FAQ – Acupuncture

Do I have to disrobe to have a treatment?

Nope. For the most part, we work from your elbows and knees to your fingers and toes. For instance, some of the best acupuncture points for back pain are located on your hands. In situations where the practitioner feels a harder-to-access point would be helpful, we will set you up in a private room.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Some claim that acupuncture is painless, but we prefer to say that it depends. While needles can usually be applied in a way that is pain-free, this is not always the best or fastest route towards reaching your health goals. If mild pain, pricking or other similar sensations are an issue, be sure to let your practitioner know so they can take this into account when developing your treatment plan and applying your needles.

How long are appointments?

Your first appointment can last up to 1 hour. Follow-up visits usually last 15-30 minutes. If you need to leave by a certain time, let the front desk know and we’ll make sure you’re out the door with plenty of time.

How many times and how often do I need to come in for treatment?

The answer to this question depends entirely on the individual. You will discuss your treatment with your practitioner and together create a plan that balances best practices with your schedule and lifestyle. In general, chronic, long-term conditions take longer to resolve then acute conditions that recently appeared.

I feel 100% healed after my 1st treatment, why should I come back?

Some patients will feel “100 percent” better after their first treatment. This is especially true of more acute or recent injuries, such as minor sprains, strains, or pains. While that’s great news, experience has taught us that instantaneous relief may not always last. Since we don’t want you to conclude that, “acupuncture doesn’t work,” we recommend you come in for a follow-up visit, even if you don’t think you need it. Yes, acupuncture works, but the effects can wear off over time, as they can with any therapy. Our job is to create a lasting change in your body, and this can take a number of sessions. When working with our practitioners, we recommend you keep track of when your symptoms reappeared, and together we create a treatment schedule that builds on successful acupuncture sessions. Our goal is to treat you as thoroughly and as quickly as possible, so you can rave to your friends about how awesome we are and how effective acupuncture is.

I’m afraid of needles, can I still get Acupuncture?

Acupuncture needles are super thin, and a treatment feels nothing like a hypodermic injection from your doctor. We work with new patients every day and some are not so keen on needles. Once they give it a try, they find acupuncture extremely relaxing. Just let us know how you feel and we’ll make sure you are comfortable. 

Is Acupuncture for me?

Chances are good that acupuncture has something to offer you. Acupuncture works by correcting the imbalances that cause disease and by stimulating your body’s natural healing mechanisms. Even if you are in great health by western medicine’s standards, acupuncture can improve your quality of life by enhancing your mood, boosting energy, and facilitating sleep. Acupuncture is effective for an incredibly wide range of conditions. In many cultures, acupuncture was used as primary health care for centuries, and acupuncturists were called on to treat everything under the sun. For generation after generation, the greatest minds of the times would spend their lives refining their understanding of the human body and healing techniques. The medicine we practice today is a reflection of this work and is still highly dynamic in its evolution, changing and refining itself as new information and understandings emerge.

Is Acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate points on the body, but having acupuncture is nothing like getting a shot at the doctor’s office. You might experience a prick similar to a bug bite, though often, there is no sensation at all. Some people describe the needles as producing mild pain, or a gentle throbbing or rushing. Certain points can be more sensitive than others; we try not to use the painful points if we don’t need to, though there are times when they are the most effective. If you are sensitive to needles, let us know and we’ll make sure to balance your comfort with your health goals.

Is Acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe when performed by a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.). If anyone knows how safe acupuncture is, it’s the insurance companies. The minimal cost of our malpractice insurance speaks volumes about the safety of this medicine.

What does Acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is effective for an incredibly wide range of conditions. You can visit our “Why Acupuncture” page for more information. Feel free to contact us directly as well.

What is Community Acupuncture?

At a community acupuncture clinic, treatments take place in a large, quiet, and comfortable room, where multiple people are treated at the same time. Treatments take place on a massage table. Patients do not disrobe but instead roll up their pants and shirt sleeves to their knees and elbows. Consultations with your practitioner are highly focused and treatments last as long as you need. There are many benefits of Community Acupuncture such as: greater scheduling flexibility, customized treatment lengths designed around you, opportunity for friends and family to be treated at the same time and the wonderful power of a group healing environment…priceless!

Why do you ask for so much information?

In Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a diagnosis is formed by information gathered from questions and observation. Any piece of information can confirm or contradict a possible diagnosis, so the more information we collect, the more certain we are. While some of the information we ask for may seem completely unrelated to the reason you came in, this information can be of vital importance in correctly determining your diagnosis and designing your treatment plan.

Why do you recommend frequent and regular treatments?

During your first visit, your acupuncturist will recommend a certain number and frequency of treatments before your condition is reassessed. An example of a typical recommendation is, “2 times a week for 4 weeks.” Some patients are asked to come in more or less often depending on a variety of factors, including the patient’s health goals. Acupuncture treatments can take time to work and to provide lasting results. While some patients will feel immediate relief or a measurable lessening of symptoms with each treatment, this does not mean your condition is gone for good. A good analogy is the use of antibiotics in western medicine. With antibiotics, you are not asked to take a pill once. Instead you are prescribed a course of treatment that can last for days or weeks. You might feel markedly better after a short time, but you still need to complete the course of treatment. Acupuncture is the same. We are slowly changing the way your body is balanced, and this is not something that typically happens in one treatment. Your body needs time to learn how to balance itself, so it won’t revert to its old ways.