What To Expect During Your Initial Acupuncture Treatment At Middleway Medicine
At your initial appointment, we will conduct a detailed health history and evaluation to identify your health concerns and goals. During this first visit we allow extra time for us to become familiar with who you are, while also answering any questions you have and addressing your concerns. Our first interview typically is 45-75 minutes in length. We gather information from your new patient forms, our personal interview, the techniques of pulse & tongue diagnosis, and body palpation to help us formulate an individualized Chinese medical diagnosis.
After determining your diagnosis, we develop a clear treatment plan that may include the modalities of acupuncture, herbal medicine, shiatsu or tui na massage, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle recommendations.
During your treatment, sterile, ultra-fine needles(about the width of a human hair) are placed at specific acu-points on the body. Our clinic uses only the highest quality, single use disposable needles. It is typically not necessary to undress during a treatment, as most needles can be inserted with only an adjustment of loose fitting clothing. Typically, some needles are inserted into areas of the body that are directly experiencing pain or problems, while others will be inserted in other areas of the body related to the overall pathology. Each treatment is different, but the needles are generally retained for 20-40 minutes.
During treatment, you will feel a light tap when the needles are inserted . After the insertion, you may experience sensations of warmth, heaviness, tingling, or pressure at the site of the needle, or along the energy meridian. These sensations are normal, desirable and typically come and go during treatment; eventually dissipating into a feeling of deep relaxation. This deep relaxation is a sign that the body’s natural healing mechanisms have been activated. Most people leave acupuncture feeling a improved sense of well-being and calmness.
Follow Up Treatment
Follow up treatments are an hour in length, and include a brief check in on progress, acupuncture, and other appropriate modalities.
In general, we consider a course of acupuncture sessions to range from 4-8 visits. The best results are achieved when sessions are scheduled close together and the given recommendations are followed. Acute issues are best treated 2x per week for a period of 1-2months and more chronic issues can be treated once a week for 1-3 months. Our goal is to provide you with a clear treatment plan and to achieve our desired results within this timeline. At the end of a established treatment plan we reevaluate a patient’s situation and determine if we are achieving the desired results. If we are not meeting your health goals we will willingly refer you to other health care practitioners who may be able to better address the problem.
A majority of our patients continue to come in for regular follow up treatments. These “tune-ups” are typically recommended 1x per month or with the changing season. These treatments help to keep the body in optimal health and to treat the smaller things that come up, preventing them from becoming bigger issues. Periodic acupuncture is a very supportive therapy for prevention of disease and maintaining optimal health.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
During your first visit we may recommend the use of chinese herbs in addition to acupuncture. Herbs allow us to achieve better healing results, continuing the treatment beyond the clinic.
Chinese herbal medicine is a very ancient practice that has been developed over thousands of years. During this time, herbalists have carefully observed, documented, and educated others about their findings. This has allowed the ancient art to evolve and adapt with the changing times. Chinese herbalism continues to be a effective healing modality in today’s world.
Chinese herbal medicine is a completely natural, powerful, and effective form of medicine. It combines the use of various natural substances: roots, berries, flowers, seeds, bark, leaves, stems, minerals, bugs, etc. The special combination of these substances is based on the careful diagnosis your practitioner makes based on your condition. This diagnosis allows them to refer to one of the many thousands of herbal formulas that have been passed down through time.
After selecting the appropriate formula for you, a well trained herbalist will then modify or tailor the formula to fit your exact condition. Formulas generally contain between 6 to 18 herbs, and are carefully balanced in their various properties to bring safe and effective results.
Herbal medicine offers an effective alternative to prescription medication without the high costs or side effects. Today this medicine is used to treat many common diseases, such as digestive problems, IBS, anxiety, depression, headaches, insomnia, menstrual complaints, hot flashes, allergies, cancer, HIV, etc. In our practice we use herbs to address the root cause of disease and any accompanying symptoms. Herbs are used to promote the body’s own healing capacity, enhancing immune system function, replenishing depleted reserves and promoting your overall well-being. Herbal medicine continues to provide humanity with a healing tool that employs the amazing power of nature. All of our herbs come from trusted sources, and are third party tested to ensure the highest purity and quality available.
Herbs can be prepared and given in many forms. At Middleway we provide herbal medicine in granules, pills and tincture form.
GRANULE HERBS are powdered herbal concentrates. The herbs are cooked down and sprayed onto a starch (potato). The powdered herbs are mixed together into a formula that is created specifically for each individual patient. The patient mixes the powdered formula into hot water and drinks.
PILLS are pre-made formulas that come in the form of small, easy-to-take pills.
TINCTURES are a solution of soluble plant constituents in a solvent (alcohol or glycerin). They are in a small glass bottle and are taken orally via a dropper.
Other Treatment Options
In addition to acupuncture and herbs we also utilize the following techniques for the most effective treatment:
SHIATSU is a Japanese form of bodywork, rooted in ancient Chinese techniques dating as far back as 5000 years. Long before the use of needles existed in Asian medicine, people used their hands, thumbs and fingers to press points in an effort to treat pain, imbalance, and disease. Shiatsu integrates the depth of Chinese medical theory with a healing touch. Shiatsu manually stimulates the meridian system using thumb pressure to relieve blockages.
TUI NA massage works by creating movement and blood flow in places where blockages have formed. These blockages starve tissues of the nutrients they need to recover from everyday activities and traumas. Tui na combines elements of massage with stretching and range of motion techniques, which can encourage bones to normalize their positions without fast-motion chiropractic adjustments. When our bones and muscles are in the correct position the blood flow in our joints and tendons is restored.
NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING We offer guidance on eating optimally for your individual constitution, based on Eastern and Western nutritional knowledge.
LIFESTYLE COUNSELING Recommendations for exercise, stretches, meditation—whatever seems missing in the whole health picture.