F A Q
IS ACUPUNCTURE PAINFUL?
This is the biggest fear people have when they think of acupuncture. The short answer is no! It’s really natural to be cautious of a therapy that involves sharp objects. The needles I use for your treatment are as thin as a hair. However, you will feel something - that sensation is called "deqi". What will you feel? The ‘sensation‘ could be experienced as a satisfying dull ache, tingling, expansiveness, lightness, numbness, heaviness. Other responses commonly seen are a relaxing of muscles, dropping into relaxation, sleepiness, sighs and small twitches, gurgling of the belly, spontaneous good feelings.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO YOU TREAT? CAN YOU HELP ME WITH MY PARTICULAR ISSUE?
I see a variety of people, with a variety of issues. In general, Chinese Medicine is concerned with treating the person, not the disease process or a set of symptoms. Most people come seeking help with something in mind, but through treatment, you’ll improve in overall vitality. Chinese medicine is a therapeutic approach you seek when you wish to strengthen you – the entire body, mind and heart – when you want to drill down and understand the cause of the imbalance, as well as address any current discomfort. You may check here the whole list of over 100 medical conditions The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes as being effectively treated by acupuncture treatment.
DO I NEED TO HAVE A PROBLEM TO GET ACUPUNCTURE?
Not at all! In China, acupuncture is used not only to get rid of problems, but to help prevent them as well. It is especially beneficial after having had a cold or flu, or a stressful situation as it regulates and harmonizes your body.
You can also look at acupuncture as one of the great ways to chill out and enjoy yourself. Much like you might like to enjoy going out to a movie or a restaurant, or cosy up with a nice book on a rainy afternoon. Thus, the only excuse for you to get acupuncture might simply be that you like the way it makes you feel. With acupuncture you are taking care of yourself - it helps you to stay healthy!
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM THE FIRST TREATMENT AND CONSULT?
Before the first treatment we go through the intake form you filled out and emailed to me. We discuss why you’ve come and what you need. We talk about your diet, digestion, sleep, energy, exercise, moods, cycles, pain, stress etc. I’ll then take your pulse and look at your tongue.
This all takes about 20 minutes. From there, I have the background and the info to move into treatment. I design a treatment that is specific to what you need each time.
Therapeutic tools that I use in my practice include acupuncture, electro stimulation, moxibustion, cups, TDP lamp, gua sha, advice.
Often I suggest a take-home therapeutic practice. This could involve lifestyle changes, dietary recommendations, simple qigong exercise, take-home moxa, breathing practice or meditation techniques, and TCM books.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The length of your treatment will differ according to your individual condition and how you respond to the treatment. In your first consultation, we will create a treatment plan, prioritising immediate concerns and longer-term solutions. The aim of the treatment plan is to help you to feel better as soon as possible. I will give you an idea of how long treatment will take for you and will identify milestones along the way. Remember: the things that are concerns now have usually taken time to develop. So they can take time to heal.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
Acupuncture is generally considered to be safe. The needles that are being used are very fine and single-use from quality assured manufacturers. Acupuncture is tightly regulated in The Netherlands. Practitioners need to have completed an approved TCM education degree, Foundations of Western medicine and Psychology, apprenticeship with Chinese medicine practitioners, and belong to a professional association (in my case it is Zhong).
DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture can basically always help in some way. Sometimes, it may not be a perfect treatment for the specific problem that you initially wanted to address but being an energy medicine, it might 'open the door' to some dormant conditions that you were not aware of and need healing. Acupuncture will in any case have some kind of impact on your overall health, because it increases blood flow, lowers the pain, reduces stress, calms the mind. Acupuncture can treat many health complaints in its unique and oftentimes unrational way.
Would a technique that has been practiced for more than 2,500 years and that has undergone thousands of evaluations in countries around the world still be around if it wasn’t effective? Try it for yourself and find out!
IS IT OKAY TO HAVE ACUPUNCTURE DURING YOUR PERIOD?
Yes, it is pefectly fine to get acupuncture treatment while you menstruate. There are no absolute contradictions for acupuncture treatment of women during menstruation, according to long-term clinical practice and current development of acupuncture therapy.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE DURING PREGNANCY?
More and more research is being done on acupuncture and its use during pregnancy. Current information suggests that acupuncture is relatively safe for most pregnancies and that severe reactions or complications are rare. You may experience mild complications (pain or swelling at the needle insertion point, for example) that aren’t long-lasting.
It can help in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimester of your pregnancy, alleviating the typical symptoms and preparing your body for the labour. In the 1st trimester it helps to maintain a pregnancy, nourish the body and alleviates early symptoms such as fatigue, nausea and heartburn. Later, the aches, pains, constipation and swelling that go along with pregnancy. And in the 3rd trimester it helps prepare the body for labour.
Acupuncture can also be very beneficial postpartum.
In addition, your Chinese medicine practitioner can give you an advise on self-care during and after pregnancy, based on the wisdom of TCM.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER THINGS I NEED TO KNOW BEFORE MY ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT?
It is recommended not to have a treatment on an empty stomach. It’s also good to be hydrated and stay hydrated after treatment. Certain acupuncture points are contraindicated during pregnancy, thus if you are pregnant, or you are planning a pregnancy, it is important to inform me about that.
Acupuncture generally puts you into a deep relaxation. How you feel afterward will depend on your body. Sometimes you’ll feel out of it, tired, want to sleep. Most of the time you’ll be energised and feeling ‘in the zone’. It’s often good to not book social events after treatment as you may feel more internal and reflective. It’s also best not to drink caffeine or alcohol after treatment.
What’s important is to respect how you feel and give yourself what you need.
I hope these answer some of your questions regarding acupuncture treatment. Still have questions?
CONTACT ME to learn more about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at Aleksandra Acupuncture & Holistic Care practice in Amsterdam Oost.