What is TCM?
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) is the longest practiced professional medicine in the world. Originating more than 2,500 yrs ago TCM is an eastern holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment of any health imbalance in the body. In TCM, diagnosis is obtained through careful patient history (diet, lifestyle, past and present conditions, family history, etc) and classification of symptoms, which is then combined with analysis of the tongue and pulse characteristics. Once a TCM diagnosis is obtained, a practitioner trained in TCM and acupuncture can develop an individualized treatment protocol using acupuncture, dietary recommendations and/or supplementation. The goal of TCM and acupuncture is to establish an internal balance between the mind, body, spirit and the external environment.
What is Acupuncture?
Specific acupuncture points are carefully selected and stimulated in combination during a treatment session. Acupuncture points lie on energy channels (meridians) that are directly related to specific organs and physiological functions. Research has shown that acupuncture is an extremely effective approach to pain-management of various injuries and expedites the healing process. In addition, there has been extensive research documenting the effectiveness of acupuncture combined with various other treatments for infertility, as well as a number of other hormonal and physiological imbalances.
Acupuncture points are stimulated via insertion of fine needles using an essentially painless technique. By doing so, one can carefully manipulate the bio-energy (also known as “Qi”) to flow more freely and thereby restore harmony and balance in the body on an energetic and physiological level. On a more scientific level, the premise of acupuncture is in its ability to increase circulation to a specific area that is treated. Although true, this is far too primitive an explanation for the ancient healing power of one of the most dominant medical systems in the world.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Acupuncture?
There are many indications for acupuncture but the most effective applications include pain management and treatment (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint dysfunction, tendonitis, sprains/strains, fractures and sports-related injuries), hormone balance, fertility, sleep disorders, anxiety and depression, smoking cessation, stress management and management of withdrawl symptoms when weening off certain medications. We often integrate acupuncture with other treatment modalities (such as nutrition, counselling and/or detoxification) in order to treat the root cause and optimize treatment outcomes.
How Effective Are the Treatments?
Response to any treatment is variable depending on the nature of the condition and individual circumstances. After an initial assessment of your health is completed, your naturopathic physician can provide you an idea of what to expect in terms of treatment outcomes. In general, patients begin to notice improvement between 1-3 acupuncture visits.
How Many Treatments Are Required?
The number of treatments varies depending on the condition and the purpose of treatment. Treatment frequency is initiated at 2-3x/wk and usually reduced after 4-6 weeks.
How Do I Know if Acupuncture Is Right For Me?
Your Naturopathic Physician will determine if acupuncture is appropriate for you after an initial visit and through assessment of your health has been completed. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive and effective treatment plan for our patients. If acupuncture is a consideration for your care, your naturopathic physician will determine the frequency and duration of treatment. If there are other treatment options that may be more suitable to your condition and will provide better outcomes, we will inform you of your options and collaborate with you on making the best decisions for your treatment plan.
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