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Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below.

What do the acupuncture needles feel like?

Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid, are made from stainless steel only for a single use. The point is smooth and insertion through the skin is not painful like injection. 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”(energy) in the body. It may feel like distention or throbbing or an electrical impulse in the area of the acupoint being addressed.  This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy in your body in order to help balance it.

How many treatments will I need?

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(energy). An acupuncturist may suggest one to three 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, 10 treatments constitutes one course of treatment. Instead of asking how many treatments do I need, the Chinese 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 three to six complete cycles.

How long does a treatment take?

The initial visits may take 45 minutes to one hour, Follow-up visits usually take about 10-45 minutes.

What style of acupuncture do you practice?

  • Motion Acupuncture
  • Master Tung’s Acupuncture
  • Auricular Acupuncture/Acupressure

Why do you want to feel my pulse?

There are six pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do you 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 acupuncturist recommend herbs?

The effect of a single acupuncture treatment could last for about two to three days. For those who come to the clinic on a weekly basis, the treatment will 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.

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