Commonly asked questions about Acupuncture

How does it work? There are many theories about how acupuncture works. The Traditional Chinese Medicine view is that the yin and yang qi of the body can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body, promoting health and healing. The Western view is that performing acupuncture on the body produces biochemical and physiological effects. Neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones are released. The immune system is stimulated, and other effects include increased circulation and reduced inflammation.

Does it hurt? Most find acupuncture very relaxing, some feel more energized, or some feel similarly to having done meditation. The acupuncture needles are single use only, pre-sterilized, solid stainless steel as thin as a human hair. You may not feel anything at all or feel a dull sensation or a quick pinch upon insertion.

What should I expect during my visit? Your acupuncturist will do a thorough inquiry at your initial evaluation, as well as check your tongue and pulse. After determining a Chinese Medicine diagnosis, she will determine which acupoints to utilize during your treatment. You will lay down comfortably on the treatment table for about 30 mins with the needles placed at different areas of your body. At the point of needle insertion, you may feel nothing at all or a vague tingling, pressure, or heaviness in that area. Sometimes people experience a burst of energy spreading and moving around the needle. Often people fall asleep from relaxing during the treatment.

How will I know if it’s working? Are there side effects? Everyone reacts differently to receiving acupuncture. Some feel immediate changes, for some it may take a few sessions to take effect. Acupuncture has virtually no unpleasant side effects. Any that do occur are mild are self-correcting.

How many sessions will I need? Acute conditions tend to respond faster than chronic, longer lasting conditions. I recommend patients come in regularly for 4-6 weeks to be able to notice a change. Then treatment is usually tapered off, bimonthly, monthly or seasonally. For an acute condition, coming in twice a week for a month can produce quicker results. Chronic conditions may require treatments for several weeks.

What type of training do Acupuncturists get? To become an Acupuncturist, there is typically a 4 year graduate level Master’s program followed by a Board Exam to licensed in that state ( California Acupuncture Board or NCCAOM for 46 other states plus D.C.). This includes a minimum of 900 clinical hours. One can also get a Doctorate level degree.

Is acupuncture safe? When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, acupuncture is extremely safe.

Make an appointment with your acupuncturist today!

She will gladly answer any other questions you may have.