Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture is an ancient tradition of holistic healing that uses techniques to balance the flow of energy throughout the body by applying the concepts of qi and meridians. Meridians, or channels, can become disrupted or blocked, causing imbalances in the body that can manifest physically, but also on a mental emotional level. Acupuncture opens these channels and allows the qi to flow smoothly once again, establishing and optimizing health by creating harmony in the body and mind. Acupuncture encourages proper functioning of the human body to allow the body and mind to return to health. Chinese Medicine is great at treating conditions that are often difficult to address through traditional Western Medical approaches.
Common Conditions Treated:
-Headaches and Migraines
How does acupuncture work?
In Traditional Chinese medicine there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, connected by 20 pathways called meridians. These meridians allow the energy, or Qi to flow between the surface of the body to internal organs. Each point has different effects on the Qi that passes through it. Qi is believed to help regulate balance in the body. The health of an individual is influenced by the function of Qi and opposing forces of yin and yang, which represent the polarity of energy in the universe and human body. Acupuncture helps maintain the balance between yin and yang and restore the proper flow of qi.
Is it painful?
Acupuncture needles are solid and hair-thin, unlike hollow needles used for injections, and they are not designed to cut the skin. Acupuncture needles are generally inserted only an inch or less depending on the points being used. Most people experience a minimal sensation upon needle inserted, some people reportedly feel a sensation of energy flowing around the site of insertion, while others feel relaxed. If you have a fear of needles, please let Dr. Wills know as there are options such as gentle needles, or acupuncture press seeds applied on top of the skin (these are also are great for kids!)
What Can I expect during a visit?
As both a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Dr. Wills will take a detailed history incorporating western, naturopathic and Chinese medicine principles. Diagnosis will often include an examination of the tongue, and a pulse reading – a major diagnostic technique in traditional Chinese medicine to assess the status of the body's current state. Using all of the information obtained during the visit, Dr. Wills will find the best way to address your concerns by treating the root cause, and providing relief of symptoms when indicated.
Depending on the condition, needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points on the body. Patients often do not need to disrobe for the needles to be inserted. Clothing can typically be manipulated as needed if treatment includes back or abdomen points. Electrical stimulation may be recommended to enhance acupuncture’s therapeutic effect, though this is not always required or recommended. The needles can be retained for any given amount of time, but generally no longer than 45 minutes.
How many treatments will I need?
Responses can vary from immediate to progressive improvement, they may be dramatic or slow and subtle. Every individual will have a different response to the acupuncture depending on the conditions being treated and the constitution of the patient. For example, acute conditions can generally be treated within a few treatments. Chronic conditions, that have developed over years, may require a longer length of treatment. Dr. Wills recommends getting acupuncture once a month as part of health maintenance and prevention.