Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

  • Acupuncture is a complex branch of Chinese medicine, but its practical principles and methods are easily understood
    • 14 major energy channels called meridians course through the body from head to toe, torso and back to finger tips, and internal organs. 
    • A subtle energy, Qi (pronounced chee), circulates via the meridians to all parts of the body
    • Qi is a vital force. Any misdirection, blockage, or other derangement of the amount, flow or balance may result in pain, dysfunction, and illness.
    • Stimulation of acupoints using acupuncture needles facilitates the body to repair itself and maintain its own health. 

Is it painful?

  • Acupuncture needles are fine, flexible and no bigger around than a piece of thread.  Deftly inserted into an acupoint, the slender needle produces little or no sensation. When the needle makes contact with Qi in the body, most patients experience a slight tingling sensation. Most first-time patients are surprised by how comfortable they are during treatment. 

Are acupuncture needles sterile and safe?

  • Yes! The government requires acupuncturists to follow strict safety procedures regarding needles, and sterilized needles are manufactured, packaged and shipped in strict compliance with the law.  I exclusively use single-use, disposable needles.

What is involved in Chinese medical diagnosis?

  • Pulse Diagnosis- evaluating the pulse reveals excesses, deficiencies, and disharmonies of Qi and organs involved
  • Observation- noting color and condition of tongue, texture and condition of the skin, of the hair, of the voice- its strength, weakness, pitch, etc. 
  • Interview- seeking a history of illness, patient's feelings, lifestyle, diet. All of those, as well as emotional problems may contribute to imbalances
  • Physical Examination- feeling for tender acupoints are a reliable diagnostic tool because certain acupoints are related to specific areas and functions of the body, and tenderness may relate to a specific problem. 

How do you know which acupoints to treat?

  • Acupoints are chosen for their specific location or function. The functions of acupoints have been identified by experience over centuries of clinical practice.  

How long do treatments last?

  • The timing of each treatment depends on each patient's condition and the treatment plan determined for that individual; however, in general, treatments average about 30 minutes. 

How many treatments will I need? How often?

  • Because each patient's health problems and response to treatment are unique, the number and frequency of treatments vary. Typically, the recommendation is one to three treatments per week for eight to sixteen treatments.  In general, acute conditions require less treatment than chronic conditions. 

What can acupuncture treat? 

  • Go to What We Treat for a comprehensive list of conditions that respond well to acupuncture treatment.