Acupuncture and Hypnosis
Acupuncture, Hypnosis and Bodywork Defined
Acupuncture – A treatment is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into specific areas of the face, ears, neck, hands, trunk, and legs along channels or meridians of “life-force” energy referred to as Qi (pronounced Chee).
Acupressure – This “massage” treatment is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and involves applying pressure to specific points along channels or meridians based upon symptoms and TCM disease diagnosis.
Auriculotherapy – or ear acupuncture, is the practice of stimulating specific parts in the ear via the autonomic nervous system to treat the nervous system for addictions (food, smoking, narcotic), pain and dysfunction in the body using precise acupuncture points of the ear.
Chair Massage – This massage is done with the client sitting in a specialized “massage chair”. This is a great way to provide short massages to a group of people at an office, a meeting, or a party. Loose clothing is recommended for free movement.
Cosmetic Acupuncture – or Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, is a series of non-surgical, anti-aging treatments that revitalize your appearance while improving your energy and health. Acupuncture Facelift treatments may erase as many as five to fifteen years from the face, with results apparent after just a few treatments.
Hypnosis – Also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, is a trance-like state in which you have heightened focus and concentration. Hypnosis is usually done with the help of a therapist using verbal repetition and mental images. When you’re under hypnosis, you usually feel calm and relaxed, and are more open to suggestions. Hypnosis can help you gain control over undesired behaviors or to help you cope better with anxiety or pain. It’s important to know that although you’re more open to suggestion during hypnosis, you don’t lose control over your behavior. (definition by the Mayo Clinic)
Myths about Hypnosis
Myth 1. A person under hypnosis is out of control. The exact opposite is true. You don’t lose control, but rather you
take control. All hypnosis is basically self-hypnosis where you accept or reject suggestions in accordance to your own
ethics and goals. The hypnotist is just a guide leading you into a state where old patterns can be changed.
Myth 2. Too often people associate hypnosis with a truth serum. With hypnosis you are aware of everything around you. You have the choice to answer or not answer a question. You have the ability to lie or to tell the truth. You are
always in control.
Myth 3. Only certain people can be hypnotized. In reality any person with normal intelligence can easily be
hypnotized. It has been proven that an intelligent strong-willed person actually goes into a hypnotic state quicker than
a weak-minded person.
Myth 4. In movies we see people who are hypnotized becoming stuck in hypnosis. It is an impossibility to ever be
stuck in a hypnotic state. It has never happened. People enter and exit hypnotic trances several times a day (ie- when deeply focused on a book, movie or project so everything else disappears or not recalling the drive home because you
were focused on other thoughts)
Kaufman’s Pain Neutralization Technique – This innovative no-needle use of acupuncture meridians was the brainchild of Dr. Stephen Kaufman, a Denver-based chiropractor and acupuncturist. Objective symptoms (trigger points) are treated through pleasant pressure techniques which neutralize nerve reflexes that are in turn causing subjective discomfort (via myofascial trigger point obstruction). These techniques differ from traditional acupressure or trigger-point techniques. PNT has been validated by many, many various doctors and acupuncturists. It’s very effective for chronic and acute pain/symptoms and can improve range of motion, offering almost miraculous results in an amazingly short period of time, usually in minutes.
Qigong – This gentle form of yoga-like exercise and stretching, appropriate for patients
of all ages and abilities, provides relaxation, physical flexibility, physical recovery, and longevity.
Reiki – An ancient and profoundly simple “laying on of hands” healing technique from Tibet, rediscovered by Dr. Mikao
Usui, a Japanese Christian-Buddhist monk in the nineteenth century. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words –
Rei and Ki. Rei means supernatural force or spiritual intelligence. Ki means life energy.
Shiatsu – Japanese bodywork (sometimes called “no-needle acupuncture”) treats symptoms of illness through pressing and stretching pathways on the body known as meridians. Wear loose comfortable clothing for this gentle and relaxing treatment.
Swedish Massage – This massage is the most common relaxation massage modality
in the US, with the client on the massage table covered by a sheet, that includes gentle and/or deep strokes, stretches
and pressure techniques for general relaxation and “working out the knots”.
Touch for Health – A treatment includes muscle testing (kinesiology) for diagnosing imbalances followed by the application of finger pressure, ranging from feather-light touch to vigorous deep frictional pressing, to specific points on
the head, neck and trunk.
Tuina – The precursor of Chinese acupuncture, Tuina includes a wide range of techniques including chiropractic (limited
in the US to DC’s at this time) and Chinese bodywork based upon orthopedic and functional needs. This treatment may include gentle rocking, stretches, deep pressure to specific points, gentle and/or deep stroking similar to Swedish, or
more vigorous massage techniques to loosen “knots”. Wear loose comfortable clothing for this treatment which may
require sitting or varied positions.
Know Your Acupuncturist
Practitioners whose educational focus is in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine receive a large majority of their training focused in this field supplemented with western medical training to support the complementary treatment of clients who will also be working with a MD. They undergo an extensive clinical internship averaging 3 years. Other healthcare practitioners may use acupuncture, which is one of the many therapies of Oriental Medicine, as an adjunct to their primary practice. While all of these practitioners have training in western medical sciences, this chart is designed to illustrate the varying levels of acupuncture training generally undertaken by healthcare professionals.
Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.): 3-4 year full-time masters degree program of 1363 – 2000 hours in Acupuncture (or 2000-3000 hours in Oriental Medicine) treating a wide range of conditions. The vast list of conditions effectively treated by acupuncture and oriental medicine, as cited by the World Health Organization, includes musculo-skelatal to auto-immune to emotional to chronic complex conditions
Medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or chiropractor (with Certified Acupuncturist title from the Chiropractic Board) who uses acupuncture as an adjunctive
therapy: 300 hours or less, usually focused on musculo-skelatal symptoms.
Detoxification technition: around 100 hours or less
Many health-care practitioners pursue more studies than the minimum required, and there are some chiropractors who have pursued the full course of study required for a licensed acupuncturist, to enable them to pass the NCCAOM boards.
In conclusion, don’t hesitate to ask questions to know more about a practitioner’s training and the type of acupuncture offered in a clinic. Has your practitioner fully embraced and regularly employed the powerful depth of acupuncture’s healing?