At The Local Healer, our mission is to provide you and your families with the safest, gentlest and best care possible that also respects the planet. We utilize the ancient, functional science of Chinese medicine and look at your body as an ecosystem, rather than a machine. We use acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, cupping therapies, massage and guasha scraping therapies, warming moxabustion and infrared heat, Chinese herbal therapies, nutritional counseling, Tai Chi, breath work and lifestyle changes to help balance the internal landscape.
We are excellent communicators and love to work with your primary care provider, massage therapist, physical therapist, chiropractor, counselor or other care providers to progress your case forward towards the goals that you have outlined. Having multiple eyes on your case and a cohesive strategy that your team agrees on is extremely important for your best outcomes.
We'd love to show you how we work. Please send us an email or give us a call at 503.741.9436 to setup a complimentary, half-hour consult with a member of our acupuncture team. We'll listen to your case and give you an idea of what your treatment plan would look like.
Does It Hurt?
No. Acupuncture should never hurt.
However: Acupuncture works best when you feel some kind of sensation from the needles. Sensation is different from pain. So yes, you will most likely feel something with the needles. Sometimes patients describe it as deep, tingling, warm, cold, etc. Sometimes patients feel a sensation in their shoulder when the needle is in their ankle. The only way to know is to experience it for yourself. You are always in charge of your body and what happens to it. We will constantly communicate about your level of comfort and stay within the boundaries that are right for you.
How Often Do I Get To Come?
If you're working on changing a long-standing health issue, Chinese herbs, nutritional and lifestyle changes and exercises are going to continue moving you towards your goals between treatments. For acupuncture, it works best through repetition. For acute conditions, treatment plans typically run in the 5-8 treatment range. For more chronic conditions, 10-12 treatments is likely.
General wellness visits usually happen sometime around once a season to once a month, depending on the person. Getting acupuncture at these regular intervals can help to balance the aging process and maintain lower pain states.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
To tell the truth, nobody actually knows. We usually use metaphors to explain it. Here's mine, and you can take it or leave it: The acupuncture points are sensory organs. We know that there is lower electro-magnetic resistance at these points, so they are more sensitive to the conditions outside of the body. When input (a needle, warmth from a mugwort stick, an herbal poultice, pressure/massage, etc) is provided to these areas, it stimulates a sensory response that is sent to the all-knowing subconscious depths and a change begins to occur. The message sent is dependent on the location of the point on the body and the wisdom of what these points does has been determined over many thousands of years by trial and error. It continues to be developed with each practitioner's experience as well as the new studies being done.
Acupuncture stimulates your body's own healing response. Nothing is in the needles that "makes" your body do anything. It simply communicates a different set of priorities to your body and a restructuring occurs.
Can I Go To Work After My Appointment?
If you do not work a physically demanding job, it's okay to go to work after acupuncture. However, even intellectually demanding jobs will take away from the treatment. We've asked your body to reroute resources to new priorities that will create more balance. It's best if you can rest and be calm the day after your treatment.
Can I Book An Appointment For My Family Member/Friend?
Unfortunately, no. Coming to a natural medicine treatment like this takes a level of vulnerability and openness that can require a great deal of courage for folks used to typical Western medical experiences. It's important that everyone chooses this form of medicine for themselves.
It's great if you love the medicine so much that you're bubbling over with enthusiasm when you hang out with your family member or friend. Maybe it's enough that they'd love to schedule themselves!
Are Chinese Herbs Safe To Take?
Yes. The herbs I use cost slightly more than what is available in the traditional Chinese marketplace because they are highly tested for pesticide and heavy metal residues. I choose organic herbs whenever possible, though there are often risks to organic herbs that are not problematic with conventionally grown herbs that are tested to high quality standards. Please ask me in person if you have more questions around this.
Should I Come To My Appointment If I'm Sick?
Yes! As long as you are not displaying symptoms of an infectious condition (high fever, acute rash, vomiting or watery diarrhea), please come to your appointment. Acupuncture & Chinese medicine are incredibly helpful at reducing the symptoms of the common cold (sore throat, congestion, cough, chills, etc.)
Will Acupuncture Help With My ___(fill in the blank)___?
Yes, in almost every case, this medicine will help. The more important question is how much will it help? I have some simple ways of gauging this potential for you.
Please contact me and we can set up a short phone conversation so that I can give you a better idea of what to expect in terms of number of treatments and the degree to which I think your condition can be alleviated.
Whenever other Chinese medicine modalities are used in conjunction with acupuncture, the likelihood of meeting your health goals is increased. These other modalities include Chinese herbs, nutritional recommendations, lifestyle changes and exercise.
Can I Bring My Kids For Treatment?
Very young children can benefit from a safe and effective, pediatric acupuncture treatment. There are also a number of needle-free treatments that kids love, including gentle cupping, guasha channel scraping and medical Qigong (like cranial sacral work). Kids also get an herbal consult at their treatment and if you're interested, over time, we'll talk about nutrition, herbal medicines and Taichi exercises.
Why Do Kids Get Acupuncture?
The following video can help to answer this question: