Acupuncture FAQS

What is Acupuncture?

What is acupuncture:

Acupuncture originated in China more than 5,000 years ago. It is an ancient medical treatment based on regulating the body's Qi or "life energy," which flows in the body along pathways called meridians. 

Hundreds of acupuncture points can be opened like gates to balance and harmonize the flow of Qi, relieving pain and many other symptoms of disease.


How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by stimulating various points in the body, which are pathways through which "Qi" flows.  

Acupuncture affects the body in three specific ways:

     1. It alters body chemicals, including stimulation of endorphins.

     2. It causes sensations, which affect nerves and creates beneficial reflex responses.

     3.  It affects the body’s natural electro-magnetic fields. 

What is Qi and how does it travel?

Qi is the energy that animates your body. It provides you with the ability to talk, walk, think, metabolize, dream, and love. Qi also protects you from illness, keeping you strong and healthy. Qi circulates through specific pathways called meridians. 

There are 14 meridian pathways traveling throughout your body. Each one is connected to an organ system. Meridian pathways are like rivers. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving waters, nourishing the land and people around it. Like rivers, your meridian pathways transport life-giving Qi to energize and nourish your entire body, cells, tissues, and organs. 

When Qi travels freely throughout your body, you can enjoy good physical, mental, and emotional health. An obstruction of Qi in your body acts like a dam. Backing up Qi flow in one area of your body, and restricting it in other areas. Restricting the flow of Qi will affect the proper nourishment your body requires in order to function correctly. 

What causes Qi to get stuck?

Physical or emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, poor diet, repetitive strain, excessive activity, seasonal changes, or a weak constitution can all lead to imbalances that disrupt the normal flow of Qi. 

How about needles?

We use the highest quality, sterilized, disposable needles and they are very fine, about the size of a thick hair.  

They are solid and nothing is injected through them. 

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Most people agree that Acupuncture is practically painless. However, a slight tingling, pressure or burning may be felt momentarily when it reaches the correct  spot under the skin.This indicates that the Qi has been reached. 

It is important that the  patient be relaxed and comfortable during treatment so that desired results can be attain.

How will I feel during the treatment?

Once the needles have been placed, you might feel a dull ache or a tingling sensation which indicates that the point has been accurately located, and it will only last for a second or two(Some people even fall asleep). These are normal responses. 

Some people say they feel very relaxed when they are having a treatment, others don't feel much at all. Even if you don't feel much you are still benefiting from treatment.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of your body, reflecting the general health of your organs and meridian systems. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape and coating of your tongue.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are 12 main positions on your wrists that your acupuncturist will feel. Each position corresponds to an organ and meridian system. 

Your acupuncturist will be looking for 27 pulse qualities that reflect the balance of Qi and your general state of health. If there is any imbalance, it will appear in your pulse. 

How long are treatments?

Treatments are between 45 minutes and 1 hour long. The first treatment may be up to 1.5 hours. In this time we will take a full history, spend time getting to know you, and give you time to ask any questions you may have.  

After the treatment, you can expect to feel less pain, more energy, and a heightened sense of well being. 

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments required depends on the severity and duration of the symptoms to be addressed. For a cold or flu, one or two treatments can be very helpful. For chronic health conditions of years or even life-long duration, a longer course of treatment is normally required. 

Within the first 4-6 sessions, the effectiveness of the treatment is often evident and clear treatment goals should be established. During the initial examination the Acupuncture physician will do a complete Health History Intake including Chinese Tongue & Pulse Diagnosis.  After the examination the Physician will recommend an initial number of visits for the patient. 

Does health insurance cover Acupuncture?

You should review your health insurance policy to determine if you will be reimbursed for your Acupuncture treatments. You may want to contact your insurance provider to encourage them to provide reimbursement for Acupuncture. Acupuncture is covered under Workers' Compensation. We will accept Workers' Compensation and P.I.P. insurance if written pre-authorization is obtained from your insurance company. This is the patient's responsibility.   

Are there any side effects?

Acupuncture has withstood the test of time for millions of people. It is a completely safe system with virtually "no side effects". 

After an Acupuncture treatment, most people will experience a sense of well being, relaxation and often be energized.  

Is Acupuncture for you?

Many people are helped by Acupuncture treatment and retain their improvement for months, years and permanently in many cases. The people whose symptoms return may be helped again. 

Are there any precautions to be observed on the day of an Acupuncture treatment?

Yes. To enhance the value of the treatment, the following guidelines are recommended:

  1. Do not come on an empty stomach.

  2. Do not eat an unusually large meal just before or after treatment.

  3. Do not over-exercise or consume alcohol 6 hours before or after treatment.

  4. Avoid cold and iced drinks, as well as cool food the day of the treatment.

  5. Allow for a period of rest immediately after your Acupuncture treatment.

How should I prepare?

 1. Come to the clinic with any questions you may have, your acupuncturist is here to help you.

2. Wear loose and comfortable clothing for easy access to Acupuncture points.

3. Don't eat large meals just before or after your visit.

4. Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for up to 6 hours after your visit.

5. After your treatment, avoid stressful situations, and make time to relax. A warm bath or shower is helpful. Also, be sure to get plenty of rest.

6. Between visits, make notes of any change in your body that may have occurred. Like the alleviation of pain, or pain moving to another area, changes in the frequency and or problems, etc... 

This information will be important to share with your acupuncturist.

Why did my Acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to Acupuncture care. They can strengthen your body, or clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever, or acute pain. Herbs can be used daily. Sometimes your doctor may suggest starting with herbs, and then adding Acupuncture to your treatment.


They will do this in order to build up your internal strength so your body can receive the full benefits Acupuncture has to offer. 



What is Acupuncture?  Does Acupuncture work? 

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