How many treatments will it take for me to get better?

One of the most common questions Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Acupuncturists get is how many treatments will I need?  Generally, simple conditions and minor pains can be treated effectively in three to four treatments.  More serious and complex conditions take more time. 

It will depend on your age, health, and how long you have had the condition. Chronic conditions do require more treatments over all, but in general such treatments can be spaced wider apart in order to make the treatment schedule convenient and manageable. 

Expect to see noticeable improvement in your condition within the first two to three treatments, but allow six to twelve to ensure the best effect in the long term. Once your condition has improved, the practitioner will review your case and you will jointly decide on a schedule for follow up treatments if they are necessary.  Each treatment builds on the previous treatments and has a cumulative effect.  Maintenance schedules are available for people who are serious about getting healthy and staying that way!

As a preventative, health maintenance measure, when there aren’t any significant health issues, coming in for treatments on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis can help to prevent future problems and significantly mitigate stress. This will help to ensure that serious problems do not develop, and you can enjoy your best health! 

What Causes The Cracking or Popping Sounds?

When an adjustment is given it may result in the release of tiny gas bubbles between the joints that may sound like your spine is cracking or popping. The popping or cracking noise is caused by the change of pressure within the joint caused by the gas bubbles being released.

There is a fluid in your joints called synovial fluid which is a lubricant that nourishes the joints.  This fluid contains gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide.  When a chiropractic adjustment is made, it stretches the joint capsule and gas is rapidly released sounding like a pop or crack.  After the adjustment, the synovial fluid re-lubricates the joint and normal motion is returned.

Not all adjusting techniques produce this noise as some adjusting techniques use little force and produce no noise at all.

Acupuncture – Does it hurt?

For most people, there is little or no sensation during acupuncture, however, some individuals are more sensitive and in these cases, an ultra-thin needle can be used instead to make acupuncture much easier and more comfortable. Acupuncture needles are solid and thinner than hypodermic or injection needles. They are 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle and are so thin that several acupuncture needles can go into the middle of a hypodermic needle.

There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles although, some sensations experienced are a dull achiness or pressure around the needles, mild sensation of cramping, tingling, numbness, traveling warmth, heaviness, a mild feeling of energy movement, a slight tingly feeling, or simply an increased sense of relaxation.

Some points are more sensitive depending on which area they are in.

The needles are left in place for twenty to forty minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.

Can acupuncture actually heal my condition?

While there are some differences in the speed of recovery in each individual case, most people find acupuncture very helpful in providing significant relief.

The practice of acupuncture helps patients in balancing their Qi energy, which then helps bring healing to the body. It improves the blood flow to the brain releasing endorphins which in turn relieves pain and helps the body heal.

Some of the Qi energy meridians or lines, run from the top of the head down to the toes and have many different acupuncture points along the way. When the acupuncture needle is inserted into one or more of these points, it can influence many parts of the body and different disorders. There are over 360 different acupuncture points on the body which can be accessed to improve nearly every tissue, organ and function of the body.

Acupuncture has been used for disorders such as gastro-intestinal, urinary, metabolic, reproductive, respiratory, dermatological and gynaecological. It is especially helpful for those with chronic pain and pain due to injuries and post-operative recovery, palliative care and nausea caused by chemo therapy.

Acupuncture – What Are the Needles Actually Doing?

Acupuncture needles, which can be as fine as a piece of hair, are inserted into acupuncture points in the skin. The solid, metallic (usually stainless steel) needles range in thickness, shape and length. The size of the needle used depends on the person, the area of the body which is being treated and style of acupuncture being used. They are typically prepackaged, disposable, and sterile and used only one time. At Thunderbird Wellness, we use only disposable needles and they are discarded in a sharps container after your visit. They are never reused.

The acupuncture needles are inserted into the acupuncture points which are just beneath the skin, to stimulate the body’s nervous system and stimulate the body’s production of endorphins and encephalin, which are the body’s natural painkillers. It is believed that the needles help correct the flow of energy within the body and helps relieve pain and restore health.

It helps move your body out of sympathetic mode which we know as fight or flight and into parasympathetic mode which is to digest and rest. It also relaxes the nervous system, aides in reducing internal chatter and reduces muscular tension.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient traditional health treatment originating in China. The Chinese mapped twelve vital energy or Qi pathways in the body which they call meridians or channels. Each meridian is allied with a different organ system. They believe that the Qi flows through the body along the meridians and when there is an interruption, blockage, imbalance or alteration of the Qi, disease or other health problems arise.

There are specific points along the meridians called acupuncture points which are known for their ability to produce a natural healing reaction in specific organs, joints and tissues. Acupuncture points are found either by finding anatomical landmarks or by the classical Chinese method (for example: “the point where the middle finger touches the thigh when standing at attention”).

Acupuncture is the placement of very hair-thin needles which are inserted into the specified points (and it’s a very specific area, 1-2mm) that produce a very strong healing reaction in the body; it’s a combination of a neurological, endocrine, myo-fascial, and even immune response. The body has over 1,000 acupuncture points.

Where the needles are placed depends upon what disease, pain or health problems you may have. The needle placement will restore the proper flow of the Qi and restore health. It is used to promote natural healing, relieve or reduce pain, improve energy levels and mood, alleviate nausea caused by chemotherapy, treat addictions, chronic pain and improve body function. It is safe and effective.

Some theories of how acupuncture works are that it stimulates the release of pain relieving endorphins, effects the autonomic nervous system, stimulates circulation, effects the electrical currents of the body and effects the release of neurotransmitters which are substances that transmit nerve impulses to the brain.

Tips For Helping Your Aching Back Feel Better!

People who suffer from back pain often complain of different symptoms. Some people experience a sharp and sudden pain, while others feel a general sensation of stiffness. While no back pain is fun, here are some tips to use to help ease the back pain that you feel.

back painThere are different kinds of activities that can really reduce the risk of injuring your back, as well as help ease pain associated with a back injury. As an example, yoga teaches flexibility and helps prevent awkward, excessive, or otherwise unnecessary straining. Another great source of exercise for reducing back pain is Pilates. This program strengthens your core, which can help your stomach muscles to support your back.

If either your family background or way of life makes back injury likely, seek the assistance of a chiropractor prior to the onset of significant discomfort. Seeing a chiropractor regularly can help you to fix small problems before they snowball into more serious injuries.

A good tip when trying to avoid back discomfort is to never pick up a box unless you know exactly what contents are inside. You could be in for a very heavy and painful surprise. Avoid relying on the box’s label to judge its contents.

If you have to spend a lot of time sitting behind a desk, a great way to protect your back is by going for a short walk whenever you have a break. When you stretch your leg muscles via standing and walking, you are also stretching out your back muscles. This can help alleviate any compression issues and back pain that occur from sitting too long.

The tabloids are full of stories about breast augmentation, but not about reductions. Depending on your physique and amount of pain, it may be worth considering. Strain on the back can be lessened with breast reductions. When a woman gets breast implants, they notice this is the case for them, too.

Many people experience lower back pain, and it is a large reason for a number of doctor’s visits. Taking precautions in your daily life can prevent this pain from cropping up. Because pain in the lower back is so common, you should take appropriate steps to prevent it.

If you are currently 10 pounds or more above your ideal weight, you should begin a diet as soon as possible. That extra weight, especially in your abdomen, can affect your own center of gravity. This weight can strain your lower back, and even lead to chronic back discomfort.

Back surgery may be given as an option by your doctor if your back discomfort is severe. Surgery is only considered after all other options have been unsuccessful. Surgery could be the only option for certain conditions and injuries that may cause back pain.

Caffeine could be making your problem worse. Believe it or not, caffeine has been known to assist in triggering spasms and it can also cause muscles to become inflamed if you have any type of muscle damage. Help your back by reducing your tea and coffee intake.

Back spasms can be triggered by improper posture, heavy lifting, exhausted muscles, dehydration, coughing or sneezing. Stress and caffeine are triggers that you can control, as are a lack of sleep, a low sodium count in your body, and anxiety. When a back spasm occurs, get some heat into the area, and then rest your back in order to stop further pain from developing.

Those who smoke don’t have any excuse to complain about their back discomfort until they quit. Smokers usually have a reduced blood flow, which increases the risk of damage to the spinal discs.

Breathing Techniques

Relaxation is a smart thing to do to ease chronic back discomfort; something simple, like deep breathing techniques, are a relief for those who suffer from regular back discomfort. Learn a few breathing techniques that you can use when you feel back discomfort coming on. This can help you to avoid a back discomfort crisis, or simply decrease your pain to a tolerable level.

If you spend long hours sitting in an office chair, bring a small footstool in to use if your back starts to hurt. Put your feet on the stool and keep them elevated to reduce or eliminate the pain in your back. In most cases, this slight elevation and the resulting adjustment of your back can help lesson your back discomfort before it has a change to get worse.

Stiffness from back discomfort can be improved by stretching other muscles and the hamstrings. Because of the size of the back muscles that cover the majority of the torso, a back that hurts can cause pain in the entire body. Stretch the surrounding muscles for relief.

For the health of your back, you should not drink alcohol to excess, but a small amount of red wine may aid in alleviating some back discomfort. Wine has been known to relax muscles, and can help you sleep when you drink a little. This can help you temporarily relieve back pain.

Vitamin B12

Add extra vitamin B12 to your diet. Back pain can sometimes be caused due to a lack of vitamin B12. Many vegetables are high in B12, so add them to your diet to see the benefits. Have your doctor check your level of B12 to see if your diet could benefit from supplements as well.

There are a lot of different ways a back issue can affect you, but it doesn’t mean that one is more painful than another one. Back discomfort can ruin a person’s day. Use the tips and advice in this article you have read to help you deal with your back discomfort and live a better life.