Acupuncture with Dr. Amanda Grischow
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment that involves puncturing specific points on the body with small, single-use, sterile needles. Numerous studies and clinical trials have shown that acupuncture is effective for a wide variety of health conditions. An acupuncture treatment typically takes 20-30 minutes with additional time required prior to treatment to discuss your concerns. Other TCM therapies may be used in conjunction with acupuncture including guasha (skin scraping) and fire cupping (suction on the skin). These additional therapies increase flow to the area being treated are especially beneficial for muscle tension and pain. Acupuncture can also be a nice add-on when you are receiving IV therapy or other in-office procedures.
How many treatments do I need?
Your goals and health conditions will determine how many treatments you need. More complex and chronic conditions often require more treatments, but some progress is typically seen within the first few sessions.
How is community acupuncture different from a private visit?
Typically, when receiving acupuncture, you will discuss your concerns and receive treatment in a private room. This type of appointment allows for a longer intake to discuss your concerns in depth. Private appointments also allow for more privacy which may be necessary for treatments that require more exposure to some areas of the body.
In a community acupuncture setting, your intake will be more concise, and treatment will take place in a shared treatment room. This allows us to offer acupuncture to more patients at one time at a lower price point, making the treatment more accessible. Patients who opt to receive acupuncture in a community setting rather than a private appointment still receive the same level of care for their treatment and the same sterility standards are upheld.
Who should not receive acupuncture treatment?
There are very few contraindications to acupuncture, but treatments do need to be adjusted if you have certain health conditions. If you have a fear of needles or have a medical condition that affects the way your blood clots, acupuncture may not be right for you.
What to expect during your first acupuncture treatment
What does an acupuncture treatment entail?
During your acupuncture treatment you will have a brief conversation with your practitioner to discuss your most important concerns. Sometimes multiple concerns can be addressed in one treatment session, but other times the treatment is more powerful if we focus on your main concern. Your practitioner will create an individualized treatment protocol for you which could include insertion of single-use sterile needles into the skin, use of electrical stimulation, suction cupping on the skin, and/or guasha (skin scraping). On average, approximately 20 needles are inserted, but this will change depending on how comfortable you are with needles and the nature of your concerns. The needles will stay in place for 20-30 minutes and then will be removed and safely discarded. Your practitioner will then ensure you are feeling well after the treatment before you go home.
Will it hurt?
Most people find that the pain of needle insertion is very minimal and goes away quickly. Your practitioner will ask if you are experiencing any pain at the site of the needle, and if the pain remains that needle will be removed. An individual’s pain tolerance can change based on many factors, some of which can include stress and normal hormone fluctuations. This means that you may have more or less discomfort with needle insertion from one week to the next. Your comfort is of utmost importance to us so if you feel pain during your treatment, let your practitioner know right away so that they can make the necessary adjustments.
What should I wear?
You should wear clothes that you are comfortable in and that can be moved easily to accommodate needle insertion. Clothing should be loose fitting and allow pants and long sleeves to be pulled up to the elbow or knee. If you have a specific area of pain that you would like addressed, it is best if you wear clothes that allow access to that area of the body. For example, if you are experiencing shoulder pain it’s best that you wear a shirt that allows for exposure of the shoulder. Although it’s best to have access to areas of the body that are being treated, if you cannot expose that area there are usually alternative treatment protocols that can used.
How will I feel after the treatment?
Some people feel a shift in their energy or mood after treatment leaving them feeling very relaxed or energized. You may experience pain relief immediately following a treatment. Although it is possible to notice these changes immediately following a treatment, it is also common to not notice any changes until hours or days later. Often several treatments are required before you notice a change in the way you feel.