The Oriental Medicine Treatment Process
When you begin the Oriental Medicine treatment process, the body tends to respond eagerly to having its energy or Chi stimulated so that it can flow more freely into the internal organs. This ‘freeing-up” of your energy enables your organs to function more effectively. Think about what it feels like when the plumbing in your house gets blocked, and then how it feels when the plumber removes the blockage.
By paying attention to how you feel, you will know how often you need treatment.
So given this improved bodily function at the outset of the Oriental Medicine treatment process it makes sense to have the first 5 to 7 treatments scheduled closely together to take advantage of this body dynamic. After the initial set of treatments, it’s typical to experience a ‘plateau’ — where your initial pain or discomfort has improved, but the underlying conditions that caused the problem in the first place still remain.
When you reach your plateau, that’s where you would start to lengthen the interval between treatments: a week and a half, every other week; the frequency is determined by how you feel, the strength of your body to hold a treatment, and how likely your symptoms are to reappear. By paying attention to how you feel, you will know how often you need treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
“How Many Treatments Will I Need?”
The body works to heal itself in incremental ways, and Oriental Medicine matches the way the body works. Consider two examples: ‘acute’ pain and ‘chronic’ pain. If you’re out gardening and do something that ‘acutely’ injures your back, it may only take one or two acupuncture treatments to relieve the pain. But in situations where the pain is ‘chronic’ — comes and goes or has been with you for a long time — that’s the type of situation that has to be treated incrementally and will take more than one or two treatments to resolve.
At BIOM acupuncture can be done with or without needles: t’s your choice.
“If I have an acute situation and acupuncture clears it up after a few treatments, why do I need more treatments going forward?”
You have to look at what caused the acute situation in the first place. Chances are there was a long-standing imbalance in the body that allowed it to be injured or become ill. Once the pressing pain or discomfort has been relieved it’s essential to address the underlying imbalance.
When you feel healthy that’s your body’s way of saying: “Keep doing what you’re doing.” And when you notice you’re not feeling good, that’s the body signaling that it has gotten out-of-balance. Paying attention in this way is part of what Socrates was talking about when he said: “Know thyself.”
“How long do the effects of an acupuncture treatment last?”
The normal length of time an acupuncture treatment stays resonant in the body is two to four days. This ‘healing effect’ can be extended if you’re also taking Chinese medical herbs, practicing good diet and nutrition, and doing one or two prescribed Chi Kung exercises.
“Once my condition has stabilized and I’m feeling good how far apart should I schedule treatments?”
People who use Oriental Medicine as part of their ongoing health maintenance get treatments at least monthly — once they’re symptom-free. Whenever symptoms return, or you start to not feel as good as you’ve gotten used to, that’s the signal that your body needs assistance — some combination of acupuncture, Chinese medical herbs, diet and nutrition and Chi Kung.
A Chinese medical herb formula will not act on pain the same way pharmaceutical drugs do.
“How do Chinese medical herbs fit into the treatment process”
First off, it’s important to understand that you should not expect a Chinese medical herb formula to be the functional equivalent of a Western pharmaceutical drug. Take the situation of dealing with ‘pain’: A Chinese herbal formula will not act on pain the same way pharmaceutical drugs like advil or oxycontin will. That’s not how the herbs work.
Herbs can be targeted toward exactly what is happening with your health, thereby addressing the underlying condition that makes your body vulnerable to pain. Chinese medical herbs are more like food than like drugs; in fact, many Chinese medical herbs are food — like ginger, and mint and other ingredients we use in our cooking.
In the Oriental Medicine treatment process acute pain is often best addressed and alleviated with acupuncture, while Chinese medical herbs can provide a nutritional energy that strengthens the body so it’s not susceptible to conditions that result in pain.
Most people get the greatest benefit by combining acupuncture and Chinese medical herbs.
“Does a treatment always combine acupuncture & Chinese medical herbs?”
Most people get the greatest benefit by combining acupuncture and Chinese medical herbs. For example, someone with chronic back pain who decides to space their acupuncture treatments further apart than what would be optimal, would be able to extend their body’s ability to hold the effects of that treatment longer if herbs were added to the mix.
Chinese medical herbs are also extremely beneficial in between acupuncture treatments if you have a condition for which the herbs are the best solution. For example, some Kidney problems have a 60% response rate when only acupuncture is used. But when Chinese medical herbs are added to the treatment, the response rate rises to 90-95%.
Overall, health is improved when adapting an Oriental Medicine lifestyle — acupuncture/acupressure; Chinese medical herbs; 5 Element diet and nutrition; and Chi Kung. Oriental Medicine is not the only way, but for those so inclined, it’s a marvelously simple way to regain and maintain that wonderful feeling of health and well-being.