Frequently Asked Questions
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe and natural therapy. Patients often feel relaxed and a sense of well-being during the treatment. Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized and discarded after a single use.
Is Acupuncture Painful?
We take great care to make our patients very comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place
Many of the needles are not felt at all. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine (about the size of the diameter of a human hair).
If you are highly sensitive or nervous about the needles, please let us know and we will make sure you are comfortable throughout the treatment. We are committed to making sure you feel comfortable during your treatments and accommodate all of your needs.
What Should I Expect On My First Treatment?
During your first visit, the practitioner will take a complete health history and physical evaluation of the specific requested condition. They will also ask you questions about your lifestyle, nutrition, past medical history, and any information that may be pertinent to your current health condition.
Labs will NOT be reviewed or interpreted during acupuncture visits. These will require a naturopathic visit.
The practitioner will feel your pulse, look at your tongue, and may palpate specific areas of your body to look for tender areas.
The initial treatment may last between 1-1.5 hours, and all subsequent treatment are about 1 hour.
How Does Acupuncture Feel?
Once needles are quickly and gently inserted, patients relax. Most patients feel very little discomfort. Patients may feel heaviness, tingling, a dull ache, or warmth around the insertion site. You may continue to feel this for a short period after the treatment is complete. Many people also report sensations of movement of energy within their bodies. These are good signs that the points are appropriate to the treatment.
Most patients find the treatments deeply relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment
If you experience any discomfort with the needles, please tell your acupuncturist who will make adjustments immediately.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Acupuncture is safe, minimally invasive, and has very few side effects. Side effects may include slight bruising, bleeding, and possibly dizziness. Soreness and fatigue may also occur. All needles are pre-sterilized and used only once so infection is extremely rare.
Where Do The Needles Go?
Needles are placed at specific acupuncture points on the body. Based on the evaluation, the needles are commonly placed at or below the elbows, and at or below the knees. Other common areas are on the back, abdomen, ears, and face.
How Can I Prepare For My Acupuncture Treatment?
The best way to prepare is to eat a snack or a light meal before treatment. If possible, wear loose clothing so that your arms, legs, and abdomen are accessible for treatment. Some patients bring a change of clothing to wear during their acupuncture treatment. Please also bring any necessary and requested paperwork such as recent labs, intake forms, medication list, etc.
We understand that the idea of having multiple needles place on your body by a relative stranger can make people nervous especially if this is your first time ever getting acupuncture! So we guide each of our patients through the treatment process before they get on the table during their first visit.
Can I Receive Acupuncture When I Am Pregnant?
Yes! Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and can help relieve many pregnancy and postpartum conditions. Some acupuncture points are contraindicated during pregnancy so it is important to inform the practitioner if you are pregnant. We highly recommend acupuncture during your first trimester to help assist embryo development, prevent miscarriage, and address any other symptoms that may arise during this time.
How Will I Feel After My Treatment?
Everyone's results vary, but most patients feel relaxed and refreshed. It is common for patients to feel more relaxed after a treatment and require some extra sleep later in the day or that evening. We recommend drinking a glass of water or eating a snack after your visit.
What Should I Do After My Treatment?
It is also recommended to avoid strenuous activities or exercises for the rest of the day after treatment.
For the first 24-48 hours after treatment, it's a good idea to pay attention to the way you feel with regard to what was treated (e.g. Has the condition changed at all in frequency, intensity, or area affected? How long did the improvement last? How was my mood? How was my sleep that night?) so you can report back to your practitioner at your next appointment.
How Many Treatments Do I Need?
Well...honestly, "It depends." It depends upon many things such as your health issue(s), is this a recent or on-going issue, the intensity or frequency of symptoms, your lifestyle, exercise habits, nutrition, and, of course, your health goals. Since acupuncture works with the body's natural healing ability, your body's constitution can also play a role.
For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for several months may be recommended. For acute problems, usually fewer visits are required, usually around eight to ten visits.
Plus, it's a process! It is rare for anyone to experience a complete, long-term end of a problem with only one treatment. Most people need a series of treatments in order to get good results and maintain those results - similar to how one pill prescribed by your doctor won't do much by itself and, if it does, the effects may not last long.
Acupuncture has a multiplying effect. So the closer together your treatments are, the more each treatment will build upon the last treatment result. This is why most conditions require closely spaced treatments in the beginning followed by treatments spread further apart as progress is made. The goal is to create longer-lasting results while gradually decreasing to a maintenance treatment schedule.