During the first session, which is usually longer than the others, the acupuncturist begins by asking about your general health status, and discussing your health problems as well as the type and duration of the treatment. She will then take your pulse (Chinese Pulse Diagnosis) and may also, depending on the circumstances, look at your tongue or palpate parts of your body. All of the information gathered will be taken into account before treatment begins.
To avoid the risk of infection, the acupuncturist uses sterile, single-use, disposable needles. These needles are very thin and solid. Nothing is injected into the body. A stinging sensation is sometimes felt when the needle is inserted, but this only lasts for a fraction of a second. In fact, the sting is usually barely perceptible and does not leave a mark.
The needles are inserted at precise locations, to a depth of about 3 mm, and stay in place for about 20 minutes while the patient rests. The treatment rarely hurts. Once the needles are placed, the patient may experience a feeling of heaviness, a mild numbness or a tingling sensation throughout the body. After a treatment, patients generally feel revitalized and relaxed.
The number of sessions depends on the severity of the problem, its progression, and the patient’s energy level. Improvements are usually noticed by the third to fifth visit.
Acupuncture is a branch of traditional Chinese medicine that views the body as a whole, not as just the symptoms of the disease from which the patient suffers. By treating the cause of the imbalances, the acupuncturist can often treat several problems at once.
What can acupuncture do? Among other things, it can help to relax, alleviate or cure allergies, reduce pain caused by muscle spasms, treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or tendinitis, help patients to quit smoking, ease troublesome conditions during pregnancy and even treat newborns.
Acupuncture can also be used to reinforce the immune system, making it a preventive medicine.
Chair d’émotions – Par Claude Émile Racette, Acupuncteur –