So, what is an acupuncture treatment like? I have a diverse group of patients, and there is no protocol that will work for everyone. The person who comes in at 10am might have a much different treatment from the next person who comes at 11am!
I’ll give you two examples of imaginary people and their acupuncture treatments. You’ll see I do more than just stick in needles. For more information on acupuncture and these other techniques, see the Services page:
1) The health conscious, active person with an injury
In Denver, there are many people who already taking great care of their health. They eat their veggies, go to yoga, get outdoors on the weekends, and get enough sleep at night. Since no one is immune to injuries, they might come to see me for, say, hip, knee, or shoulder pain from repetitive use.
Treatment for this type might include:
acupuncture, possibly with e-stim, to release trigger points, tight muscles, reduce swelling, and benefit circulation
probably heat therapy in the form of a TDP lamp or moxa
cupping or gua sha to bring fresh, nutrient rich blood to the muscle tissues, and to clear our old dead blood and waste
herbal liniments or patches to improve blood circulation and reduce pain and swelling
herb capsules, especially if there is swelling, bruising, or some types of chronic pain
stretches or other lifestyle recommendations
Typically, this athletic person is strong enough to receive a large treatment like this, and we make good progress.
2) The delicate constitution with chronic stress related symptoms
I also see many people who tried many diets and other treatments for a chronic condition, but they haven’t found full relief. There is an element of chronic, unrelenting stress. They have symptoms like headaches, painful or irregular periods, anxiety, depression, and digestive upset. Sometimes they are very sensitive to the needles, and can feel shifts happening in their bodies during the treatment. Treatments for sensitive people are much different than the one described above!
Treatments for a delicate, sensitive person might include:
acupuncture, with smaller needles, to sooth the nervous system, balance the functioning of organs and endocrine glands, and promote circulation
gentle massage, especially the neck and shoulders where tension is found
heat therapies, like a heat lamp on the belly (very relaxing) and moxa on the acupuncture points
Reiki and other energy medicine techniques to ground down and clear out built up energies that are not useful
eastern nutritional counseling
essential oils and aromatherapy
herbal capsules to encourage better functioning of the organs and endocrine glands.
With regular treatments, this sensitive person feels more grounded, better able to handle stress, and feels more empowered. The symptoms of chronic stress begin to fade away.
Of course, not everyone with headaches is delicate and sensitive, and not every athletic person is “tough.” The point is that your treatment will be designed for YOU.