About Acupuncture for New Patients at Centered: Richmond
Modern life can cause inflammation, stress, pain, and chronic illness, and many of these problems aren’t well addressed by doctors. Many patients are tired of 5-minute office visits or pills that just cause new problems.
At Centered: Richmond, our acupuncture providers create a refreshing patient experience. We get to know you and work to help you finally feel healthy, clear-headed, productive, and pain-free.
How are we different? Our process is focused entirely on you.
There are four basic ways that we do things at Centered: Richmond Acupuncture & Wellness that set us apart from the health care you’re likely used to:
We listen. We take the approach that the more information we have the better, and this is why we spend about an hour during your first appointment getting the whole story and looking at what is going on in your entire body.
We work to figure out why you have your symptoms. We are looking for common denominators, for connections, for the underpinnings of your health picture. Did all your problems start after a surgery, or an illness, or a specific life event? Are you digestive symptoms connected to your mood issues, or your headaches, or your body pain? Is your circulation functioning in top form, or is limited or poor contributing to pain and inflammation and perhaps feeling too cold? There can be so many causes of dis-ease, and we specialize in rooting it out to give you individualized treatment.
We partner with you to provide you with a step-by-step plan to meet your health goals. First, what are your goals? Do you want the symptoms 100% gone, or do you want to just taper them down to a manageable level? We ask you what you want, and then assist you in getting there.
We strive to make it all approachable, understandable, and attainable. Acupuncture and the like might be a bit out of your comfort zone. We get it. We thought it was weird once, too. Honestly. Since we understand that mindset, we’ve fine-tuned our approach with that in mind. We explain things in terms that you can understand. And we teach you about how the body works as it relates to your health concerns because we believe that understanding what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and exactly what will come about from your efforts, helps you to be motivated. Crazy, right?
Our clinic is very focused on results, and being sure that you are getting them. Even though treatment plans can span several months, we typically know if a patient is going to get the results they desire in the first 4-6 weeks. We do this by having patients track and rate the severity of their symptoms on a daily or weekly basis. We look at your weekly reports to get a clear answer about the state of your progress and make sure that this is lining up with everyone’s expectations. We will determine if acupuncture is working, if any herbs are working, and adjust our plans accordingly.
We know that most of us don’t have endless time and financial resources, and we really take that seriously. We don’t want you to keep using up your resources if our treatment just doesn’t work for you. We want to help, and if we can’t, we will do our best to find someone else who can.
We estimate that 5-10% of people just don’t seem to respond to acupuncture or herbs, or if they do progress is quite slow. We let those patients know quickly when we suspect that they are one of those people. It does no one any good to keep a patient in my service if we suspect that we can’t help them in a reasonable time frame. Any decision to continue to or cease treatment is of course up to you!
When I was growing up my dad wanted me to go to business school and work for myself, but I wanted to be a psychologist and help others. I was raised in a small town in southwest Virginia, where most people had never heard of acupuncture, and many thought it was quackery, or worse. On top of that, I really loved science and medicine and was extremely skeptical of everything that didn’t provide hard, cold proof that it worked.
With that background, it is really amazing that I ended up here. Let me tell you how I was left in awe of the power of Chinese medicine, and never looked back. Read more…
People often ask us how acupuncture works, and we love answering that question because it is so clear to us that it does work. There are different styles of acupuncture, and different techniques, and we haven’t figured out how they all work but we can describe some important things that seem to be at play with acupuncture treatments. The most important we think is the “therapeutic injury” aspect of the treatment, which was discussed in this great article by Time Magazine. What is happening with an acupuncture needle at the most basic level? You’re creating a tiny injury to the tissues. When you injure your body, it mounts a response for healing any injured tissues. This is called “acute inflammation.” Your body sends special cells and proteins to an area to stimulate healing. This seems to ramp up the immune system generally to help the body deal with other problems.
Acupuncture also can increase blood flow to certain areas of the body, and even stimulate specific parts of the brain. So while our scientific understanding of how acupuncture works is just starting to gather itself, it is likely that we are just hitting the tip of the iceberg in terms of seeing in the research what acupuncture can really do.
We often liken the process of undergoing Chinese medicine treatment (acupuncture, herbs, etc.) to physical therapy – it’s a retraining of the body. You start with a problem and build your results. It is also like training wheels on a bike. The point is not to leave the training wheels on forever, but rather to eventually send the rider on alone as intended. In this vein, some people and conditions tend to respond to treatment pretty quickly – some take time. We generally do not patients with the intention of having them come indefinitely because that’s just not generally how it works! There are of course exceptions to this, elderly patients will often need ongoing care, or patients with congenital conditions, but… you get our meaning, yeah?