupoints, residing along a dozen meridians distributed over both sides of the body, has its own therapeutic action. Acupuncture needles—small and very fine—can stimulate or retard the flow of energy in order to balance it.
What can I expect?
Does It Hurt?
If you consider yourself to be needle-phobic, what you’re really asking is “Does it hurt?”
The answer is “no,” but let’s back up a bit.
Reflecting the holistic philosophy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the first thing I would do is complete a thorough medical history, and spend a half hour or so exploring with you the information on your forms, in order to get a very clear understanding of your present state of being and how you got that way.
Next I’ll observe your tongue and pulses on both wrists, diagnostic tools unique to Traditional Chinese Medicine that give me a picture of your state beyond just verbal information. You may wonder how the information you provided on your sleep patterns and bowel habits relate to your arthritic knee, but bear with me. All that extensive information gathered during your consultation helps me identify the underlying pattern of disharmony in your body: seemingly unrelated symptoms and conditions, in Pivotal Point Oriental Medicine’s holistic philosophy, point to an underlying “root” condition—the target of your acupuncture treatments.
Armed with the information gathered in the consultation, I’ll devise a treatment protocol using acupuncture alone or combined with other TCM treatment modalities.
What about the Needles?
Acupuncture needles are nothing like those hypodermic needles your remember from vaccinations or having blood drawn: up to 5 acupuncture needles can fit into the hold of a hypodermic needle. They are slightly less than the width of an eyebrow hair, pre-packed, sterile, sing-use, and disposable. Once the needles are in place, you may feel mild sensations at and around the needles, but patients report that this is not painful but extremely relaxing. Some even fall asleep during treatments! This is because acupuncture treatments stimulate the release of massive amounts of endorphins—you brain’s very own “feel good” chemicals.
The First Treament
After the intake we will do the first treatment. The treatment room is just like a massage therapists room, private, warm and cozy. I also use a massage table that is heated if you’d like with sheets and a blanket for those who like to be under covers. Your comfort is an important factor, as our bodies do most of their healing while we sleep and I feel that your relaxation enhances the acupuncture.
Most acupuncture points I use are located below the elbows and knees. Sometimes these are combined with points along the back or on the abdomen.
The needles are tiny, smooth and very pointy. Some people don’t feel the needles at all, but it’s better if you feel some itching, minor aching that comes and goes, or a feeling of energy moving along the channels. If they sting or burn let me know and I’ll move them, that can happen if the needle is irritating a pore or vessel. Usually they don’t hurt because they are so tiny and pointy that they slide next to these structures.
Typically the needles are left in place for 30 minutes. With very weakened people I’ll take them out after 20 and with strong people with excess conditions I’ll leave them in for 40 minutes. Half way through I re-stimulate the needles. By that point people are usually asleep or in la la land.
How often do I need Acupuncture?
At the start of acupuncture treatments, I like to see someone twice a week for two or three weeks. These closely spaced treatments allow us to see how you respond to the acupuncture and provide a good idea of how many treatments will be needed. It’s the best way to see what is going on with a condition and in many situations is enough to resolve the issue. What we are looking for is how much improvement a session results in and how long does that improvement last? Generally new issues are quicker to resolve. With chronic or complicated conditions more treatments are usually necessary. In these cases we can space the acupuncture out to every week or less depending on the situation. The key is that each treatment builds upon the last and we want to make sure that they are spaced close enough together that the benefits accumulate.
After getting to know your situation I may offer an individualized powdered Chineses herbal formula. These are particularly useful as an adjunct to acupuncture when we need to increase the bodies qi, blood, yin or yang. Supplementing these through herbs can be faster than by increasing the bodies ability to create them with acupuncture alone.
How Acupuncture Helped this Mom and Grandma
Have you ever wondered “Is this normal?” -or- “Is there something wrong with me?” If so the first place most of us think to go for answers is our medical doctors. This is my personal testament to the benefits of alternative medicine and proof that it works.
I am married. I have 2 grown boys and 4 beautiful grandchildren. My husband and I have a very busy and growing plumbing business. “What’s he problem?” you ask. Well, along with the many blessings and benefits of owning your own business also comes more stress, troubles, difficulties, financial stresses, endless hours on the job, 7 day work weeks and on and on. I knew I was stressed but I didn’t realize how badly I was stressed until my long, beautiful, thick, full head of hair started coming out in clumps. This started in March of 2017 and by July of that year, my scalp was visible and I had bald spots all over my head. It was devastating. I finally decided to reach out for help so… I contacted my medical doctor. I was put through an array of testing which concluded nothing but a mountain of medical bills. I told my chiropractor who suggested I see and acupuncturist. Now, I HATE needles and hesitated, trying to come up with a reason why it just wouldn’t work for me. Unable to, I reached out to Jenny Gamer at Pivotal Point. Jenny listened to me. She checked signs and symptoms that nobody else had. She made her diagnosis and we started treatments. She described what she was treating and why. She explained the different points and meridians that she would be working. Along with acupuncture she also suggested that I take Chinese Herbs in different combinations to help my body regain all it had lost while the acupuncture started opening all the road blocks my body had created trying to survive the drains I was putting on it. Along with Jenny, my hair dresser suggested I use hair products specifically created to help people keep the hair they have while the growth of healthy cells were produced to promote regrowth.
God Bless them both! Now, all I had to do was go see Jenny and use the product. Wrong!! It took a lot of self-discipline and patience but I am thrilled to be back! I followed Jenny’s direction to a tee. I learned to listen to my body. I learned about me!
Today, my hair is back, nope… I am back! I actually get compliments on my hair again! It bounces and shines and is curly. I feel good. I don’t feel “choked” anymore. I don’t feel heart palpitations so strong I could burst. I like me! My husband likes me! NO longer is everything an “obligation”. I now have the energy to enjoy life and what it has to offer.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Acupuncture is effective and has real results. Tap into Jen’s knowledge of the practice. She is a great person and her work is amazing! I am living proof…Acupuncture Works!