Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor's office. They won't. Acupuncture uses hair-thin, flexible needles that you will hardly feel when I insert them. When I gently stimulate the needles they may produce a unique sensation that Oriental medicine calls de qi. Patients often describe de qi as a heavy, achy pressure, or spreading, traveling feeling. You may also feel an "electrical" sensation moving down the meridian pathways, though this is less common. Most patients find these acupuncture sensations deeply satisfying and leave the treatment feeling relaxed both mentally and physically.
The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more then one treatment is necessary. For acute conditions you can expect to have 10 to 15 treatments, but you will usually begin to feel relief after just the first few. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Preventative treatments and treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.
When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment I will ask you to complete a comprehensive intake form. The acupuncture intake form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes everything into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.
After reviewing your intake form, we will discuss your condition, and I will examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basic diagnostic methods of Oriental medicine. The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition, but you can expect approximately 20 needles. Once the needles are inserted, I will leave you to lie comfortably for 15-20 minutes with the needles in place. Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.
I try to run a paperless acupuncture practice. Your personal information and medical history are securely stored in the cloud. When you book your first appointment, you will receive an email with instructions and links to securely fill out your information. If you are not comfortable doing it ahead of time, we can do it together at your first visit, but please allow extra time. Also, please wear comfortable clothes with easy access below the elbows and knees, and please eat before your treatment.
My goal is to help you achieve optimum health and wellness. Through working with my patients I have seen the impressive results that acupuncture and Chinese medicine can have. I am grateful to be able to share the benefit of my extensive education with you. My background includes training not only in acupuncture, but in a wide array of Chinese medicine modalities. I am licensed by the state and recognized by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). My journey into healthcare began in my teens when I gave up eating meat. I was always concerned about how the environment and what we eat can affect our bodies and minds. And after watching a family member struggle to find help in the western medical world, I knew there had to be a different way to find relief and move towards real healing. My love for the arts and humanities had me studying art history as an undergraduate, and I dabbled in jewelry design and interior design. But I eventually realized that my true calling was to turn my 'unconventional' interests and lifestyle into a tool to help other people. And really, that's what this life is all about. I am a graduate of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, Chicago. A rigorous program of over 3000 hours, with over 500 clinic hours. I am a certified NCCAOM Herbalist, and really believe in the power of plants. I also believe in the power of people and volunteer at Project Vida, offering acupuncture to an underserviced community in need. Your unique health care situation is of the utmost importance to me. I am happy to answer any questions you may have regarding how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can benefit you. Together we can work toward achieving your health and wellness goals. I consider it an honor to walk alongside my patients' on their journey and I hope that my small contribution can make a positive change.