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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the strategic insertion of very fine needles into specific locations on the body to treat a range of symptoms and conditions. It is a healthcare system that has been in practice on a large scale in China, Japan and Korea for many centuries, and is officially recognized by their governments.

Did you know that there are many types of acupuncture?

Dr. Baert practices traditional Chinese style acupuncture which is based on meridian theory. You may have already had acupuncture with a physiotherapist, chiropractor or MD, who may have treated you with what is called “dry needling,” “medical acupuncture” or “IMS (intramuscular stimulation),” all of which are based on Western anatomical theory, not meridian theory. What makes acupuncture based on Chinese meridian theory so effective is that it observes relationships between multiple symptoms, which makes it possible to treat many symptoms all at the same time, rather than treating one painful region at a time, as would be done using Western anatomical theory. For example, a patient may often have pain in the neck, top of the shoulder, hip, outside of the knee and outside of the foot, but not necessarily at all of those areas at the same moment. In Chinese medicine, this is often only one problem, because all of these painful areas lie along the Gallbladder acupuncture meridian. It is not necessary to put needles in each of these painful regions because meridian theory makes it possible to use fewer needles to affect more regions at the same time. It is also very common that body pain is due to internal health problems, rather than a local problem. Chinese acupuncture will catch this, whereas dry needling, medical acupuncture and IMS will not.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization acknowledges that acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment for a number of common conditions, as confirmed by controlled clinical trials – including lower back, neck and sciatic pain, as well as headache, menstrual cramps and epigastric pain, to name just a few. Acupuncture has a regulatory effect on the circulatory, cerebral, immune, endocrine and gastrointestinal systems, and it can do this without side effects, unlike oral medication.

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Dr. Baert commonly treats all kinds of pain, both chronic and acute, in any part of the body, including:

  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • arthritis
  • diabetic neuropathy
  • herniated disc
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • plantar fasciitis
  • shingles
  • spondylolisthesis

In addition to treating pain, Dr. Baert also treats a wide range of internal conditions including:

  • always feeling cold
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amenorrhea
  • anxiety
  • asthma
  • autoimmune disorders
  • Bell’s palsy
  • cancer treatment support
  • chronic fatigue
  • depression
  • digestive allergies
  • digestive discomfort
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • erectile dysfunction
  • frequent colds and flus
  • frequent urination
  • headaches
  • hearing problems
  • heavy menstruation
  • high blood pressure
  • hot flashes
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • lupus
  • menstrual cramps
  • migraines
  • moodiness
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • nausea
  • night sweats
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • poor concentration
  • poor memory
  • post-partum depression
  • pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • recurring bladder infection
  • recurring yeast infection
  • respiratory allergies
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • sore throat
  • skin conditions
  • stress
  • stroke recovery
  • stuffy nose
  • tinnitus
  • tremors
  • urinary incontinence
  • vertigo
  • vision problems
  • vulvodynia

What can I expect from an acupuncture treatment?

Your first appointment with Dr. Baert will be 90 minutes, and will include a full health history and an acupuncture treatment. Each subsequent appointment is approximately 60 minutes, and may include cupping when appropriate. Dr. Baert may recommend that you take Chinese herbal medicine along with acupuncture, depending upon the condition being treated.

What does acupuncture feel like?

The needles used are sterile and one-time use only, and are much thinner than a needle used to draw blood for a blood test. Most people barely notice the insertion. Once the needle is in place, you may notice a pulling sensation in that region. The sensation from the treatment is minimal compared to the pain you currently have from your symptoms.

How many acupuncture treatments will I need to get results?

No matter if you are getting treatment for musculoskeletal pain, migraine or digestive discomfort, it is typical that you will notice a reduction of pain even during the first treatment. The length of relief you may get from each treatment varies depending upon the cause and severity of your pain. After an initial assessment, Dr. Baert will be better able to advise you how many treatments you will need to resolve your condition. Chronic pain requires more treatment to resolve than pain from a recent injury and regular treatment will result in a shorter overall healing time.