How does Acupuncture work?
There is no definitive or absolute answer. There are many lenses in which you can look through to view this medicine. From a “Western” lens, it can work by creating micro-injury to the body encouraging many systems (such as the immune) to engage. It can reduce inflammation, promote blood flow and circulation, produce endorphins, impact certain neurotransmitters and more. From an “Eastern” lens, meridians (channels) are highways that run throughout the body and allow Qi (our vital life force) to travel without disruption. If there is a blockage, excess or deficiency within one or more meridians, there will be dis-ease. There are many other participating vehicles within the individual (Yin, Yang, Blood, Body Fluid, Essence) that need access to, or effect the highways as well. Acupuncture is a complex and sophisticated medicine that includes mind, body and spirit and because of that, it proves challenging to define exactly how it works.
How often will I have to come?
Because the medicine is complex (and so are humans!) this will also vary. The complexity of the issue, coupled with the intensity, how long it has been withstanding and whether or not it is of degenerative or progressive nature all factor into the amounts/frequency of treatment needed. Like many other things holistic or subtle in nature, it requires more frequency and commitment in the beginning in order to see noticeable and longer lasting results.
Often, people will come once or twice per week for the first month and taper off frequency as results are achieved. Many people will continue to support themselves by coming once every four to six weeks for a “tune-up”.
While this medicine can produce drastic and significant results in relatively short time frames for many complaints, it is variable in the results and often require at minimum three to five sessions before traction occurs and long-standing results happen.
What does Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture treat?
Everything minus acute, major emergencies. Please call your Acupuncturist AFTER you are stabilized from these events.
Can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine treat infants and pets?
Yes! This practice does provide Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for all ages (as young as a few months old). However, you will need to contact a Veterinarian who specializes in this medicine to treat animals.
What are the differences between Acupuncture and Dry Needling?
Chinese Medicine utilizes many different tools ranging from but not limited to: Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Moxibustion, Gua Sha, Cupping, E-stim, Dietary advice, Lifestyle advice and more. The medicine itself is highly complex, interweaving many concepts and theories as well as therapeutic tools. Acupuncturists and individuals who practice dry needling (often Physical Therapists and Chiropractors), share a tool – which is a single-use, filiform needle. Dry needling is often inserted near a trigger point of a muscle and manipulated in order to fatigue the muscle and release pain. Acupuncturists also needle in local/tender areas and call these points “ashi”.
Dry needling should only be applied for musculo-skeletal issues and generally requires significantly less training with needles. A typical Acupuncturist accrues 2500-3000 hours of training before becoming licensed. While both methodologies can be effective, make sure you find a trustworthy source if you decide to try dry needling.
When will I start to see results?
All humans are similar yet incredibly unique. Some will see noticeable shifts after one session while others may require three to four and even some requiring more than twenty. There are many factors that make up where an individual exists at any given time (mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually) and there is no singular lens to truly know. If you have a diagnosis, lab or imaging results, or other diagnostic pieces of information – it is always helpful to bring them into your initial session.
Do you take insurance?
At Wild Elements, we do not work with any insurance providers or the VA. However, we do accept HSA/FSA cards and are happy and willing to provide superbills upon request. You can then submit the superbills to your insurance for possible reimbursement. Superbills include practitioner/business information along with coding for what was treated within your Acupuncture sessions.
Where do you put the needles and how many?
This varies each session, with each patient. There may be needles inserted into a local area of pain or discomfort, in the ear or scalp, or in points that are seemingly unrelated to ailments or complaints. Acupuncture points that run along meridians (channels) have pertinent indications for overall disharmonies as well as benefits for local area response. The amount of needles used in any given treatment at Wild Elements will likely range between five and twenty points. More does not mean better in Chinese Medicine. There are many styles and ways to practice this medicine and it is important to pick an Acupuncturist that you trust, so that you may rest easy knowing your best interest and chief concerns are always in the essence of your treatments.
Can you treat more than one issue at a time?
Absolutely. This is one of the MANY beautiful and intriguing components of this medicine. Your results may vary on different issues but is important to remember that healing is not linear and ebbs and flows throughout one’s life.
Is there anything I can do to promote better results after a session?
In general, if you can reduce stressors, drink plenty of water and relax, this will encourage support around your session.
Additional food for thought regarding your commitment to treatments include but is not limited to answering these questions for yourself: Do you eat a mostly healthy diet? Do you get regular exercise/movement? Do you get enough/quality sleep? Do you regulate your emotions overall? Do you feel that you have mostly healthy relationships and if not, take action to shift boundaries or needs? Do you have passion for your work or in other areas of your life? Do you have community in some capacity? This medicine works its best magic when you are committed to a healthier state of existence in your day-to-day life.
If there is a question you have that has gone unanswered, please do not hesitate to call or email so that we can answer for you!