FAQs

Q?

What is Acupuncture?

A.

It is a treatment modality which was developed several thousand years ago to treat
illnesses and medical conditions through a noninvasive holistic medical system. It looks
at the body as a whole being and works with the body’s energy system called “Qi” to
promote natural healing.

Q?

What kind of needles do you use?

A.

The needles are sterile and brand new. They are one-time use, and vary in size and
length depending on the location they are placed. They are thin, slightly thicker than a
human hair and solid. They are made from stainless steel and the point of the needle is
smooth and not hollow like a hypodermic needle and many times smaller.

Q?

Does Acupuncture hurt?

A.

This is a very common question because people associate needles with pain from
Western Medicine. Acupuncture needles are not anything like hypodermic needles
used to administer medications in Western Medicine. Acupuncture needles are many
times smaller in thickness and are solid with smooth endings. People experience
acupuncture needles differently and most patients feel only a minimal sensation as the
needles are inserted. Some people feel no pain at all and others feel as short quick
sensation upon insertion. Once the needles are in place, people may feel anything from
nothing to a heaviness or lightness feeling.

Q?

How safe is Acupuncture?

A.

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no
side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of
infection as the needles are sterile and used one time and then discarded.

Q?

What is Qi?

A.

Qi is energy. Each and every one of us has energy flowing through our bodies. You
can think of it this way, wherever you have blood vessels flowing in your body you have
energy meridians or channels flowing. These meridians balance and regenerate the qi
in your body. When Qi flows freely you enjoy good health. When there is an
imbalance, too little or too much, illnesses or pain conditions can develop.

Q?

What can I expect during an acupuncture treatment?

A.

During your first visit, the practitioner will ask you questions about your health and
take a complete history and evaluation. The questions will be not only about the
condition you are experiencing but about your life style, your previous illnesses, and the
medications and supplements you are taking. A non-invasive physical examination will
be conduct on the issue presenting and some palpation will be done on the energy
pathways and reflex points on your body looking for sensitive, tender, or reactive areas.
After palpation, the sterile disposable needle treatment will begin. After 20 minutes the
needles are removed. Most people experience the process relaxing and many fall
asleep during the treatment. The entire session usually lasts between 1 hour to 1 ½
hours. Follow up visits are usually 1 hour in length.

Q?

How often do I have to come for treatments?

A.

This depends on several things, how long have you had the problem. What is the
severity of the condition, what level of pain are you experiencing. What is the nature of
the condition is it internal or external. Some acute conditions such as a cold, may be
resolved in one treatment. Chronic long term health problems may require a series of
treatments. Usually it takes 6 to 15, then an re-evaluation will be done to determine the
effectiveness. Some illnesses which are life-long may require many treatments over an
extended period of time. In general, treatments are usually done on a weekly basis.
Acute conditions may require more frequent visits initially, and be quickly resolved and
more chronic conditions are usually treated weekly then the sessions are tapered off as
the problems resolve.

Q?

Do I have to believe in this energy thing for this to work?

A.

Acupuncture is effective whether you believe in it or not. It has been effectively been
used for thousands of years with millions of people. Additionally, acupuncture has been
used on animals such as horses, dogs, and cats with success as well as on children.
While you don’t have to believe in it have confidence in the system of medicine which
has worked effectively for millions of people over several thousand years.

Q?

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

A.

It depends on your insurance coverage. The best answer to this question is to
check with your insurance provider to see if they do cover and for what conditions.
Many insurance providers will pay for acupuncture visits in pain related conditions.

Q?

Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the treatment?

A.

It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that you are not empty
during the treatment. Sometimes a person who has not eaten may feel the needle
insertions more than if they had eaten. At times, someone who has not eaten may feel
lightheaded or weak. You should also not drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or exercise
vigorously prior to your session. You want to allow your body to be able to adjust to the
energy changes that will occur during the acupuncture session.

Q?

What should I wear during a treatment?

A.

It is best to wear loose fitting clothing so that your arms, legs, and abdomen are
accessible. Shorts are great in the summer time, sweatpants or other similar loose
fitting clothing is recommended. Minimal make-up and avoid perfumes, colognes and
other strong scented cosmetics as many patients have allergies or are sensitive to
strong smells.

Q?

What conditions can Acupuncture treat?

A.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the use of acupuncture to
treat a wide variety of conditions. The National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted its
own research and concurred on the list developed by the WHO and added that
acupuncture was effective in the treatment of asthma. The report which is dated today
was written in 1997 and stated: “There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to
expand its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its
physiology and clinical value.” (NIH 1997 Report p.19).

Some of the more common ones are listed below:

ailments

Q?

What does Acupuncture actually do?

A.

The National Institute of Health conducted a scientific review in 1997 and conducted
through the review of random controlled clinical trials that acupuncture has the following
biological effects on the body:
• Acupuncture releases endorphins, substances which inhibit pain
• Acupuncture regulates the endocrine functions in the body
• Acupuncture increases the circulation
• Acupuncture enhances the body’s immune function

In addition, two key points were presented within this report: a comparison between
acupuncture and conventional western medicine was made: “One of the advantages of
acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than of many
drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions. (NIH p.9),
and the panel of experts concluded that acupuncture has much to offer in today’s
medical treatment model: “There is sufficient evidence of acupuncture’s value to expand
its use into conventional medicine and to encourage further studies of its physiology and
clinical value.” (NIH 1997 Report p.19).