What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain, as the needles are inserted. Sensations are usually a mixture between dull, achy, tingling or can be heavy. While others experience no sensations at all but more of a sense of relaxation and tranquility.
Is acupuncture safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that sterile, solid, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only.
Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. So yes, when used properly, acupuncture is very safe.
What can I expect on my first visit?
The first visit is about 60-75 minutes. This is because we take into consideration the entire body and how the dynamics of your condition are affecting the flow of your Qi. A complete history and examination will be taken and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about your condition as well. During this time, we will also discuss whether herbal formula is appropriate for you.
After the initial intake, you will receive an acupuncture treatment which entails acupoints that are methodically chosen pertaining to your condition. The needles will be retained anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on what your body needs, all the while, you will be laid down in a tranquil, serene and safe environment.
Patients usually come in once a week during the treatment course, each treatment thereafter will be about one hour.
How many treatments will I need?
Overall, most patients begin to notice changes within the first 3-5 acupuncture treatments and significant improvements within 6-12 treatments. With acupuncture, the effectiveness of each treatment typically builds upon the previous one. Depending on the nature of the health concern and the individual response, a patient may require anywhere from 6-25 treatments or more to achieve the goal of the treatment plan. Acute conditions tend to resolve more quickly, whereas, chronic conditions may require a longer and more consistent series of treatments.
What I can help you with:
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy can be benficial for almost any condition. Here are some common conditions, but not limited to, which the World Health Oragnization and the United States Institues of Health have determined can be treated with acupuncture. Please contact me if there are any questions regarding conditions that are not listed below.
Common Cold & Flu
Women's & Men's Health:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Low back pain and Sciatica
Strains & Sprains
Muscle Cramps & Spasms
Tendinomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
Periarthritis of Shoulder
Headaches & Migraines
Nausea & Vomit
Acid Reflux & GERD
High Blood Pressure
The WHO is long (which is awesome) but to guide you in choosing the right acupuncturist for you, here's a list of disorders that I focus on within my clinical practice:
Upper and lower back pain
Shoulder pain (rotator cuff injuries)
Muscle Health/Trigger Points/Muscle Sprains and Strains
Workout Training Recovery
Regulating Menstrual Cycle
Fibroids, Ovarian Cysts, Polyps, Fibroids
GERD/Heart Burn/Acid Reflux
Do you need a reason to come in for acupuncture?
Absolutely not! Most patients initially seek acupuncture for a specific reason, whether its pain, digestion or whatever they can't resolve with Western medicine. They get better, feel good and they want to keep coming back because they like the effects that acupuncture treatments have on their physical spirit and emotional self. Once we have resolved initial problem and there is nothing else you'd like to address, you can opt to come in for a tune up or follow up whenever you want. It's hard to carve out time for your mental spirit, why not come in and get an hour of self care. Your body will thank you for it.
Still have questions? I did a quick Q&A on Marthstewart.com, where I offered some tips and advice for those interested in acupuncture. Happy reading!