While acupuncture’s history is not completely clear, it is widely believed to have come from China, 2500 to 5000 years ago. The theory of Yin, Yang and The Five Elements are attributed to Chinese Taoist philosophers. There is recent evidence, however, that acupuncture was in use in Europe over 5,000 years ago.
Acupuncture needles are very, very thin. The needles are usually inserted less than a quarter of an inch below the skin. I use only sterile, single-use needles that are then disposed of. You may feel a slight sting or ache for a moment when the needle is first inserted. This quickly changes and you may feel warmth or tingling as energy moves through your body.
There are no set rules for how many treatments a patient will need. Chronic longstanding problems generally require longer periods of treatment to resolve.
You can expect positive changes to occur within a few sessions. This can be a reduction of physical symptoms or an emotional shift.
Initially, I recommend coming weekly or every other week for the first one or two months. As you progress, the frequency of treatment diminishes. Many of my patients continue treatment on a monthly or quarterly basis to help maintain their health and well-being.
Wear loose fitting clothes. Eat before you come for treatment, but preferably not at the “All You Can Eat Buffet!” A light meal is optimal within the last several hours. Come on time to sessions and be prepared to disconnect from devices.
Acupuncture treatments generally last about 55 minutes in length. Much of the time you will be lying or sitting comfortably. David will want to know how you are doing with your chief complaint. He is also concerned with how your life is going, both your successes and your challenges.
David is interested in how you stand and move. Once on the table, he takes your pulses and check your body for asymmetries and discomforts with my eyes and hands. Sometimes, he will use a meter to check for imbalances between the left and right sides.
The acupuncture treatment begins first with the removal of energetic blocks (a particular kind of imbalance) and is followed by special support for your unique constitution.
Each session is an opportunity to discuss your progress. You can expect physical discomforts to diminish and physical functioning to improve. For some, we are looking for a change of heart, i.e., that you will feel lighter and more comfortable in your skin. You are encouraged to speak about your goals and any concerns that come up. We see it as a priority to continually reassess your healing process. It is our goal that your time and energy at Frome Physical Therapy is well spent.
When you stand, do both feet point in the same direction? When you look in the mirror are your shoulders and pelvis horizontal? Are your left and right sides equally strong, flexible and graceful?
Hardly anyone could answer yes to all these questions. Such asymmetries often go unnoticed, contributing to musculoskeletal problems as they become more deeply embedded in the body’s habitual function. Chronic stiffness in the hip may lead to wear and degenerative changes, like osteoarthritis or a lumbar disc herniation.
Often, physical asymmetry is a reflection of an energetic imbalance between the left and right sides of the body. Through careful measurement, David determines which meridian is blocked, and on which side, and correct the imbalance with moxa or acupuncture. Usually, by restoring a balanced flow of Qi to the left and right sides, the body’s structures are balanced in turn, allowing chronic problems diminish or disappear.
Sometimes scars from trauma or surgery can block the flow of Qi through a meridian, affecting a patient on any level of the body, mind or spirit. Shoulder surgery could lead to lower back problems; a “bikini cut” in the abdomen could later manifest as depression. In such cases, it is necessary to treat the scar to restore energetic balance to the system.
David’s knowledge of the structure of human body and experience with musculoskeletal and neurological problems guide his unique approach to Five Element Acupuncture.