Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles in order to influence various physiological processes in the body. The basic theory is that the body has energy (qi) constantly running through it. As such, a person’s health and well-being are closely tied to the amount and the flow of this energy/qi. If the qi becomes block or depleted, illness results. Thus acupuncture is aimed at accessing the qi in order to encourage it to move smoothly and freely, thus restoring balance and health.
What is Chinese Medicine?
Acupuncture is often used in conjunction with other treatment modalities: cupping, massage and electric stimulation, herbal/nutritional therapy, restorative physical exercises, and meditation. This collection of treatment modalities is often referred to as "Chinese medicine."
Does it hurt?
Acupuncture needles are extremely fine gauge single-use disposable needles. While sometimes a patient might feel a slight sensation on insertion, it is quickly followed by a sense of warmth and relaxation.
What happens during a treatment session?
A treatment starts with an interview in which you describe your chief complaint. Starting from your complaint, I will ask you many different questions about your health condition, lifestyle and behavior. As Chinese medical diagnosis is based on developing a full and intricate picture of the patient, it is important to inform me of any medications you are taking and of all your medical conditions. After questioning, I will then ask you to stick out your tongue so I can inspect it for size, color and coating. I will then feel your pulses. Both the tongue and pulse are unique diagnostic tools; I often use them to confirm and fine-tune your diagnosis. At the end of this intake, we will discuss your diagnosis and treatment plan.
After the interview, you will relax on the treatment table, while I place acupuncture needles into points that correspond to your diagnosis. You will rest with the needles inserted (about 30 minutes) while I create your individualized herbal formula. After I remove needles, we will discuss follow-up treatments and adjunct therapies.
How do I prepare for my first treatment?
In order to best utilize your treatment time, I encourage you to download and complete your initial patient forms. We can then spend the majority of your time in treatment. I also encourage you to eat at least a half an hour before treatment. If possible, wear loose fitting and comfortable clothing. And finally, try to schedule a block of time so you don’t have to rush right out of your treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments is dependent on your Chinese medical diagnosis. Acute conditions like seasonal flu and common cold are generally quick to respond to treatment, while chronic conditions take more treatment time.
What if a Western doctor is treating me?
Chinese medicine is known as a complementary form of medicine. Therefore, as a medical practioner, I work with and coordinate treatment protocols with you and your other medical doctors. I see health and wellness as a "team" approach and while acupuncture can be effective as a sole treatment, it can also be used as an adjunct to other medical treatment forms. However, it is important that you disclose any medications and supplements that you are taking.