Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one branch of several that make up Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and is the most well known TCM procedure. Other branches of TCM include nutrition and food therapy, qi gong and tai ji exercises, herbal medicine, massage and bodywork, and moxibustion, cupping, and gua sha.

Acupuncture is performed by inserting hair-thin, sterile, stainless steel needles into predetermined acupuncture points to stimulate the body's ability to heal itself. 

How does acupuncture work?

After your acupuncturist reviews your medical history, asks you questions about your condition based on TCM theory, takes your pulses, and looks at your tongue to determine the state of your internal organs and body systems, hair-thin, sterile, stainless steel needles are inserted into specific points and can alter biochemical and physiological conditions within the body. 

Nerve fibers transmit signals to the spinal cord and brain stimulating the central nervous system to release hormones that make us feel better, regulate blood pressure, regulate the immune system, and reduce pain. Acupuncture's effects are transmitted via electric, hormonal, lymphatic, neurologic, snf electromagnetic pathways.

What conditions does acupuncture treat?

Studies have shown that acupuncture is effective for pain relief and nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. The National Institute of Health and World Health Organization recognize that acupuncture can treat many illnesses. Some of these are: allergies, asthma, constipation, digestive issues, fibromyalgia, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, body pain, muscle aches, plantar fasciitis, sinus issues, insomnia, menstrual and menopausal symptoms, skin conditions, and tendonitis.

Does acupuncture hurt?

In general, no, acupuncture does not hurt. There are certain acupuncture points that may be more reactive when needled and you may feel a small "burst" or electrical sensation as the needle breaks the skin. 

How many treatments will I need?

Just like your treatment, your visit frequency is also individual to you. Because acupuncture effects are cumulative, we recommend frequent treatments at the beginning of any new issue. The general recommendation for all new patients is two treatments a week for four weeks. Following this plan, you will feel better faster and will notice changes quicker. 

A severe or chronic pain or condition will require 16-20 + visits

Medium or acute to chronic pain or condition will require 10-16 visits

Mild or acute pain or conditions need 6-10 visits

It is always my goal to get patients from the pain relief stage to the maintenance phase of treatment as quickly as possible.

What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Traditional Chinese Medicine herbals are derived from plant, mineral, and sometimes animal substances and have been used for over 3000 years as herbal teas, tinctures, capsules, granules, tablets, salves and poultices.

Why should I take herbal medicine?

Herbal formulas can help to maintain or create balance and health before disease sets in. They can treat a range of conditions from acute illnesses like the common cold and flu to chronic diseases like allergies, digestive and menstrual disorders, and insomnia. Herbal formulas should be prescribed by an acupuncturist or licensed herbalist. 

What are the ingredients in Chinese herbal medicine?

TCM herbals are derived from plant, mineral, and sometimes animal sources. I get my herbal products from suppliers who employ farmers who use sustainable and ethical farming methods, and the herbs are tested for pesticides and heavy metals. Many of the animal products used in the past have been replaced with plant and mineral sources. I do not use herbal formulas that contain animals, especially endangered species. 

How long will I need to take herbal medicine?

Herbal medicines are prescribed on a case by case basis. How long you will be on herbs depends on the condition being treated. For an acute condition like a cold or the flu the results from taking herbs will be seen fairly quickly. More chronic conditions will require being on herbs for a longer period to see lasting results. In that time as your condition changes, your herbal prescription may change. For skin conditions herbs are prescribed for six weeks up to six months depending on the severity of the skin issue. 

 

**For information about your first acupuncture appointment or insurance questions, please visit the Patient Portal**

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