Acupuncture is a system of healing. Dr. Chris Chapleau, our Licensed Acupuncturist, will insert tiny needles into points in your body to bring about physiological change. These acupuncture points conduct the vital energy of the body known as Qi. Disruptions in this energy flow can cause pain or illness. Acupuncture corrects these imbalances and rarely causes side effects.

Acupuncture can be considered one of the most effective therapies available to stimulate the nervous system. Chris’ goal is to successfully integrate acupuncture to other wellness services offered at Healthy Weighs Wellness Center to enhance the quality of treatment given to patients.

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Meet Our Acupuncturist

For a good portion of Dr. Christopher Chapleau’s life, his dreams and professional career aspirations were to become an accomplished and experienced holistic healthcare practitioner. In his journey with helping others, he has become an Acupuncturist, working with patients on all types of health issues. His devotion for the profession and treating people has taken him in this journey to becoming a Doctor of Acupuncture. Although, having the label of Acupuncturist is something he loves and cherishes, the definition of the label Acupuncturist sometimes gets lost in translation, meaning that people often think of him as the guy who sticks “pins and needles into people who suffer from pain.” Even though that is true, he strategically uses fine filiform needles as his chief modality in treating illnesses and managing pain.

Acupuncture is part of a paradigm of natural and holistic medicine called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (world’s oldest intact system of healing). Under this umbrella of TCM, there are many other modalities he has in his toolbox for helping his patients.

The major distinctive approach when practicing TCM is that it allows Dr. Chris to think about why, when, and how a particular modality should be used. This methodology and way of thinking are especially suited to give natural, comprehensive, complementary, and alternative insights into the treatment of chronic diseases that are difficult to cure or even diagnose.

Sports Acupuncture for Athletes

Dr. Chris has over two decades of experience treating all types of people with different disorders. However, Dr. Chris’s specialty is in Sports Acupuncture where he treats musculoskeletal injuries, sport and work injuries, postural imbalances, flexibility, and range of motion. He helps manage pain, and works with athletes of all calibers on recovery and performance.

Dr. Chris is also a Corrective Exercise Trainer and has his Master of Science in Human Performance. This gives him that exceptional blend of education and experience suited to specialize in this area. He uses the traditional TCM, Tendino-Muscle Channel, and Master Tung approach when using Acupuncture and related modalities, as well as a biomedical approach, motor point and trigger point needling.

Through orthopedic assessment, palpation, and muscle testing, Dr. Chris can determine the location of any muscle imbalance, the tissue lesion and pain location. With treatment Dr. Chris uses specific Acupuncture points along with other manual tools to help correct overexcited or inhibited musculature. The idea is to neurologically retune the affected muscle and help the body to rebalance itself between the opposing muscle groups. This brings the body back into balance where the muscles can maintain their strength and tone evenly, allowing for flexibility and optimal joint range of motion.

Dr. Chris’s experience training and treating himself and others in demanding athletic endeavors uniquely prepares him to assist everyone.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very thin needles (filiform needles) through your skin at different but calculated points on your body. Acupuncture is the chief modality in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is most used to treat pain conditions. It is being used to assist in treating various health conditions, overall wellness, injury prevention, and stress management.

Dr. Chris thinks from a TCM perspective (based on nature) when using Acupuncture as a treatment tool, to assist in helping balance the body’s course of energy. This vital life energy is known as qi or chi which flows through channels or meridians throughout the body.

Using scientific terms and biomedical concepts, Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system, endocrine system, muscles and fascia, spinal cord, and brain. These biochemical changes stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being, therefore helping the body to achieve homeostasis or balance.

Hence, by inserting needles into specific points along these meridians, energy flow will re-balance and help the body’s organ systems communicate smoothly.

What does Acupuncture treat?

National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown that Acupuncture is an effective treatment alone or in combination with conventional therapies to treat the following:

  • Addiction
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dental pain after surgery
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Myofascial pain
  • Nausea caused by surgical anesthesia and cancer chemotherapy
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Respiratory disorders, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Tennis elbow

Many people seek Acupuncture treatment for relief of chronic pain. However, Acupuncture may also benefit other conditions such as:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Anxiety
  • Bronchitis
  • Depression
  • Gastritis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hepatitis
  • Infertility
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bladder
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Male infertility
  • Menstrual pain
  • Migraines
  • Nervousness
  • Neurogenic bladder dysfunction
  • Neurosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Postoperative pain
  • Prostatitis
  • Rhinitis
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore throat

What is the typical patient’s journey and initial consultation?

When meeting Dr. Chris for the first treatment, a patient can expect to start with a discussion along with an evaluation. Chris has his own unique style, often combining Eastern and Western approaches in his practice. During a visit, Chris will ask about the patient’s symptoms, behaviors, and lifestyle. Chris will also:

  • Palpate the strength, rhythm, and quality of the radial pulse
  • Inspect the shape, coating, and color of the tongue
  • Palpate parts of the body and meridians/channels that are tender or painful
    Observe the color and quality of the face and eyes

The initial evaluation and treatment may take up to 60 minutes.

What is an example of follow-up Acupuncture appointments?

Follow-up appointments usually take about 35-50 minutes. A common treatment plan for a single complaint would typically involve one or two treatments a week. Dr. Chris recommends starting with two treatments per week, then with results can move to once per week.

Dr. Chris compares it to any natural therapy where your body needs the time to make adaptive, healing progress. He compares it to other therapies in which it’s better to go multiple times per week, such as physical therapy, exercise, and massage therapy in which the body needs to respond and heal. The number of treatments will depend on whether the condition being treated is acute or chronic. In general, it is common to receive 6-8 treatments.

The other modalities:

Bodywork and Amma Therapy

Like Acupuncture, Bodywork Therapy is also good for providing pain relief. Moreover, it is very useful for relieving stress and can be used to help manage anxiety disorders. Dr. Chris incorporates hands-on techniques to balance yin and yang. He may employ a combination of massage techniques such as myofascial-soft tissue release, mobilizations, stretching such as PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) and reciprocal inhibition, all in the effort to promote the flow of qi. Dr. Chris may use techniques of deep rubbing, brushing, or scraping (gua-sha), joint maneuvering, kneading, pinching, vibrating, rolling, and compression to the muscle and fascia between the joints to move the body’s energy. The goal is to treat muscular injuries, improve flexibility, blood circulation, lymph drainage and clear active trigger points. This is all in the effort of getting the patient or athlete back in the field feeling strong, healthy, and pain free.

Amma Therapy in Chinese means “push-pull” which is another unique ancient bodywork healing art that Dr. Chris was taught at his school. Together with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine it forms a comprehensive natural healing foundation for treating his patients. The technique used in Amma Therapy is a gentle form of massage in which Dr. Chris’s hands follow the different meridians of the body, opening them to help promote the circulation of qi, blood, and fluids.

Cupping

Cupping originated in China and has been used in TCM for thousands of years. Many massage therapists and physical therapists have recently added this modality to their toolbox since it is very effective in treating a wide variety of conditions. Dr. Chris most often uses cupping to treat respiratory ailments as well as back, neck and musculoskeletal pain. It is considered a method of acupressure or massage, where a vacuum cup of negative pressure is used to lift the patient’s skin to help relieve stagnation, as compared to the positive pressure as seen with massage.

Glass or plastic cups are pressed against the skin where a vacuum is created by heated air, or by a pump with the plastic cups. The suction may facilitate healing with blood flow, or in the terms of Chinese Medicine, the suction helps facilitate the flow of qi and blood in the body.

In doing so, cupping relieves muscle tension, improving blood flow and lymph drainage, in efforts to promote tissue repair. This process can possibly help develop new connective tissues and new blood vessels in that tissue.

Herbal Formulas

Dr. Chris’s approach to Herbal Therapy is a little different from TCM. Dr. Chris combines Eastern energetic principles of nature derived from Ayurveda, TCM, and Kampo along with Western biomedical and energetic herbal principles. During the herbal consultation, Dr. Chris determines the needs of each patient.

Dr. Chris evaluates the patient’s unique constitution and the energetic nature of the patient’s disease state; through research will prescribe a custom formula with each ingredient carefully balanced for maximum efficacy. Formulas can come in liquid tincture form, tablets/capsules, or loose/powder to drink as a tea.

Herbal Poultices

Dr. Chris often uses Herbal Poultices as a topical treatment for many of his patients with musculoskeletal issues to relieve inflammation, pain, or aching.

These herbal mixtures are combined with a small amount of water, heated, applied to the skin, and then covered with a bandage.

Corrective Exercises

Dr. Chris is an Exercise Physiologist and certified as a Corrective Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, NASM. He uses Corrective Exercise along with Acupuncture and Bodywork to teach his patients special exercises to help strengthen and correct their own unique physical and/or postural problem. He uses a systematic plan called the “Corrective Exercise Continuum” (CEC) to identify neuromuscular dysfunction and correct it. The CEC includes four primary phases. The first phase is the Inhibitory phase in which he teaches but then also applies treatment techniques to help decrease activity of overexcited neuromyofascial tissues in the body.

The second phase is the Lengthening phase in which he uses the above treatment tools, such as stretching techniques, to increase the flexibility, length, and range of motion to the appropriate tissues of the body.

The third phase is the Activation phase where isolated exercises are used to strengthen those muscles that are underactive. The last phase is called the Integration phase and here is where integrated exercise movements are used to retrain the body back in balance as a cohesive functional unit.

Meet Our Licensed Acupuncturist

Dr. Chris Chapleau, DAc, LAc, Dipl Ac, CES, MHPS, MAc, CKPM