Are the needles sterile/single use?

Yes. The acupuncture needles used are of highest-grade surgical steel.  They are surgically sterile, single use, and disposable.   They are only used once only and then disposed of in a medical sharps container.

Is there anything I should do or not do after the treatment?

You are free to continue with normal routines after the treatment; some clients feel a bit sleepy or “spacey” after the treatment, and plan their activities accordingly.  You can train at the gym afterwards.  However, sometimes it’s recommended to discontinue exercise for a day or two to let the treatment take proper effect.  This is especially pertinent if the activity/training is what is causing the injury.  Some level of rest is usually beneficial after the treatment session, but not mandatory.

Do I need to bring anything special?

Wear your normal clothes that you are comfortable in.  Our clients usually dress down to their underwear for the treatment.  We use towels to keep our clients well-covered, comfortable and warm.

How many times do I need to visit the clinic?

It depends on the individual and whether the condition is chronic or acute.  Acute problems sometimes only need one or two sessions.  Chronic or long-standing conditions often need more repetition to break the “pattern” of disharmony.  In these cases, four treatment sessions are recommended: two sessions in the first week, then one a week for the following two weeks.  This will establish how you respond to acupuncture and massage.  A course of treatment can be up to eight sessions and is a progressive plan.  Depending on how you respond to the sessions, the next part of the treatment plan is worked out.  The sessions build on each other.  In general, there should be some level of improvement between each session.

Will I feel sore from massage?

Massage should not be so firm that you are in agony during the session.  Effective pressure is the best.  It should feel like your muscles are being manipulated while you are able to relax into it.  If you are struggling against the pressure, it’s too strong and you should tell the therapist.

When trigger points and tight muscles are released they can sometimes be a little tender afterwards. Stiffness and soreness sometimes becomes apparent the following day.  It’s a bit like exercise – you overload the soft tissue to get an effect.  Like training soreness, the discomfort should only last the next day. After this, a marked improvement to the problem is usually felt.

When will I feel the effect?

After the acupuncture treatment, you may feel a bit sleepy or “spacey.”   Acupuncture stimulates the somatic and autonomic nervous system.  It also causes changes to vascular structure.  Vasodilation (opening of blood vessels) can cause some people to become a little light-headed.  This usually passes quite quickly.  Eating some sugar-rich food such as fruit can help correct this.  Usually after 24 – 48 hours you will get the full effect/result of the acupuncture.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture rarely ‘hurts’.   The most that some people experience is a dull ache around the base of the inserted needle, or a slight tingling feeling when the needle is inserted. Points at the extremities, such as toes or fingers, can sometimes be a little sharp, but the sensation is usually brief.

A client recently remarked that he was suprised at how painless acupuncture can be. Below is his experience at the clinic

“Leif’s technique is very gentle, so there’s no need to be worried about it being painful and after every session I have always felt a noticeable improvement in my body and mind”

How long is a session?

Innitial consultations may take more than an hour. Follow ups treatments usually run for 60 minutes.

What are the benefits of a massage?

Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue using various techniques, to enhance function, aid in the healing process, decrease muscle reflex activity, inhibit motor-neuron excitability,[1] promote relaxation and well-being,[2][3] and as a recreational activity.

The word comes from the French massage “friction of kneading”, or from Arabic massa meaning “to touch, feel or handle” or from Latin massa meaning “mass, dough”,[4][5] cf. Greek verb μάσσω (massō) “to handle, touch, to work with the hands, to knead dough”.[6] In distinction the ancient Greek word for massage was anatripsis, [7] and the Latin was frictio.

Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Target tissues may include muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, joints, or other connective tissue, as well as lymphatic vessels, or organs of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a massage device.

In professional settings massage involves the client being treated while lying on a massage table, sitting in a massage chair, or lying on a mat on the floor, while in amateur settings a general purpose surface like a bed or floor is more common. The massage subject may be fully or partially clothed or unclothed.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture (from Latin, ‘acus’ (needle) + ‘punctura’ (to puncture) is the stimulation of specific acupuncture points along the skin of the body involving various methods such as penetration by thin needles or the application of heat, pressure, or laser light. Clinical practice varies depending on the country. Traditional acupuncture involves needle insertion, moxibustion, and cupping therapy. It is a form of alternative medicine and a key component of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to TCM, stimulating specific acupuncture points corrects imbalances in the flow of qi through channels known as meridians. The TCM theory and practice are not based upon scientific knowledge. Acupuncture aims to treat a range of conditions, though is most commonly used for pain relief. It is rarely used alone but rather as an adjunct to other treatment modalities.

Any evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture is “variable and inconsistent” for all conditions. An overview of high-quality Cochrane reviews suggested that acupuncture may alleviate some, but not all, kinds of pain. A systematic review of systematic reviews found that for reducing pain, real acupuncture was no better than sham acupuncture and concluded that there is little evidence that acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing pain. Although minimally invasive, the puncturing of the skin with acupuncture needles poses problems when designing trials that adequately control for placebo effects. Some of the research results suggest acupuncture can alleviate pain but others consistently suggest that acupuncture’s effects are mainly due to placebo. The evidence suggests that short-term treatment with acupuncture does not produce long-term benefits. A meta-review concluded that the analgesic effect of acupuncture seemed to lack clinical relevance and could not be clearly distinguished from bias.

Acupuncture is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner using clean technique and single-use needles. When properly delivered, it has a low rate of mostly minor adverse effects. Between 2000 and 2009, at least ninety-five cases of serious adverse events, including five deaths, were reported to have resulted from acupuncture. Many of the serious events were reported from developed countries and many were due to malpractice. The most frequently reported adverse events were pneumothorax and infections. Since serious adverse events continue to be reported, it is recommended that acupuncturists be trained sufficiently to reduce the risk. A meta-analysis found that acupuncture for chronic low back pain was cost-effective as an adjunct to standard care, but not as a substitute for standard care except in cases where comorbid depression presented, while a systematic review found insufficient evidence for the cost-effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of chronic low back pain.

Acupuncture has been the subject of active scientific research, both in regard to its basis and therapeutic effectiveness, since the late 20th century. Scientific investigation has not found any histological or physiological evidence for traditional Chinese concepts such as qi, meridians, and acupuncture points, and some contemporary practitioners use acupuncture without following the traditional Chinese approach and have abandoned the concepts of qi and meridians as pseudoscientific. TCM is largely pseudoscience, with no valid mechanism of action for the majority of its treatments.[30] Acupuncture is currently used widely throughout China and many other countries, including the United States. It is uncertain exactly when acupuncture originated or how it evolved, but it is generally thought to derive from ancient China. Chinese history attributes the introduction of acupuncture to the emperor Shennong. Hieroglyphs and pictographs have been found dating from the Shang Dynasty (1600–1100 BCE), which suggests that acupuncture was practiced along with moxibustion.