Frequently Asked Questions
How many treatments will I need?
We encourage people to think about Chinese medicine as a process. Some people feel great relief from one treatment while others find a more gradual improvement with acupuncture. The number and frequency of treatments will be discussed with you at your initial visit. Sometimes once a week is adequate and other times a more substantial commitment of 2-3 times for the first few weeks is the best approach. In general, acute conditions tend to be quicker to respond while chronic conditions can take longer.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Most people enjoy the treatments and find them comfortable and relaxing. Occasionally the needle insertion feels like a small pinch that quickly subsides. Some people report a mild tingling, heaviness, warmth, or a dull ache at the acupuncture point, which is an indication that the energy is moving. After your treatment, you will most likely feel less pain, more energy, and a heightened sense of well-being.
Can I address more than one health issue at a time with acupuncture?
Absolutely. Acupuncture acts like a re-set button for the entire body. Often, patients who come in for one issue will notice an improvement in something that seems unrelated. That’s because Chinese medicine is a holistic system and everything is connected . Acupuncture also seems to have the "side effects" of reducing stress and promoting better sleep and more energy.
Can I combine acupuncture with massage, chiropractic, or other healing modalities?
One of the great things about acupuncture is that you can combine acupuncture with almost anything. Very few things make it less effective, and it doesn't interfere with anything else. It's one of the reasons that so many doctors refer their patients to acupuncture.
Do you use sterile needles?
Yes we do. It is a requirement in the state of California to use sterile needles and each one is disposed of in a bio-hazard container as soon as it is removed.
How are the acupuncture points chosen?
Each point has a specific function and indication. Based on your health history and present symptoms combined with your Chinese Medicine Diagnosis, the appropriate acupuncture points are chosen. We tend to focus our treatments on the head, face, and four limbs, although occasionally we select points on the chest, abdomen and neck.
More Q & A
Our colleague, Andy Wegman, has written an entire book addressing the questions that come up in a community acupuncture clinic.