How does acupuncture work?
According to Chinese medical theory, we all have Qi (pronounced "chee") flowing through our bodies. I like to think of Qi as being the stuff that makes the difference between being alive and being dead. If we are sick or injured, our Qi tends to clump up and causes symptoms. Acupuncture reminds our bodies of how to let Qi flow smoothly. From a biomedical perspective, we know that acupuncture has effects on our nervous, vascular, musculo-skeletal, hormonal and other systems of the body.
DOES acupuncture work?
Heck yeah, it does! Acupuncture has been used in China for over 3,000 years to treat a myriad of disorders, and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as suitable for treating over 200 common disorders.
Is acupuncture painful? Is it safe?
Acupuncture needles are VERY fine - about the thickness of a human hair. There should be little or no discomfort once the needles are in place. In fact, most of my patients take naps during treatment! Only single-use needles are used, which are then disposed of through a medical hazardous waste facility, just like any other medical practice.
Can Chinese medicine help my condition?
While most people know that acupuncture can be used to relieve pain, did you know that acupuncture as well as Chinese herbs can be effective in treating a variety of other conditions? Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can treat or ease the symptoms associated with digestive disorders, urogenital disorders, gynecological disorders, respiratory disorders, circulatory disorders, disorders of the bones, joints and muscles, disorders of the nervous system, immune disorders, sleep and stress disorders, emotional and psychological disorders and as supportive therapy for many other chronic and debilitating disorders. If you have any questions about your specific symptoms, just ask!
What should I expect on my first visit?
Download the new patient paperwork forms from the Clinic & Appointment page and bring them filled out to your appointment. This will ensure that we have more time available for your treatment. Bring shorts and a t-shirt or tank-top to change into (this will allow me to reach most areas needed for treatment, and you'll be able to avoid having to change into a hospital gown!). During this first visit I will interview you about your health from head to toe. In Chinese medicine, it is important for me to see you what sorts of symptoms you have, even if they seem unrelated to your complaint. Chinese medicine takes all of your symptoms and makes sense of them, so remember that no little symptom is too weird - that little symptom that you don't really think about could be the key piece of information that helps bring me to the right diagnosis! After our interview, you'll have needles inserted and you'll be able to rest with them in for about 30 minutes. After you've rested, I'll remove the needles and send you home having had a great, first-acupuncture-experience!
How many treatments will I need?
It depends on your particular condition and how your body responds to my acupuncture. In general, most people start seeing some sort of positive change in their health within about 4 treatments. How long it takes to fully get rid of your symptoms depends on your over all health, how long you've had the condition and how severe your symptoms are. New conditions will generally respond faster, while chronic conditions may take a while to respond. I send most of my patients home with "homework." These are things that you can do at home to help speed the process of healing. Do your homework! ;)
Becca Seitz, MAcOM, LAc - Acupuncture in SE Portland, Oregon
Serving Portland, Woodstock, and Lents neighborhoods.