December 28, 2015 by Tiffany Tcheng
North Country HealthCare has been providing affordable acupuncture to the Flagstaff community for 15+ years. We pride ourselves in providing our patients with integrative healthcare options. Treatment success sometimes hinges on frequency of care. Our extended hours and expanded services will help you affordably reach that goal.
North Country HealthCare has a licensed acupuncturist on staff. Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of ailments including weight management, nicotine addiction, anxiety, chronic pain or illness, digestive issues or stress relief.
For more information about our acupuncture services, call 928.522.9400.
The body has an energy called Qi, there are a lot of of different kinds of Qi. Very simply put, Qi is electrical and measurable in living beings. This Qi travels through the body on pathways called meridians. The meridians are specific patterns that are consistent. On the meridians are points; points are spots of higher electrical conductivity. They have specific medical uses. A meridian may be diagnosed with an imbalance due to locations of pain that coincide with its pathway.
The body also has organ systems. The confusing part is the fact that acupuncturists use the same words to represent different meanings than western medicine. When an acupuncturist refers to an organ like the heart, they are not usually talking simply about the physical heart. They are speaking about an entire system. This system includes emotions, flavors, seasons, times of day and so on.
Diagnosis will include examination of your tongue and your pulses. The tongue and the pulse reveal a lot about the state of your organ systems.
For those considering acupuncture, it is important to note acupuncturists use ultra-fine needles, which are about 1/100th of the width of a normal syringe needle used to deliver immunizations or other medications. The acupuncturist at North Country HealthCare uses tubes to help insert the hair-thin needles. The plastic sheath fits over the needle and is a few millimeters shorter than the needle itself. The needle is placed in the tube then against the skin. The guide tube ‘distracts’ the skin, so to speak, from the needle placement and keeps the needle sterile. The insertion is completed by a quick tap. This means a pain-free or nearly pain-free experience.
Several factors can determine if there is any discomfort or sensation, including the location on the body of the treatment, patient sensitivity and pain tolerance, and the technique of the practitioner. Needles placed in fleshy locations often are not felt at all. Treatment in other places such as the outer portion of the ear may feel like a quick little poke, followed by a feeling of relaxation.
Other factors, such as caffeine, nicotine and sugar may increase a person’s sensitivity to a stimulus. It is advised to avoid these for 1 hour prior to your treatment.
Additionally, every acupuncturist has their own unique style and touch. Some practitioners prefer the Japanese style of acupuncture while others prefer the Chinese style.
The Japanese-style uses finer needles and often a shallow insertion. Whereas, the Chinese style may use slightly thicker needles and at times a stronger method of stimulation. Even within these styles, every acupuncturist will have a unique touch.
Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the terms ‘silk shirt’ or ‘cotton shirt’ to describe a person’s pain sensitivity and preferred treatment method. ‘Silk shirt’ is descriptive of most Americans or westerners who strongly prefer procedures to be painless. ‘Cotton shirt’ refers to those who believe a treatment has to induce a strong sensation, even a level of pain, to be beneficial. Here at North Country a gentle technique is used, and the most common comment from a nervous patient after the first needle is inserted is, “that’s it?” with a sigh of relief.
Stephanie Selman, L.Ac. has been providing acupuncture services to North Country HealthCare patients for over 15 years. She holds a master’s degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine and is NCCA certified.
Stephanie Selman, L.Ac.
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