Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a typical treatment like?
A: Your initial evaluation and treatment will include a thorough medical and physical history followed by examination of the tongue and pulses, as well as palpation of the abdomen or any areas of pain. Your acupuncturist will then develop and discuss with you a treatment plan for the session.
Sterile needles will be inserted and retained from 15 to 45 minutes, depending on the location and desired therapeutic effect. Your acupuncturist may also employ other modalities, including:
- Moxibustion ("Moxa"): heating of acupuncture points with a herbal cone or stick. It can provide a mild but deep heat to activate and warm the acupuncture point and muscles. Most patients find it very relaxing.
- Cupping: application of glass, wooden or metal cups to the skin to create a suction effect that may help improve circulation and stimulate the body's healing process.
- Herbal medicines: Chinese herbs given in the form of teas, pills, and capsules to supplement and complement acupuncture treatment
- Electrostimulation: Electrical stimulation of two or more acupuncture needles to help further pain relief. Most patients find this painless.
- Micro-stim: Very subtle electrical stimulation used to decrease pain and inflammation and increase circulation
- Heat TDP lamp - Special type of heat lamp with a mineral coated plate. When heated it emits a band of electromagnetic waves that correspond to the wavelengths released and absorbed by the human body. Therapeutically helps to stimulate the body's response to illness or injury, increases local blood circulation and relieves of minor muscular and joint pain.
- Tui Na: A type of oriental massage along the channels or acupuncture points without needles. It is performed with the hands, fingers and an instrument with a hard shaped instrument.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: Acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle, so most clients experience very little sensitivity to their insertion. A relatively painless sensation may be felt upon insertion, but no pain should be felt after the needle is inserted. Some clients will experience soreness, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric during or after treatment. Be sure to communicate any discomfort to your acupuncturist so they can modify treatment if necessary to make you more comfortable. Your practitioner is always interested in knowing how you are feeling during and after treatment.
Q: How long will my session last?
A: Your initial evaluation and treatment will last approximately 90 minutes. Follow up treatments usually last about one hour.
Q: How many sessions will I need?
A: Unfortunately, it is very difficult to know how many sessions will be needed because all clients respond to treatment differently and different goals take varying amounts of time. The number of sessions you need will depend on your age, health, and how your body responds to treatment. Some acute problems may respond within one to two treatments while other chronic conditions may require multiple treatments. Acupuncture assists your body to make changes that alleviate pain and restore energy levels. It is important to understand that these changes take time. Your acupuncturist will discuss an estimated number of treatments based on previous experience, while also taking into account the individual nature of each client's treatment and response.