Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions and concerns I hear about acupuncture and Traditional East Asian Medicine. If you have any specific or follow up questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The experience of receiving acupuncture varies from person to person and even for the same person on different days. Most patients experience the acupuncture techniques that I most frequently utilize as gentle, but there may be some unfamiliar sensations that arise during treatments. I will check in with you about how things are feeling and will do my best to ensure that you are comfortable throughout your treatment. The majority of patients find acupuncture to be a calming experience and many patients fall asleep during their sessions!
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is considered safe when performed by an experienced, well-trained practitioner who is using sterile needles. I have received extensive training in how to safely administer acupuncture and I have over 1200 hours of supervised clinical training. I only utilize sterile, single-use needles in my practice.
What can it treat?
Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine can treat a wide range of conditions. There is more and more research being done on what acupuncture can effectively treat.
The following is a list from the Mayo Clinic on conditions that acupuncture can help with:
Chemotherapy-induced and postoperative nausea and vomiting
Headaches and migraines
Low back pain
Respiratory disorders, such as allergic rhinitis
This is not a comprehensive list, so please contact me if you have questions about whether or not I can help you with a particular condition.
How many treatments will I need?
This is very dependent on the condition that you are coming in for and how long you have been dealing with it. As a general rule, please expect to come in for a minimum of 3-4 visits at a frequency of about once a week. When you first come in, I will evaluate what is going on and make a treatment plan with you based on what I find. For certain conditions, you may notice some changes within a few treatments, but for more stubborn or long-term issues, and for reproductive-health related concerns, it can take a few months or a few “cycles” to notice significant changes.
Some people also like to come in for regular maintenance or “tune-ups.” This is a great way to support a healthy immune system and deal with any imbalances in your body before they grow into more bothersome issues. Seasonal changes can be an excellent time to come in for these types of visits, but feel free to listen to your body's own cues for what rhythm works for you!
What will my first session be like?
I will sit down with you and discuss what you are coming in for in-depth. This will also include a fairly comprehensive health history. I will do some physical examination to determine what is going on in your body, from the frameworks that I have learned during my training, and will come up with a treatment plan for the session. A treatment most often includes the insertion of a few acupuncture needles and may also include heat therapy, bodywork, and/or external herbal applications. I may also give you some “homework” in the form of exercises or stretches, an herbal formula to take, or some other action that will help to make your treatment more effective in the long-run. Please see the “Treatment” page for more information on what these therapies are.
Is there anything I should know before my treatment?
Please make sure to eat and drink something 1-2 hours before coming in for your visit. It is important that your blood sugar is stable when you come in for a treatment. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing with easy access to your lower arms and legs. Depending on what you are coming in for, I may need to access other parts of your body, but I will be sure to drape you with linens to ensure your comfort. People often feel very relaxed and maybe even a little sleepy after their treatments, so please leave some time in your schedule after your appointment so that you have space to gently ease out of your treatment and back into the outside world.