What to Expect
- Initial Assessment
- What to Expect After Treatment
- Types of Treatment
- Course of Treatment
- Preparing for Your Treatment
Your first visit will begin with an in-depth assessment of your condition and an initial treatment. The intake and treatment may take up to one and 1/2 hours, depending on your condition. Typical follow-up treatments last approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Chinese medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. Chinese medicine is unique in that it appreciates that illnesses may be identical, but the persons suffering from them are individuals.
Needles are typically retained between 20-30 minutes. Soothing music will be played to help you relax during this time - many people even fall asleep during treatment! In addition to acupuncture, treatments may also include heat therapy, herbal prescriptions, nutritional supplements, and diet and lifestyle advice.
What to Expect After Treatment
Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies. >
Types of Treatment
Other Modalities that may be used to enhance your treatment:
Medical grade, single use, disposable gold needles may be used. Gold acupuncture needles are traditionally used when the patient has a chronic health condition or is weak and requires a strong tonifying, or strengthening effect. In ancient Eastern medicine, gold needles were very rare and sought after by acupuncturists who wanted to greatly enhance the flow and conduction of the body's energy system.
Cupping is an ancient technique used to stimulate and clear stagnate areas of the body. Jar sized glass domes, called "cups," are applied to body through gentle suction. Once applied, these cups stimulate acupuncture points and help loosen tight muscles. Cupping is particularly effective in improving circulation, alleviating pain, reducing swelling and clearing colds, flu or chest congestion.
Gua Sha is a treatment, similar in effect to cupping. Gua sha involves repeatedly applying pressured strokes over the skin with a smooth edged tool. Gua Sha is wonderful at treating stiff upper necks and backs, alleviating stress, and expelling colds and flus. Gua Sha may be included in an acupuncture visit or can be done separately.
With moxabustion a dried herb called mugwort or "moxa" is burned on or near the skin to stimulate specific acupuncture points. It is often used for its cold dispelling and blood-invigorating properties. The practitioner lights a stick of moxa and holds it close to the skin to warm various points, or the practitioner places the moxa directly on specific acupuncture needles inserted in the body. For some conditions, moxa is burned on a fresh slice of ginger or on a mixture of garlic, salt, and herbs which is applied to the skin. Moxa burns with a distinct odor and has a warming and relaxing affect.
Electro-stimulation is the use of a low-frequency micro current to stimulate acupoints. Mini clips are attached to the needles to create a mild pulsing that increases movement of Qi along the energy pathway. Mild electric stimulation at acupuncture points greatly reduces pain and increases functional health.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine constitutes the longest, most documented form of medicine in history. Herbal prescriptions are sophisticated and individualized and take into consideration the patient's constitution and medical condition. We use the highest quality herbs found on the market. All herbal formulas have been tested for their purity and safety.
Reiki is an ancient non-invasive healing technique used to maintain health by channeling energy. Like acupuncture, Reiki releases stuck energy and promotes balance of the Qi life force within the whole body. Unlike acupuncture, Reiki does not use needles but uses gentle touch to stimulate energy flow.
Health Exercises (Qi Gong)
Chinese health exercises are known as Qi Gong. When practiced consistently, Qi Gong helps lubricate the joints, strengthens muscle, tendons, and bones, relieves stress, boosts immunity and massages internal organs. Health exercises for self-empowering care may be recommended for you between treatments.
Lifestyle recommendations are a key component of many treatment plans. Dietary, exercise, and sleep habits are the cornerstone of health. They can amplify the benefits of any treatment and can help us take an active role in our physical and emotional well-being. Dietary and nutritional recommendation may be given during your treatment.
In some conditions, the body must fully expel a pathogen in order for healing to occur. For example, if you have a cold, acupuncture will not get rid of the cold, but it can help accelerate the cold cycle so your body recovers faster. If you are fatigued and beginning to get a cold, acupuncture can help your body fight it off.
In cases of chronic pain, your original pain may improve and then unmask less obvious pain in the surrounding areas.
Course of Treatment
As part of your first visit, you will receive a customized treatment plan detailing an appropriate course of treatment for your specific condition. In general, acute conditions of recent onset may only require two or three treatments. Chronic conditions usually require more treatments to achieve sustained results. Treatment for Hepatitis C and fertility follow specific protocols, which will be discussed with you at your first visit.
The ideal approach to illness is to begin treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the easier it is to treat. For longstanding illnesses, weekly treatments may be required for several months in order to have a curative effect. For patients planning on undergoing Western treatment for Hepatitis C or fertility, it is recommended that acupuncture and/or herbal treatments be started approximately three months in advance of Western treatment. However, many patients don't learn of the benefits of Chinese medicine until they are already undergoing Western treatment. In that case, it is best to start acupuncture and/or herbs as soon as possible.
Once you initiate a healing process, it is important to follow through on treatments. The more consistent you are, the better the likelihood of results. The effects of acupuncture tend to be cumulative. After you are feeling better, a few additional treatments may be recommended. In Chinese medicine, this is referred to as "solidifying the constitution." The goal is to further strengthen your body to prevent recurrence of the illness. Your body is most vulnerable following recovery from illness because it has expended much of its energy and internal resources in order to get better. It is therefore important to have a few treatments in order to prevent repeated or new illness. In general, when an illness recurs it is often more difficult to treat.
Preparing for Your Treatment
The following suggestions are provided to help you have a safe and relaxing experience with acupuncture. Please read this section carefully. If you have any questions, please ask me prior to your first visit.
- Please bring a list of current medications you are taking, including any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
- Please bring any lab or medical reports relevant to your condition.
- Eat a light meal a few hours prior to your visit. Acupuncture is not performed on individuals who are fasting. Being over-hungry increases the risk of nausea or dizziness. At the same time, please do not overeat or eat any foods that cause your stomach to be upset (for example, rich, greasy, fried, or extremely spicy foods).
- Avoid alcohol on the day of your treatment. Acupuncture is not performed on intoxicated individuals due to the increased risk of shock. It is also not advisable to become intoxicated shortly after treatment.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Acupuncture points are located all over the body. Many of the acupuncture points that are commonly used are located between the wrists and elbows and the ankles and knees. You will be more comfortable if your clothing can be easily rolled up to your elbows and knees.
- "I've had IBS my entire life. ... I didn't really have much faith that he could help,
because I had seen acupuncturist for IBS in the past (both local and out of state) and had no real luck.
Wow was I wrong! After 4 acupuncture treatments my symptoms are gone!"
- "I was experiencing low back and hip pain. ... I really didn't want to start down the path to surgery. I decided to try acupuncture. Stacy is awesome! I went to see him once. Both my pain and my limp went away after my first session. I've been
pain free ever since."
- "After two acupuncture treatments with Stacy, I no longer wake up at night and feel like someone has sprayed me down with a water hose.
Also all the problems I had with hot flashes during the day causing me to be embarrassed because I would start randomly sweating for no reason.
- "After the birth of my first child, I could never shake feeling really fatigued. ... I really started to struggle to find joy in my life. It just seemed that my fatigue and mood kept getting worse. A friend recommended Stacy to me. After several treatments I'm starting to feel like my old self. I have so much more energy and my mood has improved exponentially! It's so amazing to feel the zest of life again!" --LK
- "Over the past year a combination of work stress and family tragedy has left me finding myself to be really anxious and to constantly worry. I... Stacy has a really great way of listening and is a very compassionate person. ... After a few treatments and an herbal formula, my mind seems more calm, I don't seem to worry as much, and my job stress doesn't bother me as much. I feel more at peace." --TY
- "I started receiving Acupuncture from Stacy Hewitt at Acupuncture Health Company in January after having had the flu. My IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) was really giving me a hard time, probably due to the antibiotics I had to take, and my general state of health. Stacy gave me several treatments. After the first one I had relief and even more with each consecutive treatment." --Sharon
- "I’m a bargain shopper at heart. When I was diagnosed with IBS, I called around trying to find the best deal on acupuncture. ..Stacy was very knowledgeable, but I went with another acupuncturist because they were cheaper…. That was a mistake…. After 8 sessions with the cheaper acupuncturist I had no relief…. Because Stacy was so highly recommend and my stomach was so painful, I went back to Stacy to give acupuncture one last try. 4 sessions later I felt great…… I learned Value really is getting quality health care, not the cheapest price " --F.S.
- "Our 7 year old son was diagnoses with c-dif. He was experiencing constant diarrhea, extreme bloating and abdominal pain… After three additional rounds of antibiotics and that doctor wanting to do a fourth, we said enough. We had heard Stacy specialized in digestive issues and also worked in pediatrics… On the first visit Stacy gave us an herbal formula to give to our son…A week later our sons stool sample came back pathogen free…. Just simply amazing!" --Marry H
- "I suffered from hip bursitis for over a year and, despite p.t. and prescribed exercises, the bursitis continued to interfere with my life. Four acupuncture treatments with Stacy has me back on track and out of pain!"
- "Sleep. Life is miserable without sleep. .... Over the past few years my job has become very stressful. I started having problems sleeping. I tried everything. Chiropractic, massage, western medicine, pills. ... [Stacy] was very informative and professional. ... It took a few treatments, but they were worth every penny. Now I sleep like a baby in a crib. Currently, I like to see him once a month to help with my job stress. Acupuncture has really been a great benefit!" -- BD