Frequently Asked Questions
How does acupuncture work?
From a western medical perspective, acupuncture works by decreasing inflammation and stress, increasing circulation, stimulating the immune system, decreasing muscle tension, and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. From a Chinese medicinal perspective, acupuncture works by restoring the healthy flow of energy along the meridians.
What is Chinese medicine and acupuncture?
Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest continually used medical systems in the world. This well-developed form of healthcare has evolved from over 3,000 years of clinical experience, resulting in time-tested, safe and effective treatments for an enormous range of illnesses.
The primary modalities include Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, diet and lifestyle education, heat therapies (cupping or gua sha), movement and breathing exercises (qi gong or tai chi). The combination of these modalities promotes the body’s own healing mechanism to maintain strength and adaptability with changing environmental stresses. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine addresses not only the symptoms of an illness, but also the underlying cause of the disharmony. It not only is effective for chronic and acute conditions, but has traditionally been used as a form of preventative medicine, allowing the body to maintain and repair its own health.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine works by adjusting the flow of Qi in the body. The concept of Qi is not easy to translate, but it can be thought of as a vital life force or energy flowing through the body and connecting all things. Any misdirection or blockage in the amount, flow, or balance of Qi may result in pain, dysfunction, and sickness. The meridians show the flow of Qi in the body. Each pathway, also known as channel or meridian, has a close relationship to a specific organ.
Is acupuncture safe?
When performed by a trained, licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is a very safe and effective form of healing. We use only sterile, disposable needles so there is virtually no chance of infection or contagion.
What should I expect from my initial visit?
- The first treatment will begin with a comprehensive intake of your health history, review of systems, and treatment goals. This allows me to get a sense of who you are and how best to treat the root cause of your symptoms. I will feel your pulses, look at your tongue, and perform a physical exam to gather further information. This first treatment may or may not include needles. This depends on how long it takes us to get through the health history and diagnostic examination. Typically, this appointment lasts about two hours.
- All following treatments typically last 1 hour. Acupuncture points will be selected geared towards each individual's condition. If possible, we will burn moxibustion on the points, then needle afterwards and incrementally feel your pulse.
How should I prepare for my treatment?
Please wear comfortable clothing, and make sure you are well hydrated and have eaten. Also, please do not wear any makeup or scented products, including essential oils, perfume/cologne, scented deodorant, lotions, etc. These products interfere with part of the diagnostic process.
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are solid and very fine, typically not much thicker than a hair. Insertions are usually painless. With the insertion of a needle, I am looking for a “Qi sensation” to fully activate the point. This sensation can be tingling, warmth, heaviness, dull achy, or a feeling of Qi moving up and down the channel. If you have needle sensitivity, we are happy to work with you through this. Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you need depend on the duration, severity, and nature of your main complaint. You may need only a few treatments for an acute condition. A series of 6 – 10 treatments may resolve many chronic conditions. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time. Please keep in mind that disease is a process. It took time for your body to become ill, and it can heal itself only if given the proper time and treatments. The effect of acupuncture treatments builds on one another. I recommend treatments once a week for 3-5 weeks, then every other week for 6-10 treatments. Ideally, you can phase out treatments as your symptoms improve and may only need to come seasonally to maintain wellness.
What does acupuncture treat?
Weight Management - Excessive Hunger, Slow Metabolism, Poor Digestion
Physical Pain - Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Knee Pain, Arthritis, Sciatica, Headaches, Migraines, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome , Fibromyalgia
Emotional Conditions - Anxiety, Depression, Irritability, Fatigue, Insomnia, Poor Concentration, Memory
Digestive Problems - Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Constipation, Diarrhea, Acid Reflux, Heartburn, Nausea, Hemorrhoids, Ulcers
Neurological Symptoms - Numbness and Tingling, Shingles, Post-Stroke Symptoms
Gynecological/Genital Problems - Male Infertility, Female Infertility, PMS, Hot Flashes, Endometriosis, Fibroids, Incontinence, Sexual Dysfunction, Urinary Tract Infections, Irregular Menstruation, Heavy Menstruation, Painful Menstruation
Respiratory Problems - Colds, Sinusitis, Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Chronic Cough, Smoker’s Cough
Cardiovascular and Other Problems - Poor Circulation, Hypertension, Drinking Problems, Palpitations, Angina, Weight Gain, Smoking Addiction