What does a treatment session involve?
Treatment involves the discussion of the chief complaint followed by radial pulse diagnosis and observation of the tongue. Treatment is predicated on diagnosis based on Chinese medical theories. To ensure a safe and hygienic practice, sterile, disposable needles are used one time only. The needles, which are very thin, almost hairlike, are inserted into the skin at chosen acupuncture points and manipulated accordingly. The resulting sensation varies from individual to individual. One may feel a tingling sensation, or a heavy or dull sensation in the area needled. In general, a state of relaxation is induced. An entire treatment session typically lasts from 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Needles are retained for 20 to 40 minutes.
Other adjunctive therapies may be indicated as part of the treatment:
- Moxibustion: Indirect heat therapy from a moxa stick (made from the herb mugwort) over an acupuncture point or a specific region of the body.
- Gua sha: Scraping over the skin using an instrument typically made from buffalo horn. Edges of the guasha instrument are smooth and rounded.
- Cupping: Cups made of glass are placed on the skin, with a vacuum created by heat. Cupping may cause temporary and painless bruising.
- Tuina: A form of Chinese medical massage.
- Essential Oils: The use of medicinal-grade essential oils of plants may be recommended as follow up to the treatment whenever indicated.