What you can Expect from an Acupuncture Session with Henry
August 1, 2018
Our acupuncturist is trained in traditional Eastern medicine. This means that an “acupuncture” treatment is much more than acupuncture, and sometimes there’s no acupuncture at all! Techniques such as moxibustion (a traditional infrared heat therapy), cupping, therapeutic massage, herbal medicine, and lifestyle all play vital roles in the healing process. Sometimes, the tiny, single-use stainless steel needles are not the most helpful tool to help rebalance your body. That said, because of its amazing ability to quickly calm the nervous system and stimulate a huge range of natural healing mechanisms, acupuncture is truly exceptional technique for physical and emotional healing.
When it comes to a session with our resident acupuncturist and Eastern medicine practitioner, if you are an acupuncture veteran, you know what to expect. Come in, talk for a bit in a completely judgment-free zone, have your tongue and pulse examined, and then lay down on a comfy massage table and drift off for the most relaxing and rejuvenating break in your week.
If you have never had acupuncture, then this is exciting. And maybe a bit nerve-wracking. So imagine this: After a conversation with a health care professional who is actually taking the time to listen to what you have to say, you lay down on a massage table in a quiet room. It occurs to you that this firm, flat surface is surprisingly comfortable. You feel a little anxious, anticipating the first needle being inserted. What will it feeling like? Will something weird happen? Will it even work? What should I eat for dinner later? You are asked to breath in and out a few times. Suddenly, you feel your whole body release and sink into the supportive table. Your nervous system is switching to its rest and restore mode. This wave of decompression reaches your head and the thoughts slow down. Time disappears. Maybe you fall asleep. Maybe you simply float in the gentle sea.
To be fair, this is only one of many ways you may respond to acupuncture. Some people feel a quick pinch like a mosquito bite. Often people feel an intense heaviness or gentle tingling that slowly fades. Sometimes the treatment will give you a burst of energy as stuck tension is released (this is more often the case in the first treatment). At other times, the relaxation is deep that you eagerly head home for a quiet night and early sleep. Everyone responds a little differently, but the goal is always the same: to walk out of the room feeling better than when you came in.
Because this is a holistic medicine, every treatment plan is unique to that patient. Two people with insomnia, for example, need distinct treatments to address the unique ways that lack of sleep affects their bodies and minds. And one week’s treatment is often different from the next, because it meets you exactly where you are in that moment. Various other techniques in the repertoire of Eastern medicine may come into play depending on what your body and mind needs in that moment. This also means that there are many options for those who are afraid of needles.
You are in charge of your healing process, and your practitioner is your guide to a state of being that is balanced within yourself and in harmony with your environment.