Frequently Asked Questions
[accordion-item title=”What do acupuncture needles feel like?”]
Sensation from the needle varies from person to person and from point to point. You may feel nothing beyond the touch of my hand and the guide tube, or perhaps a quick pinch, a mild electrical sensation, feelings of movement, or a slight heavy achiness. If you do experience any discomfort, it is usually mild and temporary, and not considered painful.
[accordion-item title=”How does acupuncture work?”]
The main principle is to encourage/guide the body back into a place of balance by stimulating the body’s built-in healing mechanisms. Acupuncture points are generally found in areas where there is a greater concentration of microvasculature, nerves, lymph, and intersections of muscles. By piercing the skin in these highly receptive nodes (with hair-fine, sterilized, single-use needles), the treatments provokes a healing response both locally and systemically. Shortened muscles are relaxed, the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients is improved, and inflammation reduced. Pain is subdued via the effect on the brain, due to both the release of pain-killing hormones and the perception of pain signals. The state of relaxation achieved during and following the treatment, and its effect on the nervous system, strongly reinforces these and other benefits.The goal is to achieve a harmonious flow throughout the body, which is why we also look for the underlying issues that may not seem related to the chief complaint (and, why we ask so many questions). Symptoms, whether physical or emotional, offer us an opportunity to correct these imbalances and prevent a progression to something more serious.
Please see here for more articles on the subject.
[accordion-item title=”Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?”]
Acupuncture has been used successfully with children and animals, neither of whom have preconceived beliefs about the effectiveness of acupuncture. Both hospitals and the military are increasingly incorporating acupuncture into their treatment programs.As with any healing modality, be it traditional western medicine or a system such as acupuncture, a positive mental outlook and lifestyle can reinforce the effects of treatment, just as a negative attitude or lifestyle can hinder healing.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item id=”what-does-acupuncture-treat” title=”What does acupuncture treat?”]
Acupuncture has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as an effective treatment for the following conditions, and more. Please contact me if you are unsure whether acupuncture can help you.
Arthritis, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, repetitive strain injury (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel), muscle pain, muscle weakness, cramping, sciatica, TMJ, fibromyalgia
Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, IBS, ulcerative colitis, reflux esophagitis
Premenstrual Syndrome, menopausal symptoms, infertility,
irregular menses, endometriosis, PCOS, post-partum
Anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, neurosis
Eye, ear, nose, throat
Cataracts, poor vision, toothache, gingivitis, tinnitus, earache
Asthma, bronchitis, common cold, rhinitis, sinusitis, allergies
Headaches, migraines, post-operative pain, stroke, Bell’s palsy, vertigo, tremors, neuropathy
Addiction control, athletic performance, chronic fatigue, blood pressure regulation, urinary dysfunction, immune system support, many skin disorders
For more information on the list of conditions successfully treated by acupuncture,
please go here
[accordion-item title=”Can I combine acupuncture and conventional medical care?”]
Acupuncture is easily integrated into and used with conventional medicine, and may be a way to limit the amount of medication needed or to counter side effects. We recommend not altering medication or other therapies without consulting with your healthcare provider. If you choose not to pursue an integrative approach, please continue to see your physician to monitor your condition as necessary. Always inform your doctor of the other healthcare modalities you are using; it is important for all your healthcare providers to know how you are managing your health in order to administer the best care possible.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”What should I expect on my first visit?”]
Your first visit is commonly between 90-120 minutes, permitting me to cover your medical history and many other health and lifestyle aspects that contribute to your overall health. Other diagnostic tools include looking at your pulse and tongue, and palpation, particularly of the abdomen. While two people may suffer from the same complaint, the causes, and the treatment, may be very different. Therefore, even if some of this process may not seem immediately relevant to the symptoms that brought you in, it allows me an understanding of any underlying imbalances.
Your first treatment will most likely include some form of bodywork and, time permitting, both a front and back acupuncture treatment. Pay attention to changes in your symptoms over the following days, as this can be useful diagnostic information.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”How many treatments will I need?”]
The number and frequency of treatments needed varies according to the patient and the health issue. Acute problems usually resolve more quickly but if it is a situation that has persisted for a while, it is likely that it will take longer to respond. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative so it is more fruitful to come weekly at the outset. Although you may start feeling the benefits after just one treatment, it is more likely that you will really begin to notice the changes after 3-5 sessions, at which point you can generally reduce the frequency of visits. If you haven’t experienced changes by then, we can reassess whether another modality or practitioner might be a better fit for you.
Periodic maintenance, or treatment simply to maintain good health, are also encouraged[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”What training is required to become an acupuncturist?”]
You must graduate from an approved and/or accredited school of acupuncture with a Masters Degree in Acupuncture or Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. In addition, virtually all states require passage of the national certification exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) to be eligible for state licensure. NCCAOM specifically requires graduation from an ACAOM accredited or candidate program to be eligible to sit for NCCAOM’s certification exams. Accredited programs around the country vary from school to school but generally training programs range from 3-5 years, including internships.
Please only receive acupuncture from a licensed practitioner. In certain states, Medical Doctors, Physical Therapists, Dentists, Chiropractors and Osteopaths, can also practice ‘acupuncture’, but with significantly less training (often only 200 hours).[/accordion-item]
Still have questions? I would be happy to try and answer them.