Acupuncture is a safe, drug free treatment. Very fine single-use needles are inserted at selected acupuncture points around the body to stimulate Qi (energy) and restore its flow. Qi moves along meridians (we have 12), which are energy highways in the body. Disease or pain occurs when the flow of Qi is impeded. Once blocks are moved, the body can do the job it was designed to do – heal itself!
Acupuncture is used to tonify underlying deficiencies and balance energy in the meridians, facilitating and speeding up the healing process. Whatever your health issues, acupuncture helps you feel better in yourself and brings your body and mind back into balance.
Ear acupuncture is often used in conjunction with body acupuncture points to strengthen the treatment. The ear is a micro-system of the whole body and it contains acupuncture points that relate to every body area and function. Small ear seeds (a stainless steel ball bearing and plaster) are adhered to specific ear points, and can stay in the ear for 5-7 days extending the effects of the treatment. It can be used as a standalone treatment particularly effective for addictions, depression and anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Cupping and Moxa
Cupping is another healing technique used to relieve tension or pain, particularly effective on the upper back and shoulders. A flame is briefly inserted inside a glass cup to create a vacuum, the cup is then placed on the skin and the suction created therapeutically draws any blood stagnation to the surface of the skin, so that fresh blood can flow back into the tissues to facilitate healing. Bruising may be visible for up to a week after treatment.
Aroha acupuncturists may also use cups with a pump, that do not require a flame to create suction.
Moxa contains the therapeutic herb Mugwort which balances energy, warms areas of the body that are cold, and improves blood flows throughout the body. It comes in several different forms; in a stick, balls applied to needles or rice grain size which is directly applied to acupuncture points.
Diet and Lifestyle
There may be adjustments that need to be made to your diet and lifestyle – things that you habitually do that do not support your health goals. Bringing attention and awareness to those habits may be all that is required to help you to see what needs changing. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a very sensible and down to earth wisdom, handed down over the centuries, that is still so appropriate for us now. It’s all about living more in harmony with nature and the seasons, and balancing the Yin and Yang in our bodies and in our lives.
Chinese medicine wisdom can be quite different from advice given by other health practitioners. For example, if you have internal heat in your body, you would be advised to reduce heating food and drink from your diet, such as coffee, alcohol, chilli. If you are of a cold constitution you would be advised to eat warming well cooked foods, and to keep the low back and abdomen warm. We advise not to use ice on injuries after the first day – we advise using warmth to improve Qi and Blood circulation that will promote healing.
Dr. Shay has over 20 years of experience in diet and nutrition, including naturopathic principals and Chinese medicine. Dr. Shay also does functional testing for your nutritional needs, such as a Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis, Organic Acids Test for mitochondrial function, and heavy metal testing. For more information on functional testing click here.
Chinese Herbal Therapy
Acupuncture and herbal medicine are often used together, making the overall treatment even more effective. Belinda Falconar prescribes Evergreen Herbs, which are a very gentle, safe, non toxic range of herbs of very high food grade, meeting the stringent Australian GMP manufacturing standards.
For customised herbal preparations, Belinda will refer clients to Chinese herbalists Henry Su and Jane Huang, or to the Wellington Apothecary.
Your acupuncturist may also prescribe western vitamins and minerals to support general wellbeing.
ACC covers acupuncture for accident injuries. All acupuncture practitioners at Aroha are ACC Treatment Providers.
You can get an ACC45 from your GP, Physiotherapist, Osteopath or Chiropractor.
Tracey and Belinda charge a co-payment of between $25-$35 for ACC treatments.
If you have a pre-existing ACC within the past year, and have seen a physio, osteopath, or chiropractor, you can still get ACC treatments with an acupuncturist. Each clinician type (acupuncturist, physio, osteo, chiro,) has it’s own unique number of individual treatments so you can see multiple different clinician types on the same claim if necessary.
What to Expect
Your first acupuncture session will be between an hour to 75mins. Your practitioner will take a detailed account of your current condition and medical history and ask about medications and supplements that you are currently taking. If you are seeking ACC subsidised treatments you will need to bring your ACC45 number, or apply for one from your GP.
You will be asked a range of questions about your diet, lifestyle, digestion, sleep, menstruation, temperature preferences and any bodily pain or tension. To assist with diagnosis and treatment plan, your tongue will be looked at, your pulses taken and body points palpated. Your practitioner will devise a customised acupuncture treatment for you and needles are retained between 20-40 mins. Most people find treatment to be very relaxing.
It is advisable to have eaten something before treatment, and afterwards not to engage in strenuous activities or exercise – just take it easy.
Effects of the treatment will be felt most strongly for the next 3 days and up to a week, and changes can be subtle and in some cases dramatic.
If you are seeing Dr. Shay, he will do a meticulous intake and assessment. For more information go to www.DrSamShay.co.nz