The first session requires a greater allocation of time (usually 60 - 90mins) as it is important to conduct a full health assessment in order to determine the appropriate course of action. Treatments are tailored to meet the specific needs of the patients and so it is vital that all necessary information is acquired and considered. Thus in order to prepare for your first visit, and to expedite the documentation process, please fill out a new patient form (male, female) and bring it to your initial appointment.
For those who have never had acupuncture before and are anxious about what it will feel like, please be assured that the practitioner will work within the bounds of what you are comfortable with and modify the treatment accordingly. Only the best quality needles are used; they are very fine, single use, sterilised and virtually painless. However everyone has different sensitivity levels, and so it cannot be guaranteed that you won't feel anything. Typical sensations one might feel during a treatment is tingling, warmth, pressure or a dull ache underneath the needle. On occasion, some points can be more sensitive than others, but generally, most people find the treatments to be calming and leave feeling very relaxed.
Some treatments, like that used to induce labour, require a stronger stimulation of the needles, however as mentioned above, the practitioner will only work within the patient's comfort levels.
The scope of Chinese medicine involves more than just using needles. We have at our disposal additional techniques that act as a great compliment to improve blood circulation, stimulate hormones, moderate the immune system, reduce inflammation, soften tissues and reduce pain. These techniques include electro-acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping.
A simple machine is attached to the inserted needles in order to introduce a gentle electric current. The current acts to stimulate the needle and, as such, can facilitate a stronger effect than the needle alone.
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy where the herb Artemisia (mugwort) is used to heat the surface of the skin so as to stimulate, warm and move certain aspects of the body. The antioxidant power of the herb is the reason it has such strong therapeutic properties.
Entails the use of glass cups that have had all of the air removed from the inside with the intent to create a suction on the skin surface. This is a strong technique to promote blood circulation and soften the tissues. It is not unusual for the cups to leave red or purple bruises at the site. These marks are completely normal and are part of the healing process and usually disappear within a few days.
Today, Chinese herbs are used in much the same fashion as in the past, utilizing a wide array of substances from minerals, plants and animals (please note: nothing derived from endangered plant or animal species or animal abuse is used in this clinic) to treat a variety of conditions. Unlike many other forms of medicine, Chinese herbal medicine is very dynamic in the way it is practiced. Great effort goes into determining the herbal formulas; to make sure the compositions target all aspects of your condition. Sometimes, this goes as far as recommending up to 5 different formulas to be taken at different times of your menstrual cycle. When the herbs are utilized in this fashion there is a greater ability to work with the natural processes of the body in effecting change. During this process your condition is monitored regularly to assess your progress and adjustments are made to the formulas as needed. When aspects of your condition change, so does your formula, thus keeping in tune with your needs every step of the way.
For other patients that level of herbal medicine may not be required with perhaps only one herbal formula recommended. For those going through IVF or assisted reproduction, no herbs would generally be recommended.
Patients are often drawn to trying Chinese herbal medicine as a natural and holistic way of treating their conditions without the adverse reactions that some might experience with Western pharmaceuticals. Typically, there are very few side effects with Chinese herbs because the formulas are specific to each individual, but occasionally one may experience digestive discomfort such as bloating or loose stools. In the case of regulating reproductive hormones, a few emotional 'ups and downs' may be experienced. Any side effects that do occur can be addressed by changing the formula appropriately.
The herbs come as granulated powders that can be mixed in hot water and taken as a tea or swallowed in small amounts and washed down with juice. At this point, we should warn you that they do not taste particularly pleasant, however the sheer effectiveness of them makes them worth the effort. What is important is that patients are consistent in taking the herbs twice daily in order to achieve maximum efficacy.
Simply put, food is medicine. Within Chinese medicine, nutrition is integral to preserving, promoting and re-establishing health. Unlike Western nutrition, which focuses on the biochemical properties of food (such as vitamin and mineral content), Chinese nutrition emphasizes the energetic aspects of food. When applied to health, the energetic properties of different foods can be used to harmonize or balance an individual suffering from a particular disharmony. Once one understands how to integrate the appropriate foods into his or her daily life, health can be supported and managed.
When you are trying for a baby, it makes sense to do everything you can to prepare your body for the journey ahead. We recommend that you and your partner review your lifestyle, to make sure it is as healthy as can be, making positive changes where needed.