Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

What do the acupuncture needles feel like?

Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid and are made from stainless steel only for a single use. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not painful like injection or blood sampling. If any sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they will be manipulated to obtain sensation, which in acupuncture terminology is called “De Qi”. “De Qi” is the term used for the sensation felt when an acupuncturist reaches the level of “Qi” in the body. This sensation may feel like distention or throbbing or an electrical impulse in the area of the acupoint being addressed. Often the sensation radiates down the meridian being addressed. Once the sensation is felt and Qi has been reached, the acupuncturist will leave the needle in place and the sensation will fade. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy in your body in order to help balance it. People who feel “De Qi” sensation usually have better results compared to the people who do not.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take a few visits to achieve results.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.

For acute conditions you may only need a few treatments and for chronic problems you may need a few months of treatment. In China, people go to acupuncture clinic every other day. 10 treatments constitutes one course of treatment. Instead of asking how many treatments do I need, people in China will ask how many courses of treatment do I need.  When treating women’s health issues, related to menstruation, generally it is best to treat through at least three complete cycles.

I generally tell my patients that if you do not feel any relief after having three treatments for acute conditions(within two months) or six treatments for chronic conditions, then perhaps you and I are not a good fit and you should try another acupuncturist.

How long does a treatment take?

Initial visit will take one hour, which includes a detailed intake process, as well as a 30 min acupuncture treatment. I encourage you to download the intake forms and fill them out prior to your first visit. Follow-up visits usually take about 30-40 min.

What style of acupuncture do you practice?

There are several distinctive styles of acupuncture practice. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is by far the most common system of acupuncture taught and practiced in North America today. I mostly practice traditional Chinese acupuncture.

Do you accept insurance?

My practice accepts some insurance. It is imperative to verify if your policy covers the acupuncture or not. In order to best serve you I can verify your insurance benefits before you arrive. Please click “Verify Your Insurance” and complete the online form. I will contact you as soon as the benefits are established. It could take two business days. If you have an HSA or FSA, you can usually use this account to pay for your acupuncture and herbs.

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Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

The effect of single acupuncture treatment could last for about two to three days. For those who come to the clinic on a weekly basis, the treatment would be much better when one tries Chinese herbs at the same time, because herbs give your body a continuous benefit to resolve the problems.

Are Chinese herbs safe?

In the hands of experienced Chinese Medicine practitioners, Chinese herbs are very potent and safe. In the clinic we use herbs of the highest potency, quality, and safety. The most commonly reported adverse reaction is minor gastrointestinal upset. Modifying the herbal formula or adding herbs to strengthen the digestive system can remedy this. In my practice, I use herbs in pills,  powder and bulk form.