It sounds almost paradoxical but yes! Acupuncture treatments are actually really calming and relaxing. After your consultation (questions, running through of any medical conditions, surgeries or medical histories, tongue and pulse diagnosis), you will be asked to lie face up or face down on a treatment bed in a private room. Treatments are then administered on the relevant meridians that are found on the arms, legs, back, abdomen, head, scalp and sometimes the ears. Standard acupuncture sessions are usually an hour long and if it is needed, can sometimes involve cupping. However, because I work in different clinics across Toronto, treatment times for initial visits and follow-up visits will vary. Please see the links to each clinic I work in for more information on treatments and treatment times.
Check them out here
Moxibustion involves the burning of Moxa or Ai Ye (common mugwort) on the needles used during an acupuncture treatment. Moxa is made from dried and prepared mugwort leaves which are shaped into a cone, placed on a metal holder and then burned, before being placed over the handle of the acupuncture needle for its analgesic and therapeutic benefits. It comes in many forms. Traditionally it was always used in dried and prepared leaf form. Nowadays however, you may find it rolled into a cigar-like shape and also compressed into thin charcoal sticks. The choice of Moxa used in a treatment depends mainly on the type of treatment you are doing on a patient and the amount of heat required.
However, because of modern building codes and regulations requiring smoke detectors in acupuncture and healthcare clinics (no one really enjoys summoning the fire department!), I use the smokeless charcoal stick form of moxa because, unlike the prepared leaf or the cigar form of moxa, this charcoal version of moxa produces little to almost no smoke! The benefits are just as good and treatments just as effective with smokeless moxa as it is with loose leaf moxa or cigar moxa.
Example of smokeless moxa.
This is the brand that I use (Huasan Smokeless Moxa Rolls).
Moxibustion treatments are warming and relaxing when used during an acupuncture session and is used often to enhance the pain-relieving effects of acupuncture (such as in common joint or bodily injuries), warm the meridians when used in acupuncture treatments to fortify and strengthen the body (enhance immune system function, strengthen the body after chronic and long-term illness) as well as to increase the effectiveness of the body's various functional activities (boost digestion, increase lung capacity and improve one's mental function and alleviate general fatigue). It is often employed during an acupuncture session if the patient presents with severe pain or has had a chronic condition for many years.
Electro-acupuncture is yet another wonderful tool in the vast arsenal of acupuncture therapeutic devices that can be used to help treat a variety of conditions. It involves the usage of a very light micro current that is passed through the acupuncture needles during treatment. Tiny alligator clips are attached onto the ends of the fine wires of the machine. These are then clipped onto the acupuncture needles used in a session. When the patient is ready, the machine is switched on and a modulating dial is used to gently introduce a micro current through the wires to the needles. A tapping or gentle throbbing sensation is usually reported by patients when the current is turned on and directed through the needle to the site of application.
Patients are encouraged to tell the acupuncturist when they feel that the sensation they are feeling is comfortable to be tolerated for a period anywhere between 15-25 minutes during an individual session. A call button will be given to the patient during their treatment so that at anytime, they will be able to press it and alert the acupuncturist to come in and check on them.
Eletrocacupuncture is often something I use to treat conditions that require a boost of blood flow. Because of this blood circulation enhancing ability of this modality of acupuncture, the electroacupuncture device is used in conditions such as fertility treatments (such as IVF, natural fertility support, IUI), for regulating pelvic blood flow (in conditions characterized by irregularity such as irregular ovulation, missed/non-periods, or irregular periods), as well as pain conditions (where inflammation and localized swelling causes pain seen in cases such as period pain, endometriosis and typical pain presentation conditions like lower back pain, knee pain, gastric pain and migraines / headaches).
Curious as to how this works? I'll post a new blog post soon explaining how this machine helps with certain conditions that I treat in more detail (if I added them here this would turn into a two part saga!). However, I have made a brief video that you can have a look at here, just to get things started.
This video can be found on my instagram page if you are wondering where it came from. Have a gander there and do some exploring! There will always be new posts that go up there (and there are more videos there that may not always be included here).
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© 2017 by Daryl Fang. R.Ac. B.App.Sci. B.A.