Frequently Asked Questions

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Why choose acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective, safe, and drug-free method of addressing many ailments in the body, including pain, internal disharmony and emotional distress.

The acupuncturist places fine needles in specific points in the body to help the autonomic nervous system reset, boosting the immune system and helping the patient move toward optimum health.

A U.S. Health and Human Services website article suggests that acupuncture is helpful in most medical situations. In it an NIH researcher states: "In many research studies, it's clear that if you're comparing acupuncture to usual care, the acupuncture group almost always does better." (See the Articles page for a variety of credible sources of information about acupuncture, including this article.)

Do the needles hurt?

Most people associate needles with thick unbendable hypodermic needles that are used to administer shots. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and flexible, similar to a horse hair. The needles are constructed in a way to make insertion painless, and it is often undetectable by the patient. After insertion, the acupuncturist will stimulate the needle to either disperse blockages, or tonify areas needing more energy. During the stimulation, the patient might feel tingling, warmth, itching, heaviness, or a strong sense of movement. These responses are desirable and are all signs that the treatment is working. Because acupuncture stimulates the limbic system, which is like a reset for the nervous system, patients typically experience a feeling of deep relaxation during and after treatment.

Are the needles safe?

Only sterile, disposable, single-use needles are used. Harmful side effects to acupuncture are extremely rare when the acupuncture is performed by a licensed, nationally board certified acupuncturist.

My doctor (or chiropractor) is also an acupuncturist, should I just see him/her for acupuncture?

Medical doctors in the Unites States can be licensed to practice acupuncture after having completed a 300 hour medical acupuncture course. Acupuncturists receiving a Masters of Science in Acupuncture have completed over 3000 hours of clinical and didactic course work. Because of this, the theory and practice of acupuncture can be quite different between a regular acupuncturist and a medical doctor or chiropractor practicing acupuncture. The experience of the patient and the results can be astoundingly different.

Can I use acupuncture in conjunction with western medicine?

Yes. Acupuncture can be used safely in conjunction with western medicine, chiropractic and osteopathic adjustments. It is important to inform the acupuncturist of all medications and methods of treatment, so that the information can be used to formulate the most effective treatment.

How long is a typical appointment?

The initial consultation and treatment will take about one hour and fifteen minutes. During this time, a complete medical history will be taken, and a comprehensive physical evaluation will be preformed, followed by the acupuncture treatment. Follow up visits typically take an hour. If you are being seen on your lunch hour, however, please let me know as I can compress a treatment into 45 minutes.

How many treatments will I need?

Each person's response to acupuncture is unique to them. Some people respond immediately, and some take a few visits to start seeing changes. In general, acute conditions (those developed within the last 3 months) usually take 5 to 6 consecutive weekly treatments to clear up. With chronic conditions, those the patient has experienced for longer than 3 months, treatment can take a longer period of time to clear. The patient will likely, however, start seeing some change within a few treatments.

How should I prepare for treatment?

Please eat a small meal at least an hour before treatment, and be sure to drink plenty of water. Please bring with you a list of any medications and supplements you are taking, along with the dosages.

I look forward to meeting you!