FAQ

What should I expect for my free consultation?

Your free consultation will involve about 15 minutes of Q and A.  We will first answer any questions you may have.  Then, we will spend time talking about your primary health concern.  Then we will make a determination on whether acupuncture is right for you.  Please bring a list of your current medications and other supplements if you have not already downloaded and filled out our forms prior to your visit.  If you need to fill out your New Patient forms at the clinic, please come 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.  Your first treatment may be scheduled for another time.

What should I expect for my New Patient Intake and subsequent sessions?

The new patient intake (or examination) is an interview used to collect information to create a thorough health history. This information is used to help determine the proper diagnosis and course of treatment.  After that the acupuncture sessions involve a combination of acupuncture with Tui Na, cranial sacral therapy, cupping, moxibustion, and/or auricular therapy.  There are acupuncture points all over the body. Please wear loose clothing that can easily be pulled up over the knees and/or elbows.  In some case, you may need to remove clothing to access certain points.  Many people feel a sense of deep relaxation and euphoria after acupuncture.  It is advisable that you have time to relax after the treatment for a few hours, though it is not mandatory. It is best to eat a small meal before your session.

Does acupuncture hurt? 

Most people feel very little to no pain with acupuncture.  We use very thin, sterile, and disposable stainless steel needles.  They are designed to minimize pain.  Often people experience other needle sensations such as a pulling, distending, warming, cooling, or dull aching.  These are all acceptable and common.

How many acupuncture treatments will it take to help my condition?

The number of treatments depends on the nature of your health concern.  There is no formula or set number of treatments and each person is unique in their presentation and ability to heal.  Generally speaking, acute conditions resolve quicker than chronic ones.  Experience has shown that people get relief after their first treatment, but need multiple treatments for lasting results.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by modulating the central nervous system.  Even though we aren’t ‘aiming for nerves’ with the needles, we are stimulating the peripheral nerves in order to stimulate the central nervous system and brain.  By doing this we optimize the oxygenation of blood, increase blood flow, and improve circulation.  It also improves health and healing by optimizing the immune system and our innate, built-in self repair mechanisms.

Chinese herbs provide the vitamins, minerals and many different types of phytochemicals that we need in times of deficiency.  Our bodies have a remarkable ability to self-regulate and heal, but only if we have all resources it needs to do this.  Herbs provide these resources.

What kind of conditions does acupuncture help?

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is good for many kinds of health concerns. The simple reason is that acupuncture stimulates the body’s innate healing mechanisms.  It calms and balances the central nervous system, reduces stress, and allows for natural healing.  It is good for all kinds of conditions including: all types of pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, constipation, allergies, menstrual pain/PMS, menopause, digestive disorders, headaches, etc.  Please see our What We Treat page to see our specialties.

What style of acupuncture do you practice?

Our practitioners utilize Balance Method, Master Tung, and TCM primarily.  We also use auricular therapy as well.  Balance Method and Master Tung are very effective styles that use points located away from the part of the body being treated.  Usually, the needles are located on the limbs below the elbows and knees.  TCM acupuncture utilizes points located all over the body, including the area being treated.  Auricular therapy focuses solely on the outer ear for treatment.  We typically send patients home with seeds at specific points in the ear for prolonged therapeutic effects.

What is TuiNa?

TuiNa (twee-na)is a form of bodywork that was developed along side acupuncture.  It utilizes hands-on therapy similar to other types of massage therapy and uses Chinese Medicine theory in its approach.  Combined with acupuncture, it is a highly effective therapy for many types of physical dysfunction that result in pain with limited use and mobility.

Why should I take the herbal formulas that you prescribe; it is just more pills I have to take?

Sometimes acupuncture alone isn’t enough to help you and your body heal.  Acupuncture only helps your body with what it already has to work with.  In a situation of deficiency, we need to give the body the tools (essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals) necessary to recover, stabilize, and heal any given pattern of disease.  Herbal formulas do just this.  The time-tested formulas we utilize are designed to correct the imbalances that created your health concern in the first place.  If you are using medications, the goal is to wean you off of medications and be ‘pill free’ again, if possible.  Herbs are not for long-term use and, therefore, aren’t a long-term expense, unlike many medications.

My physical therapist (or chiropractor or MD) uses acupuncture needles, are they doing acupuncture? 

Yes and no.  Generally speaking, MDs and chiropractors have limited training in Chinese Medicine and acupuncture.  Their professional licenses, respectively, allow acupuncture in their scope of practice by virtue of state licensure laws. Unless they have specifically obtained a degree from an accredited acupuncture school, their training is limited.  Physical therapists have within their scope of practice what’s called ‘dry-needling’.  They do not use Chinese medical theory.  They are trained to do trigger point release utilizing acupuncture needles.  Licensed acupuncturists have extensive didactic and clinical training involving three to four years of study that includes Chinese Medicine and biomedicine theory and concepts.  At a minimum, they also must pass the National Board Exams conducted by the NCCAOM to insure a minimum level of expertise in the field.  Please see the link below for a comparison of training amongst the various professionals practicing acupuncture:

http://www.ccaom.org/downloads/CCAOM_KnowYourAcu.pdf