Frequently Asked Questions
- How old is Chinese Medicine?
- How does it work?
- What are the needles like?
- Does it hurt?
- Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?
- Do you use herbs?
- How do herbs differ from western medicine?
- Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?
- How quickly can I expect to feel better?
- How often should I be treated?
- Does acupuncture always help?
- What should I wear for the treatment?
- Does insurance cover acupuncture?
How old is Chinese Medicine?
How does it work?
Chinese medicine uses tiny needles and herbs to help nurture the body back to health by helping resolve energy imbalances.
What are the needles like?
Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it.
Acupuncture needles are small and hair-thin. They are solid, not hollow like needles used by medical doctors. The end of an acupuncture needle is smooth and rounded. Acupuncture needles are not designed to cut the skin. Instead, when an acupuncture needle is inserted, the round edge pushes the tissue aside without cutting it. Acupuncture needles are so thin it's as if they can glide through the spaces between the individual cells of the body.
US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles: In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on acupuncture needles.The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.
Does it hurt?
People experience needling differently. In my practice I use a variety of techniques based on the needs of the patient. During insertion, there is little to no pain. Some people have said the insertion feels like a mosquito bite and quickly disappears. The majority of my patients, though, never feel insertions. Most of the time I will try to activate the body's energy flow, or "Qi." The arrival of qi is also experienced differently. I have heard it described as a tingling, grabbing, pulling, heating or numbing sensation. Once the needles are in place and the treatment has begun, those feelings tend to subside and leave you in a space of relaxation.
I take great care to make my clients very comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment.
Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.
Do I have to believe in it for it to work?
No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Acupuncture is even used successfully on animals and children. They do not understand or believe in the process yet they get better anyway. A positive attitude helps with any type of therapy but it is not necessary to believe in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.
Since positive expectations and belief in a particular therapy help to increase therapeutic results, I encourage you to raise any concerns or doubts you may have about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I'd like to help you to better understand acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible. You are invited to contact me today, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.
Do you use herbs?
I am a licensed Chinese Herbalist and use herbs regularly with patients. In some cases, herbs will be necessary to see sustained positive benefits. I primarily use raw herbs--which are the strongest and most classical usage of herbs. Sometimes, the raw herbs can be ground into powder. I also have herbal pills I prescribe for certain conditions or for continued therapeutics while patients are traveling. Please contact me for more information on the cooking process of herbs or with any other questions you might have about the use or theories behind Herbology.
How do herbs differ from western medicine?
Chinese herbal formulas tend to be much gentler than western medicines, and work to not only help relieve symptoms, but to help return the body to balance and equilibrium, so that herbs will not be needed further. That is why we often modify the herbs as treatment continues, since the body starts to shift towards being healthier, and therefore the herbs are modified to meet the changing needs of the body.
Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?
It depends on the medications you are taking. This would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
How quickly can I expect to feel better?
In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 4-5 treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment, and may only need 3-5 treatments to resolve. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take a many treatments to help resolve.
How often should I be treated?
Typically I treat patients once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may want to do treatments 2-3 times per week for the first couple of weeks.The benefits of acupuncture tend to remain longer the longer your have been receiving treatments. What typically happens is my patients need to see me less and less over time. Ideally, after a typically treatment course, patients return as necessary only for continued maintenance.
Does acupuncture always help?
No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 5-7 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.
What should I wear for the treatment?
Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance does. You need to check with your insurance plan. I do not accept insurance except PIP: no fault auto accidents and workmen's compensation, but will give you a receipt you can submit to your insurance company for reimbusement.