FAQ

Q: Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very different from injection needles. Acupuncture needles are quite thin, slightly thicker than a strand of hair.  They are designed to gently push tissue away, not to cut into the skin, so you will feel a sensation, similar to a small bug bite at most, if at all.  Some individuals feel a slight pinch, tingling, heaviness, pressure or warmth at the needle insertion site.  You may also experience a sensation that travels up or down the area.  In some cases individuals may feel something in other areas of the body. Sometimes a patient may feel a sensation even after the needle is removed. This is normal, and is, in fact, considered to be a good response, indicating that the area was in need of stimulation.  Rest assured that these sensations are very mild, and they will dissipate quickly.  Many patients feel very relaxed while resting with the needles. Some even sleep through the treatment. After the session some patients feel completely refreshed, while others may feel like they have just woken from a deep sleep.  If you are uncomfortable at all during the session, please notify us so that adjustments can be made.  We want you to feel completely relaxed and comfortable during your session.

Q: How does it work?

In Oriental Medicine it is believed that pathways of energy (called “Qi”) run throughout the body like a freeway system. When the Qi cannot flow smoothly, a person can develop physical, mental and emotional symptoms. By inserting needles into very specific areas along these pathways, an acupuncturist can help the Qi flow properly. When the Qi is flowing smoothly the body can heal itself.  The tissues receive the nourishment they require, the emotions are grounded and the mind is calm yet alert.

Acupuncture acts similar to a splinter.  Your immune system reacts to defend your body from infection. However, since the acupuncture needle is sterile, unlike the splinter, there is no work to be done, thereby strengthening and detoxifying your body by triggering its own natural mechanisms.

Q: Who can receive acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been proven effective in both children and adults in all states of health.  Needles are not retained for infants and young children, as is done for older children and adults.

Q: Who should not receive acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a very gentle, safe treatment for most individuals.  However, there are patients with certain medical conditions, such as a low platelet count, or someone who is undergoing (or recently undergone) radiation or surgery, must inform us so that a proper treatment strategy can be tailored specific to the individual’s unique situation.

Please do not come to an acupuncture session on an empty stomach.  Dizziness or fainting may occur as a result, during or after the session.  It is best to have a light snack before your treatment.

Please do not come to an acupuncture session intoxicated.

Q: Can patients who are taking anticoagulants receive acupuncture?

Yes.  You are not at risk if you take anticoagulation medication and concurrently receive acupuncture.  Acupuncture needles are not aimed at the blood vessels.  They are solid and finely tapered at the ends so that tissue is pushed away, not hollow angled needles as is commonly used for injections that are designed to cut into the skin and blood vessels.  We pay special attention to make sure there is no bleeding at the end of the treatment session.

Q: Is acupuncture safe for pregnant women?

Acupuncture has not been reported to have any negative side effects or create any complications to an otherwise healthy pregnancy.  It is, in fact, a safe and effective treatment for morning sickness, insomnia, low back pain, and for preparation of labor and delivery.  Oriental medicine is also helpful for turning a breech baby.

Q: What conditions does acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization recognizes the following conditions as treatable by acupuncture.  The addition of herbal remedies may broaden the list of treatable disorders.

Cardiovascular Disorders

  • Essential hypertension

Neurological Disorders

  • Headache and Migraine
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Facial Palsy (early stage, within 3 to 6 months)
  • Paresis following Stroke
  • Peripheral Neuropathies
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Nocturnal Enuresis
  • Cervicobrachial Syndrome
  • Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction
  • Intercostal Neuralgia
  • Disc Problems

Musculo-skeletal Disorders

  • Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
  • Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendonitis, contractures
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Work and Sports related Injuries
  • Low Back Pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • “Frozen Shoulder”
  • “Tennis Elbow”
  • Sciatica

Respiratory System Disorders

  • Acute Sinusitis
  • Common Cold
  • Acute Tonsillitis
  • Acute Bronchitis
  • Bronchial Asthma

Disorders of the Eyes, Ear, Nose & Mouth

  • Acute conjunctivitis
  • Central Retinitis
  • Myopia (in children)
  • Cataract (without complications)
  • Toothaches
  • Post Extraction Pain
  • Gingivitis
  • Acute and Chronic Pharyngitis

Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Spasms of Esophagus and Cardia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colitis
  • Hiccough
  • Gastroptosis
  • Acute and Chronic Gastritis
  • Gastric Hyperacidity
  • Chronic Duodenal Ulcer (pain relief)
  • Acute Duodenal Ulcer (without complication)
  • Acute and Chronic Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Acute Bacillary Dysentery
  • Paralytic Ileus

Gynecological Disorders

  • Infertility (Not WHO recognized. Clinical experience proves effective.)
  • PMS
  • Dysmenorrhea (Painful Periods)
  • Menopause Syndrome
  • Benign Irregular Menstruation
  • Benign Amenorrhea

Psychological Disorders

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Somatization Disorder
  • Hypersomnia
  • Insomnia

Other Disorders

  • Withdrawal from Street and Pharmacological Drugs
  • Appetite Suppression

Please note that every patient is unique and case specific.  If your condition is not listed here, it does not mean that we cannot treat you.  Please contact us for a complimentary 30 minute consultation to discuss if you would benefit from any of our services.

Q: How often should I receive acupuncture?

In acute situations, patients may receive treatment two to three times a week.  After the condition has been stabilized, visits are reduced and tapered off.

In chronic cases, patients typically receive treatment once a week until the condition is either resolved or maximum benefit is achieved, after which visits are then reduced and tapered off just as with acute cases.

Regular treatments can be given to a patient with no major complaints as a form of preventative medicine. “Tune ups” are also a wonderful way to relax.

In all cases, our goal is to become a part of your health maintenance regime.  We hope to provide wellness visits ideally every three months, continuing to guide you and your family to live happy, healthy and well.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

Conditions are reevaluated at regular intervals.  Typically most cases are treated over a period of 12 weeks.  Incorporating specific foods, nutrients, herbal remedies and/or lifestyle recommendations to shorten the healing time significantly.  As each case is unique, a customized treatment plan will be discussed with you.

Q: What do I expect at the first visit?

A comprehensive history of your present condition, your past health challenges and family health history is discussed along with your desired health goals.

A clinical evaluation is done that includes an examination of your tongue and pulses that is unique to Oriental medicine.

Next, a customized treatment plan is discussed after a working diagnosis is determined along with a prognosis for your condition.

You will have an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Finally, you will receive an acupuncture treatment that may include additional modalities, such as cupping therapy.  Expect to spend about an hour and thirty minutes with us.

Q: Do you accept my insurance?

At this time, we do not accept insurance.  However, you will be given a receipt that you may submit to your health insurance provider for reimbursement.