Do acupuncture needles hurt?

Most people barely feel a thing when needles are inserted. Some people feel a slight pinch, and others ask “Is it in yet?” The reason acupuncture needles don’t give the painful sensation you might expect is because they’re very, very thin in comparison to the hypodermic needles used to give injections. Forty acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of one standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe.

Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Every practitioner gets extensive training in anatomy so as to avoid accidentally inserting a needle in a place that can cause damage.

Do I have to believe in it for it to work? Does acupuncture always work?

Acupuncture and herbs work whether you believe in them or not. Good results are seen in the majority of cases. When all other treatment methods have failed, this indicates a systemic imbalance – exactly what acupuncture and herbs excel at treating.

What should I expect on my first visit?

During (or prior to) your first visit, you’ll fill out a questionnaire which details your specific symptoms as well as your general health and lifestyle. We’ll ask you some more focused questions to get a more exact picture of any health imbalances you might have. We examine the condition of your tongue (is it cracked, coated, excessively red? etc.), and check your pulse on one or both wrists (the quality of your pulse gives information about possible imbalances). Then, based on the information we’ve gathered, we come up with a treatment plan.

The community treatments are done in very comfortable zero-gravity recliners. After a brief initial consultation, you will be seated in one of the recliners in the community room, and the needles will be placed in the appropriate points, usually on the forearms, hands, lower legs, feet, ears and head.  You can facilitate the process by wearing loose-fitting clothes which can easily expose the areas from the knees and elbows down.  The needles are then retained for about 30-45 minutes while you relax. At the end of the treatment, the needles are removed.

Your subsequent visits will be simpler. We’ll make a short review of your progress followed by an acupuncture treatment.

How often would I need to come in for treatment?

Typically acupuncture treatments are given 1-3 times per week. The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture. Usually frequent treatments are done for the first few weeks; after that, the frequency of treatment may be reduced as your health is restored.

How does acupuncture work?

In Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by balancing the body’s Qi (pronounced like “Chee”). Qi can be described as a form of bioenergy that flows through the body along 14 major pathways (“meridians”). If Qi gets blocked, it shows up as an imbalance or illness. Basically, if you have a health condition, some part of your body’s system is out of whack. Chinese medical theory allows us to diagnose the imbalance… and balance it.

In terms of modern medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating the body to release natural biomolecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. The exact mechanisms which brings this about are unknown, but the effects are measurable.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

It depends on the insurance company. Some insurers cover acupuncture. You can usually find out by calling the number on your insurance card. To keep our costs affordable, we can not determine your eligibility or bill your insurance company.