FAQ

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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.

There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, which are known as de qi (pronounced “day-chee”). These may include slight cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild.

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Acupuncture needles are extremely safe, because they are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable.

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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 systematic imbalance – exactly what acupuncture and herbs excel at treating.

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During your first office visit, we spend a lot of time getting a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. We examine the condition of your tongue (is it cracked, coated, excessively pink? etc.), and check your pulse on both wrists (the quality of your pulse gives information about possible imbalances). We’ll also ask questions about your emotional state, and specific symptoms you may have.

The first visit can last from an hour to an hour and a half total.  We begin by talking about and looking over your medical history and then end with an acupuncture treatment. Your subsequent visits will be much faster – usually an hour long. We’ll make a short review of your progress followed by an acupuncture treatment.

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Typically acupuncture treatments are given once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, treatments may be given 2-3 times per week until the condition starts to come under control. The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture.

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In Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by balancing the body’s Qi. Qi can be described as a form of bio energy that runs along 12 major meridians. If Qi gets blocked, it shows up as an imbalance or illness.  Chinese medical theory allows us to diagnose the imbalance and balance it.

In Western medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating parts of the brain. It also stimulates the body to release natural bio molecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. The exact mechanisms which brings this about are unknown, but the effects are measurable. A good example of this is the use of acupuncture to induce labor. One of the first things that Oriental medical students learn is that there are a few points that are absolutely forbidden to use with pregnant women. These points cause the release of oxytocin, which is the hormone that naturally induces labor. Studies have shown that using acupuncture to induce labor reduces the active (painful) phase of labor by an average of 3.6 hours.

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Some insurers cover acupuncture. You can usually find out by calling the number on your insurance card. We provide a “superbill” that provides all the information you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is a standardized form which insurers expect.

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