Frequently Asked Questions

What does an acupuncture treatment involve? Does it hurt?
First time treatments are usually very simple, involving only a few needles. We use some of the slenderest needles available, and will often insert them only a few millimeters.

We incorporate massage into all acupuncture sessions to promote relaxation and improve well being. As you become more comfortable with the acupuncture, we may use moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, herbal recommendations, or electro-acupuncture.

Many patients are nervous about receiving acupuncture for the first time. Fears dissolve as soon as patients first feel the sensation of an acupuncture needle. The sensation might be similar to a tugging, warming, or a heaviness in the area. It is also common for patients not to feel the needles at all. Often there is a general sensation of deep calm and relaxation. Many patients fall asleep during acupuncture. Each session is tailored to the needs of the individual.

How long are the visits?
Usually the first visit is the longest, in order to allow for a complete history taking and exam, usually an hour and a half. Follow-up visits are shorter, about 45 minutes to one hour.

How many treatments are necessary?
An old saying among Chinese doctors is “a month of treatment for every year of suffering.” This is a vast generalization, but it is often true that chronic problems require a longer course of treatment. Your course of treatment will be shortened by the extent to which you help in your healing process through lifestyle and nutritional advice, stress management techniques, stretching or moxibustion “homework.” Many patients choose to come in regularly, perhaps weekly, or once or twice a month, in order to keep feeling in optimum health. Others come in for a couple visits prior to their menses in order to relieve symptoms, regularly as a part of their prenatal care, or occasionally when life’s stresses seem a little overwhelming.

What is acupressure?
No needles needed…acupressure consists of pressing acupuncture points with the hands and fingers.

What is moxibustion?
Moxibustion consists of burning moxa (the herb mugwort, or Artemisia Vulgaris), over or on top of the skin. This provides a comfortable, penetrating heat to specific areas and acupuncture points. Moxibustion in its many forms is a large part of acupuncture practice.

What is cupping?
Cupping consists of creating suction via heat or suction pump between glass, plastic, or bamboo jars and the skin, most often on the back area. When the cups are moved along the muscles, the feeling is similar to that of receiving massage. Blood flow is stimulated and tight strained muscles can relax and heal.

Effects of the Work