DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
This is the first question most people ask me. Although needles are used in acupuncture, they are quite flexible and are the width of 2-3 strands of hair. They are not hollow and do not have a cutting edge like hypodermic needles. To give you a better idea, 30 acupuncture needles can fit into the hole of a hypodermic needle. Treatments are relatively pain-free for the majority of patients. In fact, one of the most popular uses of acupuncture is to reduce chronic pain without the need for medication that can cause unwanted side effects.
ARE THE NEEDLES SAFE?
Acupuncture as a medical practice is highly regulated in the US. Only single-use, sterilized, non-toxic, disposable acupuncture needles are used.
WHAT WILL MY FIRST SESSION BE LIKE?
The first consultation will generally take longer. You will be asked to fill out some paperwork. I will then conduct a comprehensive health intake, tongue and pulse diagnosis, before discussing a treatment plan that is tailored to your condition and health concerns. This is followed by the actual treatment which will last about 30-minutes.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY SESSION?
Always have something to eat within a few hours before your session. It is not advised to receive treatment on an empty stomach. As part of the Chinese Medicine diagnosis process involves reading your tongue, do not brush your tongue the day before treatment, and avoid eating/ drinking food that might stain your tongue 1-2 hours before treatment (e.g. coffee, tea, blueberries). I also recommend patients to wear loosely fitted clothing for comfort and access to certain acupuncture points on the torso, legs and arms.
WHY DO I SOMETIMES FEEL HEAVINESS AT THE NEEDLE SITE DURING A TREATMENT?
There can be slight 'Qi' sensation when the needles are manipulated. These sensations range from warmth, soreness, tingling, to brief heaviness in the area being needled. These are desired sensations as they indicate energy being stimulated and circulating in the meridians. Most patients describe these sensations as fleeting, followed by deeply relaxing, euphoric state, induced by the endorphins released during treatment.
WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE A DIFFERENCE?
Responses to treatment are very individualized. Most patients see improvement within 1-3 sessions for more acute cases. It is important to know that acupuncture works cumulatively and we want to build on the progress; so it is best advised to not have treatments too far apart . A general rule of thumb is that acute conditions require shorter course of treatments, while chronic conditions require longer course.
IS ACUPUNCTURE BENEFICIAL FOR ME IF I FEEL HEALTHY?
Absolutely! Many patients come in for regular maintenance treatments or "tune-ups" for preventative care. Quoting Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Acupuncture is a powerful preventative modality to correct any subtle imbalance before physical symptoms begin to surface as diseases. Since treatments are generally relaxing, many patients also find regular "tune-ups" beneficial for stress relief.
WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL OR RESCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT?
We all know that work and life can require urgent attention from time to time. In order to be respectful to the provider and other patients, please contact me via phone, email or text if you need to reschedule or are running late. I have a strict 24-hours cancellation policy. A fee in the amount of $60 will be charged if the patient does not cancel 24 hours prior to the appointment. For last minute cancellation (within an hour of appointment time) or no-show, the full amount of the session will be charged.