skip to Main Content

Trying Acupuncture for the First Time

It is important to understand acupuncture and how it works before trying it, because the treatment a trained acupuncturist will administer is based upon the specific condition or ailment. The acupuncturist will do an extensive consultation to access the condition and how best to treat it, which gives a personalized treatment not often found in mainstream medicine.

The History of AcupunctureAcupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, often abbreviated TCM, which includes many other treatments such as herbs and massage. TCM can be traced back 3,000 years or more in Chinese history. It is commonly believed that acupuncture came to the United States after a journalist, who was treated with acupuncture after an emergency apendectomy in China while traveling with Henry Kissinger in 1972, later wrote about the experience.

How Acupuncture Works and What it Treats

Acupuncture functions on the belief that energy flows through the body in channels called meridians, and that there are points along these meridians that can be stimulated with the gentle insertion of needles. By stimulating these points, it is thought that energy will move through the body causing natural healing. It aims to bring a balance to the body’s external and internal environment. Patients may feel relief as soon as after the first visit, or it may take several treatments, but the belief is that focusing on these specific meridians in the body will affect the body’s energy flow, bringing about a natural healing process.

The needles are solid, not hollow, and are generally painless. It is commonly reported to be a completely painless procedure that results in a relaxed, calm feeling. Acupuncture is recommended for myriad conditions causing pain or discomfort. Most places offer treatment for infertility and other women’s health issues, to help with weight loss and for treating pain associated with injuries or illnesses.

Other Types of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Herbs, another type of TCM, may also be used in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. Herbs differ from Western medicine in that they are prescribed based on an individual treatment plan and don’t contain any of the chemicals used in mainstream medicines. Herbs are prescribed to help treat the whole body by restoring energy for maximum healing.

Massage is also commonly used as part of TCM treatment as it relaxes the body and can help stimulate circulation and boost immunity, among other benefits.

Those who struggle with chronic illness, difficulty conceiving or other issues, may be frustrated with Western medicine or feeling hopeless as to what to do. Acupuncture is an extremely viable option, and is now accepted by many health insurance policies. In many cases the length of treatment is relatively short, starting with frequent visits and tapering off to every once in awhile for maintenance of the condition’s treatment.

Facial Acupuncture: A Non-Surgical Beauty Treatment that Holds Back the Years

Facial acupuncture is fast gaining cult status in the West as an effective way to treat fine lines, deep wrinkles and tired skin – naturally. It involves using fine needles on acupuncture points on the face to stimulate the body’s ‘qi’ (the Chinese word for energy flow) and work on any blocks, and the result is firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin. It increases blood and lymph circulation and stimulates cells to create more collagen, which helps improve the condition of the skin. The face is a good area to work on as it contains many acupuncture points.

A study of 300 people treated with cosmetic acupuncture in 1996 found that over 90% showed an improvement in skin tone after just one series of treatments. Skin gained elasticity and became ruddier and wrinkles were reduced.

What happens during a session?

A typical session lasts around 45 minutes. ‘I start with a tongue analysis,’ says Anita Vukomancic, holistic cosmetologist and founder of London’s Inhale Clinic. ‘This is followed by a discussion of a client’s nutritional and lifestyle habits.’ The client lies down and specific facial points are stimulated with fine needles – a procedure that is virtually painless and surprisingly relaxing. Needles can also be applied to other parts of the body to allow the energy to circulate. The client is then left alone for a while to relax so that the needles can work their magic. You can’t feel the needles in your skin and it’s normal to feel sleepy during a consultation. Afterwards you will feel relaxed and alert.


You can see the results after a few sessions, says health journalist, author and broadcaster Susan Clark. There’s a reduction in fine lines, blemishes and wrinkles and it helps to reduce bags under the eyes. Skin is more hydrated, with tighter pores and better muscle tone.

How often do you need it?

A course is usually 12 sessions, with practitioners advising a minimum of six to see the benefits. Once you’ve had a few sessions or a course it helps to have a “top up” once in a while to maintain the results. Anita Vukomancic recommends monthly visits to ensure that your skin receives a regular supply of nutrients and oxygen. It’s not a cheap beauty fix but it is a long-term investment in your skin, health and wellbeing and is more economical than surgery.

Best practitioner

Contact the Holistic Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine in Barrington, IL.

Choosing a Life Coach: Research Tips for Selecting a Coaching Program

Life coaching programs are products, and as with all products in the marketplace, it is necessary to do extensive research to get the best fit and value for the dollar spent. While finding the right life coach does take time and effort, the preliminary work sets the stage for a positive life coaching experience.

Calculate a Life Coaching Budget

Determining the amount of available funds to spend on a life coaching program is vital. Life coaches are business owners, and in order to compete for clients effectively, they often engage in aggressive marketing campaigns.

Without knowing how many dollars are available to spend, it’s easy to get lured into overspending by an attractive ad. Draw up a budget to get a clear picture of exactly how many dollars are available to spend for coaching on a weekly, monthly, or one-time basis.

If a budget evaluation shows that there are no funds to hire a coach, skip to the section of this article titled, “Shop for a Life Coach,” to learn about the abundance of free life coaching resources available.

Define Life Coaching Expectations

Prior to shopping for a life coach, it is important to know what is desired from the coaching experience. Make a list of areas or circumstances where improvement is desired such as life balance, body image, relationships, or finances.

Maintaining a clear picture of personal expectations aids in the life coach selection process and enhances the overall coaching experience.

Know the Life Coaching Program Delivery Options

From private face-to-face coaching sessions to videos and DVDs, life coaches employ a wide range of methods to serve their clients. One popular method of life coaching is the group teleseminar or webinar, where several clients meet with the coach at one time via a conference call or web meeting

are also private membership sites available where clients can watch coaching DVDs and interact with other members. While a prospective client’s budget will sometimes limit the frequency or the type of coaching sessions available to them, it is still beneficial to know what the options are before setting out into the marketplace.

Getting a Life Coach – How to Shop for a Life Coach

Once the life coaching budget has been determined, coaching expectations have been defined, and methods of delivery are understood, it is time to actively shop for a life coach. Cast a wide net by employing multiple search methods. Life coaching has become commonplace, so ask trusted friends and coworkers for personal or word-of-mouth recommendations. Use search engines to explore life coaching websites and blogs and to watch life coaching videos on YouTube and other video sites.

Many life coaches offer previews of their services via free ebooks, teleclasses, and webinars, so sign up for these offers. These free coaching resources offer an opportunity to get familiar with the coach and participate in simple coaching exercises, such as the life balance wheel or visualizations. Some life coaches even offer a short coaching call at no charge. Take advantage of as many of these free resources as time allows to get a good feel for what is available.

Choose the Right Life Coach

If there is no clear front runner after the research process, narrow the field to no more than three life coaches for final research. Examine the the small print of each coaching program in terms of content, price, and guarantees, taking time to email or call the respective life coach with any remaining questions. When all the research has been completed and all questions have been answered, the decision to purchase a life coaching program can be made with confidence.

Being a wise consumer in the life coaching marketplace does take time, but the time spent in preliminary research is a shrewd investment. By making the effort beforehand to set up a life coaching budget, define coaching expectations, and understand delivery options the coaching client is free to enjoy the chosen program with a clear mind.

Back To Top