Frequently Asked Questions

How does Acupuncture work?
In oriental medicine there is a saying:
Where there is BLOCKAGE There is PAIN
Where there is NO BLOCKAGE There is NO PAIN
Research about how acupuncture works is ongoing in both the western medical community and in Asia. While the mechanisms are not clear, acupuncture causes the body to release endorphins which make it particularly effective in treating pain. Acupuncture affects sugar metabolism, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the blood, and has a regulating effect on the endocrine system.

Acupuncture works to release blockages in the body which deplete the body’s vital energy, called Qi (pronounced chee). Qi can be used as a qualitative description of all the biological and cellular processes in the body, sort of a gestalt of the body. As the proper energy flow is restored and balanced, the body is able to heal more quickly and more completely.

Qi is vital energy in all living things, from the tallest tree to the smallest cell. Qi is a combination of energies mixed together from our food, air and inherited constitution.

Qi provides the power to accomplish everyday activities. It is necessary for growth, development, movement, maintenance of body temperature, protection against illness and disease, and overall regulation of the body. Our health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine work to create this balance of Qi.

For pain relief and relieving side effects from medication, nobody can touch us!


What is Oriental Medicine?
Oriental Medicine is a complete medical system which aids in strengthening the immune system, relieves pain, and helps prevent disease by returning the body to balance. Dating back over 3,000 years, the use of acupuncture is widespread throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Patients are diagnosed according to their symptoms, disease pattern, and their individual constitution. In this way, treatments include the body-mind type of the individual during treatment to move the body into balance and health.


What can I expect during an acupuncture treatment?
Acupuncturists use many different modalities during the course of a treatment, some of which are described below:

ACUPUNCTURE uses very fine needles which are inserted into the skin. Some needles are retained for a short period, while others are inserted and removed once the desired effect is obtained.

MOXIBUSTION (the burning of herbs over an acupuncture point) helps promote circulation and quickly eases pain. Many people consider this their favorite part of an acupuncture treatment.

ELECTRICAL STIMULATION through needles is effective for easing pain. Acupuncture points are stimulated using a safe, gentle, electrical current.

GWASHA is a gentle scraping of the skin surface using a Chinese soap spoon to increase circulation of Qi and blood.

HERBAL MEDICINE is used to supplement the patient in between visits and to strengthen the effect of the treatment.

NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTS make the many different micro nutrients required for metabolism available at the cellular level.

Traditionally, treatments are administered lying down and range from 40 - 60 minutes.


What does Acupuncture feel like? Is it painful?
Patients new to acupuncture are often surprised that they feel almost no sensation at all. Tiny acupuncture needles* are gently inserted at specific points in the body. Sometimes, there is a slight tingling, a mild ache, or sense of heaviness at the place of insertion.

* Needles are sterile, single use, and individually packaged. Sterile needle technique is used at all times!


What results can I expect from acupuncture?
Most people are surprised at how relaxed and comfortable they feel after an acupuncture treatment. Symptom relief is often immediate, but several treatments are often needed to remain symptom free in between visits. For structural problems such as back pain, particularly when it is severe or chronic I find helpful to combine modalities such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and deep tissue massage or physical therapy.

A good rule of thumb is to allow one month of regular treatment (regular meaning 2x per week) for every month you have had the condition. Multiple modalities, such as massage with acupuncture and chiropractic will generally yield faster results that are more complete, because you are addressing several aspects at the same time – bones (chiropractic), muscles (deep tissue massage), pain/ inflammation/ weakness and atrophy (acupuncture and oriental medicine) .

Chronic or severe medical conditions require more frequent treatments in the beginning, and take a longer time to resolve. Herbal medicine and/or supplements may be required to fully resolve the condition.


How long does an acupuncture visit take?
Your first treatment is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes and involves an initial consultation in which a diagnosis is made and we determine which TCM treatments are right for you. After the initial consultation, we generally move right into a first treatment during the same visit. Follow-up visits consist of a much shorter intake/diagnosis period before treatment, and generally last for 45 minutes to an hour.


How do you diagnosis my problem with Chinese Medicine?
I will ask a variety of questions regarding your specific complaint and general health. I will use Traditional Chinese diagnostic methods including radial pulse reading and tongue diagnosis. The initial consultation includes a standard health history not unlike at a medical doctor’s office. You will need to fill out a few forms that I provide you. If you wish, you may download the forms and fill them out at home before you come in. Whatever first treatment is appropriate will be done immediately following the initial consultation.


Do the Acupuncture needles hurt?
Most people are surprised and relieved to learn that acupuncture needles are very thin—unlike hypodermic needles which are thick and hollow. Acupuncturists can attain a high level of skill in gently placing these tiny needles and often the insertion is barely perceptible. The needles are usually inserted only several millimeters in depth—also very unlike hypodermic injections. As such, patients generally do not feel the painful piercing or pricking sensation typically associated with an injection, blood sample, or other medical needle procedure. I use only disposable needles.


How should I prepare for my Acupuncture treatment?
Patients should eat before coming for an acupuncture treatment and should wear comfortable clothes. You should be prepared to refrain from rigorous exercise for at least two hours before and after treatment.



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