Frequently Asked Questions
Does it hurt? I’m worried about someone sticking needles in me! Will it feel like an injection?
No, it doesn’t! Acupuncture needles are very fine (size of a strand of hair) solid metal sterilized needles. They are very different than the hollow syringes you encounter in Western medicine offices. Generally, people feel nothing or a light prick at the initial insertion. When the needle makes contact with the qi/energy the response can feel like warmth spreading, a magnetic force field, a dull pressure, or something flowing in the channel. Many clients report feeling a sense of relaxation and it is not uncommon to fall asleep during a treatment.
What’s included in my treatment?
I discuss your treatment plan based on your main concerns, pulse and tongue diagnosis, and health history. We then proceed with your acupuncture treatment which may include moxibustion, gua sha, cupping, and/or tui na based on your needs. Our discussion also includes herbal medicine, nutrition, exercise, and/or meditation as needed. Herbal Consult appointments focus only on the latter modalities.
How soon will I start to see improvement in my condition?
Generally, you will feel some improvement during a treatment and within the 3 days following. Cumulative benefits occur as you continue treatment on a regular basis and build on the previous treatment’s enhanced balance. A general rule of thumb is that a condition needs one month of treatment for every year that it’s been present. However, I will discuss specific expectations in more detail based on your pulse and tongue diagnosis.
What is the difference between a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and other practitioners who offer acupuncture?
A Licensed Acupuncturist has
Obtained a 3-4 year master’s level degree, with a minimum of 1900 - 2600 hours of training, from a school approved by ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine)
Has been board certified in Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine (Diplomate: Dipl Ac or Dipl OM) upon successful examination by the NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine), the national standard for licensing in most states
Uses diagnosis and treatment techniques based on Oriental medical theory to treat a broad range of health conditions, including chronic disease, internal medicine, pain, and disease prevention
In comparison, other professionals, though often technically referred to as ‘Acupuncturists’, have 40 - 300 hours of training and don’t practice from within the scope of Oriental medical theory.
Is acupuncture mainly for physical pain?
Acupuncture is extremely effective at safely treating pain with no negative side effects. However, acupuncture is one modality of Chinese medicine, a comprehensive medical wisdom tradition refined over 2,000 years. It also treats everything from exterior acute phenomena (head cold, rash, headache, etc.) to interior chronic issues, even issues present from birth or childhood.
Can acupuncture help me if I’m generally healthy?
Yes, definitely! Chinese medicine optimizes health and prevents disease. It treats subtle imbalances before they manifest as symptoms, offering powerful preventive medicine. Historically, in China, patients (?) paid the doctor only when they were healthy, and not when they were sick.
Will I bleed when you insert needles?
No. Very occasionally, a small bruise may occur at the site of insertion. If this happens, it is usually almost unnoticeable and remedies itself within a few days.
Do you take insurance?
I am out of network and do not bill any insurance company from the office. I can provide a super bill that you file independently with, and get reimbursed from, your insurance company. I can also provide any necessary receipts for Heath Savings Accounts, Flex Spending Accounts, or tax deductions.
How safe are the needles?
All needles at the clinic are sterile single-use stainless steel needles that are disposed after each use.