The Acupuncture Treatment Process
At Healthy Living Acupuncture, Andrew Appello will perform a detailed interview about your health, symptoms and lifestyle, and a comprehensive exam to evaluate your health condition and determine the root of your body’s disharmony. This may include abdominal and muscle palpation, examination of the shape, coating, and color of the tongue, the color of the face, the strength, rhythm, and quality of the pulse and other traditional methods of Asian diagnosis. It may also include evaluation of vital signs, lab studies, or diagnostic imaging. Throughout your treatment, Andrew will maintain a detailed case history with observations to monitor your state of health. Andrew will select one or a combination of the forms of acupuncture that he practices.
To prepare for treatment, the skin is cleaned with alcohol. Treatment is done with single use solid/filiform, sterile needles (usually 0.20 mm). Since this needle size is a fraction of the size of a hypodermic needle (the thickness is similar to a few strands of hair). Often a comfortable heaviness and sense of muscular relaxation accompanies needling. Needles are retained for 15-20 minutes, while the patient relaxes comfortably.
Both the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and the World Health Organization have listed dozens of conditions that can be relieved through the use of acupuncture. The National Institute for Health has also recognized acupuncture’s success in treating a wide variety of illnesses and its value in expanding its use into conventional medicine.
Patients often come in for health maintenance at various intervals, depending upon their health situation. Initial visits often take up to 1.5 hours. Andrew spends a good deal of time with patients in order to better get to know them as a person and to understand the imbalances that are present. Generally, treatment is performed once to twice weekly until symptoms begin to fade, then frequency is reduced as the person begins to respond.
Follow-up visits and treatment usually take under one hour. Often, treatment will be complemented by other modalities such as herbal therapies, body work, therapeutic exercises, and meditation to treat the body-mind-spirit as a whole and alleviate disharmony.
Healthy Living Acupuncture offers a wide array of natural treatment modalities to assist clients on their journey to restore and balance their health. Andrew Appello draws upon his extensive background in the various forms of acupuncture, functional medicine, nursing, herbal therapy, nutrition, and other complimentary treatments to design the correct plan to treat your condition and the results you seek. The treatment plan begins with an in-depth interview about you, your overall health and medical history. As an integrative health care practitioner, Andrew sees you as a whole person, not just your disease, so a complete understanding of you and your health is critical to selecting the proper treatment. Your plan may involve a combination of the following natural, drug-free modalities he offers:
Acupuncture: A painless healing therapy, using tiny needles inserted along meridians to improve the flow of “Qi,” (vital energy) that corrects imbalances and provides relief from pain and many illnesses. See “What is Acupuncture?” for more information of this ancient modality that is becoming widely accepted by many conventional, western medical practitioners.
Acupuncture with electric stimulation: After the needles are in place, selected points are further stimulated by connecting the needles to an electric stimulation unit. A gentle, comfortable pulsing is felt. This strongly moves “Qi” and breaks up blockages. It is very effective for pain and inflammation, as well as tightness and muscle spasm.
Cupping: A treatment often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that uses a spherical glass cup to form a vacuum and apply pressure to areas of the body for healing. By releasing the stagnation of blood and energy, cupping is often used to relieve musculoskeletal pain and tightness, and to treat respiratory ailments, poor circulation and scar tissue.
Gua Sha: As a traditional Oriental home remedy, this treatment involves scraping the lubricated skin along the fleshy areas of the yang meridians to treat various conditions including fever, heat stroke, muscle and tendon injuries/tension, headache, digestive, urinary and gynecological disorders.
Tui Na: A therapeutic massage technique that involves rigorous stretching and musculo-tendon work to stimulate the meridians and facilitate the flow of “Qi.” It is effective for pain relief, integrating the structure and functions of the body and improving athletic performance.
Anma: A traditional oriental massage technique useful for stress release, relaxation and general balancing. Similar to a Swedish massage, it involves stroking and rubbing.
Shiatsu: A therapy that applies gentle pressure to muscles, tendons and acupuncture points. It promotes the prevention of and recovery from illness by stimulating various systems to increase the body’s natural healing power. Shiatsu promotes balancing of the meridians, relaxation of the muscles and increase of flexibility.
Reflexology: A type of foot and hand therapy aiming to improve circulation, stimulate elimination of wastes, and correct organ functioning. The theory behind reflexology is that any disorder of the mind, body or spirit can be treated through a microcosm, a small area of the body, which reflects and connects to all other areas of the body. The body is made up of various microcosms, two examples being the feet and hands. In reflexology, specific areas on the feet that correspond to other areas of the body are manipulated to rebalance and redistribute vital energy (qi/prana) throughout the body.
Abhyanga: Following Ayurvedic principals, an oil blend is made to balance the excess and deficient constitutional imbalances (the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha). This oil blend is warmed and applied liberally to the body in rhythmic stroking motions so the oil penetrates and increases the circulation of blood, lymph and prana (energy) in the nadis (meridians). The rhythm allows the chitta (mind) to calm, muscles relax and tensions drain. Effective for prevention of illness and body detoxification, Abhyanga rejuvenates the body and increases flexibility. It is especially useful for yoga, martial arts and meditation practitioners.
Asian Diet Therapy: Following one of the eight traditional branches of Chinese medicine, a diet is designed selecting food according to their energetic property to encourage healing, strengthen, rebuild and balance the body through proper nutrition. The diet is highly individualized according to the patient’s needs.
Western Nutrition: Through the selection of vitamins, herbs, supplements and other natural products, the optimal nutritional environment is provided for maximum self-healing and healthful body functioning.
Herbal Therapies: A safe, effective and drug-free therapy to become well and stay healthy using herbs specially combined to treat the patient’s condition. For more information, see “Herbal Therapies.”
Reiki: A subtle yet powerful energy healing method that corrects imbalances in energy flow through the physical, emotional and spiritual body. It releases stress and helps achieve a natural state of wholeness and well-being. Reiki helps to release blocked emotional energy, which can often become the underlying cause of disease and discomfort. It can be used alone or to complement other healing modalities.
Exercise Therapy: Andrew uses movement in its various forms to correct structural imbalances, improve athletic performance, and relieve chronic pain. Exercise modalities are tailored for each person and drawn from Classical Yoga, Classical Martial Arts, and modern Personal Training disciplines.
Holistic Nursing: Nursing cares for the whole person. Andrew uses Nursing knowledge to help clients manage medication regimen and understand how to execute their medication protocols. Additionally, he coordinates care among the healthcare team.