Acupuncture and the Senior Patient

One of the benefits of acupuncture is that when it comes to treating your health issues, your chronological age is irrelevant. While people tend to have more health issues as they progress through time, we all age differently. In my practice I’ve seen 80 year olds with a health picture that suggests they’re 40, and vice versa. When you visit your acupuncturist, they will take special care to address your specific health issues and keep you comfortable during your treatment. For example if you have difficulty breathing while lying down, let your acupuncturist know so they can adjust the treatment table or administer treatment in a chair.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is an ancient art that has prevented and treated illness for over 3000 years. The body is comprised of a network of energy pathways called meridians. Qi (chee) is the energy that travels along these meridian pathways. Needles are gently inserted along the meridians to balance the movement of energy in the body. Acupuncture complements other medical care while benefiting the whole person, not just the illness we are experiencing.

How does our Qi become blocked and unbalanced?

The flow of Qi is affected by both internal and external factors in our lifestyle such as: injuries, improper sleep, and toxins from air, water and food. Exposure to environmental changes, trauma, and especially emotional reactions such as fear, worry, stress, anger, anxiety and sadness also affect the flow of Qi.

How does acupuncture feel?

Acupuncture activates our body’s natural healing process. Most people find the treatment very calming and relaxing and often fall into a restful sleep.

The needles are flexible with a diameter about the size of a human hair. The needles produce a slight pinch or no sensation at all. Acupuncture needles bear no resemblance to the hollow needles used for injections. Once the needle is in place, the Qi moving through the meridians produces a sensation of warmth, relaxation, and tingling.

Getting the most from your treatments

While undergoing acupuncture treatment, you will benefit most by refraining from excessive use of caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol. It’s best to schedule your activities so that you come into treatment neither too full, too hungry, nor exhausted. After your treatment its important take care of yourself and allow your body and mind to assimilate the effect of the treatment. If possible, wait at least an hour to eat a full meal and avoid stressful situations.

What can acupuncture do for you?

Acupuncture treats a host of medical illnesses and brings the body into balance to facilitate healing. The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective therapy for many medical conditions. Examples include:

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders: Nausea, indigestion, bloating, constipation and diarrhea
  • Emotional Disorders: Anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia
  • Respiratory System and Immune System Support: Allergies, asthma, colds and flu
  • Bone, Muscle, and Nervous System: Headaches, migraines, sciatica, tennis elbow, neuropathies, whiplash, back, neck and joint pain, arthritis, osteoarthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, knee pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

What can you expect during treatment?

During the course of treatment you can expect to have more energy and less pain as you achieve balance. Since acupuncture treats the root of the problem, not just the symptoms, it may require several treatments to resolve. Often conditions are alleviated quickly, while chronic conditions resolve gradually. Several factors including your constitution, lifestyle, and diet influence the treatment outcome. Your Acupuncturist will devise a customized treatment plan for you. In addition to the treatments, your acupuncturist may give you exercises, meditations and dietary advice to help you achieve total health.

Your progress

Acupuncturists are interested in answering your questions and getting feedback about your treatments. It is helpful to track any changes or reactions you are experiencing with your treatments. Examples may include a change in energy level, feeling cooler or warmer, decrease in pain level or change in location of pain, and change in mental/emotional states.

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