Frequently Asked Questions

How old is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine goes back over 3,000 years.

How does it work?

Chinese medicine uses tiny needles to access and activate Qi (pronounced "chee" - most closely translated into Western thought as "vital energy"), which helps nurture the body back to health by helping resolve energy imbalances.

What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow, and are small and hair thin. Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it.

US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles

In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on acupuncture needles.The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.

Does it hurt?

People experience the needling sensation differently. There are different styles of needling. I needle most often in the Japanese style which means a very gently insertion the needle, shallow and just under the skin, allowing the Qi to rise to the needle. Acupuncture needles are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly adjusted if the patient feels any discomfort. If any unpleasant sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy and biochemical responses in your body in order to balance it. People have described the Qi sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take great care to make my patients very comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment.

Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.

I don't really understand acupuncture. Will it still work for me?

Of course. I encourage you to raise any concerns or ask any questions you may have about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I'd like to help you to better understand acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible. You are invited to contact me, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.

Do you use herbs?

Yes, I use herbal formulas when appropriate to support treatment.

Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?

It depends on the medications you are taking. This would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis. Never stop or change your medications without first consulting your Western medicine physician.

How quickly can I expect to feel better?

In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 2-3 treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment, and may only need 3-5 treatments to resolve. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take many treatments to help resolve.

How often should I be treated?

Typically I treat patients once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may want to do treatments 2 times per week for the first couple of weeks. The benefits of acupuncture treatments are cumulative and tend to hold longer as you receive treatments so that treatments can be spaced out further. Generally, as the issue resolves, treatments are reduced and then discontinued, however some patients prefer to come in for periodic "tune-ups."

Does acupuncture always help?

Not always, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 4-6 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.

What should I wear for the treatment?

Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Some insurance does. You need to check with your insurance plan. I do not accept insurance at this time, but will give you a receipt you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Do you accept credit cards for payment?

Yes. We accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover, American Express and flexible spending and health savings plans credit cards. We also accept cash and checks. Payment is due at time of service.