What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. Acupuncture was developed and practiced for the past nearly 3000 years in China as one of the major treatment methods within Chinese Medicine. This powerful method thrives in its modern form as one arm of “TCM” or Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with Chinese Herbal Medicine and other therapies such as cupping, gua sha, dietary therapy and qi gong (a mind-body meditation practice).


What does acupuncture feel like?

While many acupuncture patients are initially wary of the claim that acupuncture doesn't hurt, they soon discover that the experience is quite pleasurable. You may feel different types of “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) sensations, which can be difficult to describe.  A Qi sensation is the feeling of energy moving or being stimulated within the body as a result of the placement of an acupuncture needle. This moving Qi may be felt as a tingling, a dull pressure, the feeling of warmth or coolness spreading down a limb, or sometimes a dull ache. Sometimes the sensation is felt in a distant location from where the needle was placed.  Usually these feelings disappear within seconds. Most often you will be surprised that you either feel nothing, or you sense a deep warm relaxation coming over your body and mind


Is Acupuncture safe?

When practiced by a trained professional, acupuncture is extremely safe. Because the treatment does not involve the use of drugs, patients do not have to worry about adverse side effects. However, there are certain conditions you should notify your practitioner about before undergoing treatment, such as hemophilia or if you have a pacemaker.


What should I expect during my first visit?

Typically we review your completed Health Questionnaire at the beginning of your visit, and additional questions may be asked. A physical exam may include taking vital signs, as well as detailed examination of the pulse and tongue. Identification of painful areas or tender points on the body, abdominal palpation and /or facial diagnosis may be part of your exam. Based on all of this information, a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis is made. I will place you in a comfortable position to insert the needles. After the needles are inserted, you will relax in the treatment for 20 to 30 minutes, or sometimes longer, depending on your specific needs. I will then return and take out the needles. After the acupuncture treatment is over, other therapy, including Traditional Chinese Herbal medicine, may be discussed or prescribed if they would be helpful to you. Lifestyle and Dietary recommendations based on Oriental Medicine principles may also be made depending on your condition.


How many needles are inserted?

Using anywhere from 10-20 needles during a treatment is common, though more or less are possible. The number of needles I use depends on several factors, including your relative age, energy level and condition being treated, as well as your “sensitivity” and comfort level.  What would be a gentle, light treatment to one patient might be overwhelming to another, because everyone has different levels of sensitivity to physical and energetic stimulation. My treatments are always individually customized, not only to be most effective for your specific condition, but most importantly, to allow you to rest comfortably during your treatment.


How long are the appointments?

While this can sometimes vary, generally a new patient's first visit will last between 1 ½ to 2 hours. If you are being treated for a non-complicated, recent onset (acute) problem, or for a musculoskeletal injury, a 1 hour appointment may be scheduled for your first visit. Subsequent appointments generally last for 1 hour.


How long will it take to get better?

Most health problems take more than one treatment to resolve. Expect to have four treatments before reassessment. Many problems may require ten or more treatments before significant benefits accrue. Along the way, though, you should see an overall improvement in your health as your main complaint improves as well.


How should I prepare for my first visit?

In addition to bringing copies of any previous medical records and medications or supplements you are currently taking, we generally recommend that new patients wear loose fitting clothing and have something to eat approximately one hour before your appointment.

Do I accept insurance?

While I am unable to accept insurance at this time, patients will receive a receipt upon payment for reimbursement.