Traditional Chinese Medicine has a written history spanning over 2,000 years & an archaeological history dating back to stone age. Modern science understands that the human body consumes oxygen & glucose in order to derive the ATP it needs to function — the ancient Chinese were able to understand this & other physiological processes through observation. They recognized that all living things have an animating energy called "qi" (氣), with the written character made up of radicals meaning "air" & "grain". They believed that by balancing the vital energy within the body through a healthy lifestyle, they could live harmoniously with the world around them.
Today, acupuncture is practiced throughout the world. Pyndus Acupuncture exclusively uses Japanese needles (thinner with a silicone coating for more delicate insertions) but utilizes both Chinese & Japanese methodologies to best serve the needs of our patients.
Acupuncture & oriental medicine are art forms to be practiced rather than a mere set of protocols to be memorized. Each patient receives customized, personalized care to fit the needs of every individual.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of using needles & other therapies in order to help a patient's body rebalance itself. Not unlike electrical or plumbing systems, the internal pathways of the body (meridians) have access points (acupoints) which are stimulated to affect the functions of the body. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that when the flow of energy in the meridians is blocked or altered, it results in pain or illness. Rebalancing the flow of qi (life force) informs blood circulation, therefore promoting immune response & physiological function.
What can acupuncture offer me?
The meridians & acupoints make up a map of the body's myriad functions. A single acupoint could inform various organs. Acupuncture addresses the whole body & can treat both physical & mental conditions. There is a wide spectrum of treatments from rehabilitating injuries to calming mental disturbances. It can be quite wonderful for stress symptoms.
How many visits will it take for me to see improvement?
There is no set answer for this question, but the general rule is that the longer a condition persists or the more severe it is, the more treatments it will require to heal. Acupuncture is like exercise in that it promotes a change in the body through stimuli. Just as it may take you more than one session to reach a fitness goal, the more often a signal is reinforced, the more effective the treatment will be. A general rule of thumb is that the patient should notice a significant change in his or her condition by the fourth treatment. However, everyone is different; some patients feel tremendous relief right away, and some with long term illness require long term care. While acupuncture is not a magic promise cure, daily treatment produces faster results that will stay longer.
What does it feel like?
Generally speaking, acupuncture is a relaxing procedure & patients often fall asleep. Is is common to feel a quick shock, heavy sensation or warmth once the needle is inserted. This is what the Chinese refer to as "qi arrival", indicating the needle was inserted properly. Certain acupoints can be tender; a patient may feel a sharp & fleeting discomfort. Tenderness is a diagnostic signal that a point could benefit from stimulation. We strive to be as gentle as possible; most patients have a very pleasant treatment.
What should I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit will typically be the longest. We highly recommend that you fill out your patient consent & history beforehand, which can be completed online here. Prior to treatment, you will be asked questions about your overall well-being & specialized questions pertaining to your particular condition. Your pulse will be taken & tongue will be examined as part of the diagnostic process. During the treatment, the patient is left to rest for 20 minutes minimum while the needles do their work. Afterwards we will discuss any changes, follow-up visits or supplementary herbal recommendations.
How often do I need treatment?
In China it is traditional that a patient seeking care sees an acupuncturist daily until significant improvement. Here in Houston that can be a very difficult treatment plan to follow! However it is still ideal for a patient to come twice a week for the first two weeks depending on the nature of his or her condition. Understandably, some patients can only schedule once a week, but consistency is key to maintain progress.
How many needles do I need?
There is no set prescription for a specialized treatment; an appropriate number of points relative to the patient's needs & constitution are selected. The classics tend to follow a "less is more" philosophy, so a typical session will likely involve 8-15 needles. An effective treatment can be done with one, or certain conditions may require more.
What Japanese techniques are practiced?
Jon was fortunate to study a 400-year-old Japanese family tradition. Japanese style acupuncture advocates a state so relaxed that the patient feels almost nothing, as opposed to Chinese methods that prioritize the sensation of moving energy. Needles are typically thinner and are not inserted as deep; these are always used for treatments at Pyndus Acupuncture. When acupuncture reached Japan it was commonly practiced by visually impaired persons; as a result, Japanese acupuncture places greater emphasis on palpation of the acupuncture meridians & points for diagnosis. The style Jon has studied feels for qi flow at points directly above the organs themselves, with the patient treated both facing up & down, with 12 minutes of needle treatment on either side. Both Chinese & Japanese methodologies inform Jon's practice in order to provide the best possible care to each patient, but he does offer purely Japanese Style treatments.
Because the treatments take more time than standard acupuncture appointments, initial visits are $120 and follow up sessions are $95. Patients should expect their appointment to last approximately an hour minimum. Outcalls are available by request.
What is acupuncture's place in Western medicine?
Western medicine is currently seeking a definitive explanation for why acupuncture works according to science. There is very promising research into a new series of micro vessels in the body known as the Primo-Vascular System or Bonghan channels. These channels sit inside & around blood vessels & organs, and are so small that they are difficult to locate without specialized dyeing procedures. Amazingly, these channels seem to match the classical maps of the acupuncture meridians. It is quite possible that the physical mechanism behind qi may be understood by the west within the next decade.
How is acupuncture related to qi gong & tai chi?
Celebrated for health benefits, Qigong & Tai Chi practices are how people can rebalance their own vital energy in order to live harmoniously internally & within the community. External applied force alone has limitations; acupuncture can only do so much for those who continually make unhealthy choices. When practiced in conjunction with acupuncture, the effects of the treatment are bolstered by this work. Acupuncture, Qi Gong & Tai Chi can work in tandem to facilitate a harmonious body, serene mind & balanced state.