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Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture Clinic – Laser Acupuncture and Auricular Medicine – Duncan – Cowichan Valley

What is Acupuncture?

The stimulation of acupuncture points is one of the oldest and most widely spread healing methods in the world.  Sticking needles into precisely defined points of the skin can eliminate or alleviate disturbances in the body.

Acupuncture points are connected by energy pathways which are called “meridians”. According to ancient Chinese teaching, the life energy circulates through the body along these meridians. The components of the life force, Yin energy and Yang energy, act in the body as opposite poles. The ideal state of health is achieved by balancing Yin and Yang in the body. Any imbalance or blockage of energy leads to illness in the long run.

To restore the flow of energy, acupuncture points can be influenced in various ways. Sticking a needle into a point is called acupuncture.  The points can also be stimulated by heat (moxibustion), pressure (acupressure), laser beam (laser acupuncture), underwater massage by jet of water, or ultrasound.

The course of a meridian through the body can explain why, for example, a disturbed gallbladder function can lead to headaches: The meridian running through the gallbladder region (the Gallbladder Meridian) extends further to the head. The meridian may be compared to a water hose: If the hose has a knot at one end, the water cannot flow out at the other end.

Likewise, a headache may occur when the flow of energy in the Gallbladder Meridian is interrupted due to a disturbed gallbladder function. In this example, the disturbed gallbladder needs to be treated first, in order to fight the headache.

Most people are scared by the idea of having needles stuck into their body. However, acupuncture does not hurt because acupuncture needles are very thin.

What is Ear Acupuncture

By examining individual reflex zones on the ear it is possible to identify precisely where in the body the pain is located-or which of the organs are affected if the origin of pain is unclear. Certain disturbances in the body which can delay, or even prevent, the healing process can also be located. At first glance, such a focus has nothing to do with the disease process itself and is often not even noticed by the patient.

However, these foci can have such a negative effect on the body that it becomes prone to falling ill. In addition, they can prevent a pre-existing disease from responding to conventional therapies so that the body cannot get rid of it. Read More…

What are Permanent Needles

Permanent needles are sterile disposable needles. Your acupuncturist will insert them into some of the ear points found after individual inspection. Both ears-onto which the points for the entire body are projected-will be examined prior to inserting the permanent needles.

Once these short needles are positioned correctly in the ear, they should be stimulated in order to be fully effective. This is done with a dipole magnet contained at the end of the plastic case of the permanent needle. The small, black magnet is easily visible.

The stimulation is best achieved by holding the magnet very close to the needle (or gently touching it) and then turning the plastic case quickly back and forth between the thumb and index finger.

This acts like a small generator-like a bicycle dynamo-and produces a weak electric current that enhances the effect of the needle.

The stimulation may be repeated several times during the day without reservation, each time for about 15-20 seconds per needle. In addition, you may use this stimulation every time the symptoms occur for which you have received the permanent needle (such as pain, or the urge to smoke). The faster the magnet is turned, the more effective the stimulation will be.

The stimulating effect of the magnet penetrates the adhesive patch that covers the needle. The protective patch therefore remains in place when using the magnetic needle stimulator.

If the protective patch comes off or gets dirty, you should replace it. You can make a new patch by cutting out a piece of hypoallergenic adhesive tape (available in a pharmacy or drug store).

The permanent needles project only about 1mm above the surface of the skin and thus do not show up. You should avoid washing your ears in the areas where the needles have been inserted. You may temporarily use eau do toilette or aftershave to clean the area if necessary.

The needle should not cause any pain or inflammation. The skin around the needle should not be red.

If the skin becomes inflamed (reddened), the needles must be removed with a forceps. After removal, the area should e cleaned with ethanol or wound disinfectant. If in doubt, ask your acupuncturist to check the site.

You should keep the permanent needles in the ear for about a week. If the skin does not reject the needles and if the skin around the needles is not reddened, you may keep the needles longer than a week. Normally, it is not necessary to see your acupuncturist for removal of the needles. You can easily remove the needles yourself with a forceps. Please remove all needles on the day before the next treatment.

What is Laser Acupuncture?

A laser is a device that produces light in only one direction, with only one wavelength, and with all rays leaving the laser at the same time. Laser light is therefore parallel, monochromatic, and coherent. Laser light also differs from natural light by its extreme intensity. A laser can produce visible light or infrared light. Read more: