How does acupuncture work?

When your acupuncturist inserts a needle, your body responds by initiating pain relief, immune function, and hormonal balance. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies have shown that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system. The needle may affect the area in which it is inserted, or may affect a part of the body far from the needle insertion point. This works because of the vast network of nerves that connect the skin to the internal organs.

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How many acupuncture sessions do I need?

It depends. A mild acute condition may take only a few visits to resolve completely. Painful acute conditions should be seen at least 3 times a week, sometimes every day if indicated, until the situation improves. A chronic disease will certainly take longer. A chronic disease should be seen at least twice per week, for a treatment course of 10-12 sessions. After this series you can taper down to once a week, and then every other week, then ending with once a month until your issue is completely resolved. I believe that every medicine has its proper dosage, and I will be glad to work on a schedule that is best for you.

How many treatments are required to make me feel better?

Most health problems take more than one treatment to resolve completely. Expect to have four to ten treatments before a reassessment of your condition. There can be subtle changes during this timeframe, which are important to review with the practitioner at each visit to make sure the changes are satisfactory. The Chinese philosophy is for every year of the disease you need one month of treatment.

What kind of symptoms should I expect after a treatment?

After your first visit, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Flu-like symptoms, aching, mild headaches and slight fever
  • Bruising or swelling at the needle point
  • Feeling of euphoria

These symptoms are not a sign that anything is wrong. Acupuncture is a cleansing and balancing of the whole body. As you heal, these symptoms will pass, and you will begin to feel better. After your session, you may feel tired for up to 3 days. During this time, your body is cleansing and eliminating the toxins and poisonous waste that builds up in the blood stream. Fatigue is part of the normal healing process, and can be a positive sign that acupuncture is working. I encourage you to relax and take it easy for the first 1-3 days. You might find it helpful to take a warm, relaxing bath or shower before bedtime. It is important that you hydrate before and after a treatment. This will help with the detoxification mechanism and prevent potential painful feelings from the needles.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. Each needle is sterile, for one-time use, and disposable. The needles are NEVER inserted deeply enough to puncture internal organs. In a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), only 64 “adverse events” occurred in 55,291 acupuncture treatments (0.12%). “Adverse events” consisted of minor symptoms such as dizziness, discomfort, bruising and sweating.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Unlike hollow needles used for injections, acupuncture needles are extremely thin, about the width of a single human hair. They are specially designed to reduce the possibility of pain. The patient might feel a pricking sensation, pressure, warmth or nothing at all. It can be similar to the feeling of plucking your eyebrows.

What are the modalities and tools the acupuncturists will be using?

After the initial diagnosis, the practitioner can use any combination of the following modalities in your treatment protocol: needles, cupping, moxa, electro-stimulation, tui na massage, and recommendation of herbs or diet that match your needs.

What is Chinese herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine is the Chinese equivalent to biomedical pharmacology. When you are diagnosed by a Chinese medicine practitioner, she will prescribe an herbal formula that is tailored for your condition. This formula may be in the form of a pill, tea, concentrated liquid extract, powder, or externally applied paste. The herbal formula is a way to enhance the effects of acupuncture so that your results will last as long as possible. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, Chinese herbal medicine uses customized prescriptions for each individual to minimize the potential for side effects.

Can I still benefit from Chinese medicine without the use of needles?

Absolutely! Herbal medicine and changes in your diet can also be a powerful way to improve your condition without needles.

Your communication is very important to us, so don’t hesitate to express your needs, frustrations, questions or concerns at any time.  This enables us in our quest to be the best practitioners we can be in order that our clients are as happy as can be.  Please contact us at 919-933-4151 or