Dr. Maegan Knutson uses Acupuncture to treat various acute and chronic conditions. She has a master degree in Acupuncture from Bastyr University and completed additional training as well as an internship at Reijin Medical Hospital of Shanghai.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of an entire system of medicine based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Patients have been using TCM, acupuncture, cupping, and Chinese herbs successfully for over 2000 years. To make a TCM diagnosis the acupuncturist will take a historical interview, perform a physical examination, including tongue and pulse. Once a TCM diagnosis is made, Acupuncture can be used to treat the body, mind and emotions of the patient.
Each treatment is approximately an hour. It takes approximately 5 minutes to place the sterile/disposable needles in the body and about 30 minutes to relax as the needles are working. The needles are often as thin as a hair and barely felt. Patients that feel the needles describe it as a quick pinch as the needle goes through the skin. A typical acupuncture treatment includes 10-25 needles placed into the skin. Remarkably most patients find acupuncture relaxing.
How does Acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works to create balance in the body. Symptoms of illnesses and disease are signs that the body is out of balance. If any of the major meridians are out of balance this will cause a person to be unwell. From a Western perspective the benefits of acupuncture are achieved by releasing endorphins, reducing scar tissue, stimulating trigger points, increasing flow of energy and blood. The needles are sterile stainless steel and provide a conduit for energy “Qi” to increase, decrease, spread, or redirect the energy on it’s normal path.
What conditions does it treat?
Acupuncture treats a variety of acute and chronic conditions including pain, fertility, menopausal symptoms, migraines, depression and anxiety, poor digestion, fatigue and insomnia, just to name a few.
Why do you want to feel my pulses?
The pulse is a very important tool in determining an overall Chinese medical diagnosis, which helps to effectively choose appropriate acu-points and a potential herbal medicine prescription. There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. The quality of your pulse can actually change quite frequently throughout the day, depending on your circumstances. Often times your pulse will change from the beginning of an acupuncture treatment to the end.
Why do you want to look at my tongue?
Believe it or not, the tongue helps to provide a glimpse into the function of your internal organs as they relate to your individual Chinese medical diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue. The characteristics that we look for on your tongue can actually change throughout the day depending on your overall health, body temperature, the food you eat as well as your current sleep patterns. It’s very important that when we ask to see your tongue that we’re seeing it in its most natural and organic state. Please don’t brush your tongue before your visit to the acupuncturist! Brushing your tongue may actually erase important diagnostic criteria that we look for when making a diagnosis. Just like feeling your pulses, reading your tongue is also a very important tool in determining an overall Chinese medical diagnosis.
What is cupping?
Cupping is a common adjunct therapy designed to stimulate the flow of blood and Qi within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck and back pain, and the common cold. The cupping is literally performed with glass cups that are suctioned onto the skin using heat. The suction provides manual “massage” therapy to the connective tissue and muscles that are close to the surface. This is typically a good sign that pain, stagnation and toxins are leaving the body. Similar to massage in its therapeutic nature, cupping helps to break up and release the accumulation of toxins, scar tissue and stagnant blood. Drawing these substances out of the muscles and to a more superficial layer enables them to be easily and quickly absorbed by the lymph system and then excreted from the body. In this therapy, your acupuncturist will place small glass ‘cups’ over specific areas on your body. They may be moved over an affected area or left in place. Cupping therapy often leaves large red or purple marks on the skin where the procedure was performed. There is no need for alarm! These marks are not painful and the slight discoloration usually dissipates in 3 to 5 days.