Acupuncture Treats Stress, Allergies and Pain Management

5 reasons to try acupuncture, Acupuncture at Dreamclinic massage and wellness Seattle and RedmondAcupuncture Treats Stress, Allergies and Pain Management

When you think of acupuncture, it’s very likely that the first thing you think of is “needles.” And needles don’t necessarily evoke the most joyful memories (after all, who actually likes to get pricked?). In that case, you’re probably not rushing to be first in line to get dozens of needles in your body.

Ah, but that is where you’re wrong. You should be sprinting to be first in line to receive this ancient form of Chinese medicine. With just some paper-thin needles placed in strategic points on your body, you can improve your sleeping habits, your mood, and your allergies, and reduce pain and digestive issues.

Acupuncture is safe and effective, and relatively pain-free (it won’t hurt, but you will feel some sensation). You can use acupuncture to treat dozens of disorders or discomforts, but here are five of the most common reasons you should try it:

Soothe chronic pain: Acupuncture can reduce back pain, headaches, neck pain, and postoperative pain – basically any and all pains. Acupuncture is effective in its healing capabilities because the method is so personalized; it all depends on you and your body, and no two patients receive the same treatment for the same discomfort.

Improve sleep: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some reports suggest that certain acupuncture procedures have a nearly 90% success rate for treating insomnia. Other clinical studies have found that using needles placed at various points in the ear is effective in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Alleviate digestive problems: Certain acupuncture points on the body are known to reduce abdominal pain and bloating, and regulate the overall digestive function. Researchers believe that acupuncture can prompt a decrease in stomach acid and speed up digestion, so less acid backs up into the esophagus.

Decrease seasonal allergies: If you are plagued with seasonal allergies, like sneezing and itchy eyes, acupuncture may help reduce the symptoms and lessen the amount of antihistamines you need.  A recent study found that allergy patients who received acupuncture treatments showed a greater improvement in symptoms than those who didn’t use acupuncture.

Reduce stress: In Chinese medicine, stress and anxiety interrupt the energy flow in our bodies, causing tension in certain areas. Acupuncture addresses these “energy blockages” and works to alleviate stress by releasing endorphins and improving circulation throughout the body.

Acupuncture will change the way you think about needles. You won’t be scared of them anymore; instead, you will discover the amazing health and wellness benefits they can provide. Try it for yourself at Dreamclinic and book an acupuncture appointment today.


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What Does Acupuncture Feel Like?

what does acupuncture feel like? dreamclinic acupuncture bellevue redmond seattle“I’m afraid of needles.”

Fear of needles is the number one reason people don’t try acupuncture. While some really do have a phobia of needles, the vast majority of people associate needles with pain. It’s a valid association; as kids, we quickly learned that getting a shot caused pain. And we don’t like pain.

But, this association should not be carried to acupuncture. Why? Acupuncture needles are completely different from the scary needles at the doctor. They are solid needles, not hollow like hypodermic needles, and they are much thinner – about the diameter of thick human hair. They’re so thin; they even bend at the touch!

So, if acupuncture doesn’t hurt, what does it feel like? When thinking about acupuncture, it’s important to differentiate between “sensation” and “pain.” It can be uncomfortable at times, but it doesn’t hurt. You may feel a quick sensation of sharpness when the needle first goes in. This discomfort only lasts for about three seconds, and then dissipates. The feeling is similar to pinching a tiny bit of skin between your fingernails.

So, acupuncture doesn’t hurt, but you definitely feel something. This “something” can vary from person to person, but here are the five most common descriptions of how acupuncture feels:

Heavy: An acupuncture needle can feel like a weight is being placed on a certain area of your body. This feeling of heaviness can be isolated, or can expand throughout your body. This is more of a relaxing heaviness, rather than stifling or oppressive.

Tingly: Most people agree they feel a light tingling sensation that spreads to a pleasant, warm numbness across the body. This can happen when the needle is first inserted, or while you’re just resting with the needles.

Warm: Acupuncture can be very relaxing, thanks to this pleasant, warm feeling. After a minute or two after a needle is inserted, a spreading sensation of warmth surrounds the pressure point, feeling like internal heating pads.

Electric: A feeling of electricity may occur from acupuncture, ranging from a mild, electric sensation that spreads in wave-like patterns to a surprising, quick jolt, like you’re being shocked. It usually disappears very quickly. One of the most common areas that cause this “zapped” sensation is the Pericardium 6, located on the inside of the wrist.

Soreness: Some people may feel muscle soreness, like after a moderate workout, once the acupuncture needles are removed. This most commonly occurs with points in the hands and the feet, but everyone reacts differently. Most of the soreness will disappear by the time you get home, but some experience soreness for up to 24 hours.

When a person literally feels an acupuncture point working, it’s called “de qi,” and it’s a good thing. “De qi” is when the needled has accessed some energetic material needed to produce movement in the body. When the point is activated, a charge is initiated. It means the acupuncture is working.  Learn More

Learn firsthand how acupuncture feels. Book an acupuncture appointment at Dreamclinic today.

What is Shiatsu Massage?

While many people are familiar with Western modalities of massage – Swedish, Deep Tissue, Sports, etc. – they are less aware of the rich massage traditions of Asia. What is Shiatsu Massage? Shiatsu is a form of massage that evolved in Japan. Like other forms of Eastern massage, it is grounded in the concept of balancing the flow of energy, called ki, in the body. Pain, illness, and disease are thought to result from blockages and imbalances of ki. The massage practitioner seeks to restore balance by tonifying the areas where there is a deficiency of energy and dispersing areas of excess.

Some people think of Shiatsu massage as acupuncture without needles. Both are grounded in the same map of energy pathways (called meridians) and fundamental concepts used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Along these meridians are points where the ki is especially strong or accessible. The Shiatsu practitioner uses his or her thumb, hand, knee or elbow to influence the ki, relieving blockages.  A headache may be treated by holding points in the arm and hand, for example.

A Shiatsu massage session looks very different from a Western-style massage. The receiver remains dressed, wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing similar to what is worn for yoga or exercise (though pants are preferable to shorts). While a table is sometimes used, most often the massage is done on a large mat or futon that allows more room for the stretches that are incorporated into the session. Each meridian line is worked in different positions, giving the massage a very three-dimensional feel. No oil or lotion is used. Instead of long, gliding strokes, the Shiatsu practitioner relies on a combination of stretching, broad pressure, and more focused pressure on specific points.  The amount of pressure used is adjusted to the needs of the client; while it can be firm and penetrating, it should never be painful or more than the client wants.

Shiatsu massage sessions treat the entire body. Often symptoms are felt in areas with excess energy: the neck, shoulders, and head, for example. But if there is too much energy in one area, there is too little somewhere else. While not as readily felt by the client, it is these areas of deficient energy that are often at the root cause of a client’s symptoms.

By Brian Eckerling, LMP

5 Things You Need to Know about Acupuncture

acupuncture schoolAcupuncture has moved into the mainstream, so much so that most insurance companies now cover acupuncture services. Its benefits are extolled regularly in the media, and ongoing research is being performed to validate its effectiveness. But what is acupuncture and how does it work?Here are 5 important things you need to know about acupuncture.

1. Acupuncturists are highly-trained and licensed healthcare professionals.

Acupuncture school is lengthy and demanding. Over three to four years, students must complete 1200 hours of classroom instruction and 500 hours of supervised clinic practice, then pass a national exam and a background check before applying for a state license to practice. This rigorous process protects the public health and ensures that only highly trained and experienced acupuncturists are practicing legally.

2. Acupuncture is an integral part of Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine is made up of four major components – “acupuncture, herbology, bodywork, and health benefitting exercises. It is a blend of medicine [whose elements came from:] India…with Buddhism, the Middle East via the Silk Route, and Daoism, China’s own philosophy of harmony and balance.”1

In Washington State, acupuncturists are classified as “East Asian Medicine Practitioners.” A qualified acupuncturist will do a thorough intake and, using the tools of Chinese Medicine, design a customized treatment plan for each patient. This may include acupuncture needles and one or more of the following: breathing and relaxation techniques, bodywork and massage, cupping, hot/cold therapy or Qigong, plus dietary advice and Chinese herbs to support the patient’s healing. Communication between practitioner and patient is essential to achieve the desired results from each course of treatment.

3. How does Acupuncture work?

Chinese Medicine theorizes that a person’s life force energy, qi, flows everywhere within the body. The body remains healthy and in balance when qi flows freely. Pain, illness or dysfunction indicates a blockage in the flow of qi. Since over 2000 acupuncture points are located directly along the meridian pathways, insertion of acupuncture needles clears interruptions in the flow of qi and moves the body closer to its natural state of balance.

4. These are not your mother’s needles.

Often when people hear about acupuncture, they envision the use of large syringes or hypodermic needles that were encountered in childhood. Rest assured, there’s no need to run in the other direction. The sterile needles used in acupuncture are actually very thin. When inserted into an acupuncture point, the therapeutic sensation a patient feels may range from no sensation at all to a localized or traveling achiness. The FDA, who regulates the use of acupuncture needles, rates them as “safe and effective.”

5. Acupuncture has medical benefits.

Although scientific research has its limitations when assessing body-based health care modalities such as chiropractic, physical therapy, massage and acupuncture, the research conducted to date overwhelmingly affirms the medical effectiveness of acupuncture. Research has validated the use of acupuncture for treating headaches and migraines, relieving depression, and reducing chronic pain.  For more information on acupuncture research, visit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine,

Now that you know a little more about acupuncture, give it a try and see for yourself how effective it can be.

This is an original article from Dreamclinic, Inc. Dreamclinic is a Health and Wellness company committed to sharing information about commonly experienced health conditions and how they may be impacted through the use of bodywork and other natural approaches. Dreamclinic offers massage, acupuncture, and Reiki sessions at its Roosevelt and Queen Anne clinics, as well as onsite massage at workplaces around Puget Sound. Contact us to learn more about how Dreamclinic can help you, your family or your workplace experience greater health.

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