The Healing Process

From Relief to Wellness Care

In Oriental medicine, health is more than just the absence of pain and illness: It is the promotion—and maintenance—of physical, emotional, and spiritual vitality. The wellness plan in Chinese Medicine is often referred to as the Emperor’s Plan. The Emperor hired doctors to promote vital energy to live a full and long life with a natural ending free from debilitating illness. The Emperor’s wellness plan included relief from symptoms of acute illness, treatments to promote healing, and a program of preventative care to insure well-being.

First stage: relief care.

Most people begin acupuncture to gain relief from pain, discomfort or to restore proper function. This is relief care. During this stage we recommend a minimum of two or three treatments per week. These concentrated appointments build a foundation on which the body can establish permanent and stable change, as each treatment builds upon the previous one. This gives relief of symptoms in the shortest amount of time and kick-start the healing process.

Your age, the severity of your symptoms, the length of time you have experienced them, your stress level, diet, lifestyle, response to acupuncture, and quantity and quality of your Qi (life energy), all play into determining how long the relief care stage will last.

Second stage: corrective care.

Once your symptoms start to diminish, we can address any underlying problems. Though your treatments will be less frequent, they are no less crucial, for this phase maintains and supports the changes achieved during relief care, and provides deeper, more long-lasting healing.

Third stage: maintenance and wellness.

The maintenance and wellness stage preserves all the progress you have made, and further strengthens your body’s resistance, keeping you healthy and balanced. Visits may be monthly, every other month, or four times a year at the change of the seasons. (In traditional Asian cultures, people visit their acupuncturist four times a year, for a seasonal “tune up.”) Maintenance and wellness treatments are as important as taking your car in for regular oil changes. Your body will run more smoothly, and small concerns will be less likely to become major problems.

Your acupuncture journey: When will I feel better?

The goal of East West Health Center is for you to feel better as soon as you enter the clinic. The calm, relaxing environment allows your nervous system to switch from stress mode to healing mode.

Each patient is unique and has his or her own rate of response to healing. We look at daily activities that influence your rate of healing such as diet and fluid intake, habits and lifestyle, health history, stress factors, rest and exercise. Thorough evaluation of factors helps us to uncover the strengths and weaknesses that influence your ability to heal.

Your treatment plan will include information and recommendations to support your present healing process and future well-being. Acupuncture needles and acupressure calm the mind and nervous system and increase the circulation of oxygen and nutrients needed for health and healing of your particular situation. Herbal and food therapy provide the nutrients your system requires to promote ongoing health and healing.

Pay attention to changes while you are undergoing treatment.

Avoid re-injury. There is a tendency to overdo and reinjure an area when there is relief from pain. Remember that relief from pain is the just the beginning of the healing process..

You may experience a healing crisis during the relief care stage. If you feel extremely tired or experience an exaggeration of symptoms, listen to your body’s need to rest.

Between your treatments, make a note of changes. Are symptoms less in intensity, frequency or duration? Are you able to do more? Is there a change in the quality of your focus, energy, coping or sleeping? Your reports will enable your acupuncture practitioner to fine-tune the treatments for you.