FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is Acupuncture Safe?

 

When performed by a professionally trained NCCAOM-certified acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy that yields minimal side effects except for feelings of relaxation and well-being. Acupuncture needles are a sterile, single-use only, FDA-approved medical device, and are discarded immediately after treatment.

 

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

 

The sensations produced by an acupuncture needle can vary. While some people may feel nothing at all, others may initially feel a sensation of heaviness, dullness, numbness, or tingling as the needles are inserted, which often subsides. Most people find the sessions relaxing, and some even fall asleep during treatment.

 

How Does Acupuncture Work?

 

People often ask what is in the needles that produces such sensations and brings about healing. Acupuncture needles are solid filiform needles, and do not contain any medicines or pharmaceuticals. Acupuncture works by activating the body's natural self-healing processes. It enables the body to make its own medicine through regulation of its own resources - its endorphins, neurotransmitters, hormones, and anti-inflammatory agents. Acupuncture works from the inside out, boosting the body's innate ability to self-heal and allowing it to function at its fullest potential. 

 
How Many Treatments Will I Need?

 

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate improvement in symptoms, while others may take longer to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute conditions. For most conditions, a series of several sessions is necessary in order to achieve maximum benefit, while more severe ailments may require a greater number of sessions. After an initial consultation, a treatment plan will be devised for you that will include the techniques to be used as well as the frequency and duration of treatment.

 

What Should I Expect to Feel After Treatment?

 

An acupuncture treatment typically induces feelings of calm and relaxation. You may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the experience is especially strong. There might also be a temporary flare-up of symptoms during the healing process. After a treatment session it is recommended to rest, or partake in light activities. Avoid heavy meals, alcohol, strenuous exercise, and stressful situations after a treatment. 

 

What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?

 

Acupuncture has been recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective therapeutic treatment for many conditions, including, but not limited to, the following: 

 

  • Musculoskeletal: back pain, neck/shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, knee pain, sciatica, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, TMJ, sports injuries, Achilles pain

  • Disorders of the Eye: conjunctivitis, myopia in children, cataracts, central retinitis

  • Disorders of the Mouth: toothache, gingivitis, post-extraction pain 

  • Respiratory: asthma, bronchitis, allergies, sinusitis, common cold 

  • Digestive: gastritis, biliary colic, chronic duodenal ulcer, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea

  • Urogenital: incontinence, nocturnal enuresis, neurogenic bladder dysfunction​

Other common ailments which benefit from acupuncture include: 

 

  • Cardiovascular: hypertension, hypotension, poor circulation, palpitations, anemia

  • Digestive: food allergies, IBS, colitis, ulcers

  • Dermatological: eczema, dermatitis

  • Women's Health: amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menstrual irregularity, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pelvic pain, endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility (men & women), morning sickness, induction of labor, sexual dysfunction

  • Cancer and Treatment Side Effects: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, constipation, neuropathy, post-operative healing, dizziness, depressed immune function 

  • Psycho-emotional: stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue, PTSD 

  • Miscellaneous: weight management, addictions (smoking/drugs/alcohol)

 

Will Acupuncture Interfere with My Medications?

 

Acupuncture is a safe therapy that can work alongside your medications and often times increases their efficacy. We do not advise patients to discontinue medications prescribed by their doctor. Rather, we urge you to inform your doctor of all adjunctive therapies you may be using so that your doctor may adjust your treatment plan accordingly. Likewise, we ask you to inform us of any treatments or medications you are receiving, as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment.

What are the Credentials of an Acupuncturist?

In the United States, training for acupuncturists consists of successful completion of a 4-year graduate program in Acupuncture (MSAC/DAC) or Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM/DAOM) from an accredited acupuncture school. These programs encompass rigorous academic and clinical training in both Western medicine and Traditional Oriental Medicine, and include training in herbal medicine, cupping therapy, and other modalities. Additionally, acupuncturists must pass national and/or state board exams in order to be licensed. 

Does Cupping Therapy Hurt?

As with acupuncture, the sensations produced during a cupping treatment can vary. While some people may experience mild discomfort from the suction of the cups, most find the treatment to produce a very calming and soothing sensation.

How Does Cupping Work?

Cupping therapy loosens muscles and sedates the nervous system. It stimulates blood flow by expanding superficial blood vessels and bringing cellular debris to the surface to clear any stagnation and remove toxins from the body. In doing so, cupping helps to improve blood and lymph circulation and can thereby treat a wide range of conditions. 

Are Herbal Medicines Safe?

Herbal medicine is very safe and mostly free of side effect when prescribed by a well-trained professional herbalist. In general, herbs have much lower toxicity than many pharmaceutical drugs and they are generally safer than over-the-counter drugs. Herbs are mainly prescribed as formulas, consisting of a combination of multiple herbs. The herbs we prescribe are pharmaceutical grade and have been manufactured according to the highest industry standards by GMP-certified herb companies.

 

Can I Take Herbs While on Medication?

 

It is usually safe to take herbs alongside Western medications. However, some herbs may have adverse interactions with certain medications. It is important that you bring to your initial appointment a complete list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you are taking in order to ensure there will be no conflict between your medications.

 

How Much Does It Cost?

 

​While many insurance companies include acupuncture among their benefits, your coverage will depend on your specific carrier and plan. If your insurance plan includes acupuncture among its benefits, you may only be responsible for a co-pay or co-insurance. Please note that cupping/hijama therapy and herbal formulas are not covered by insurance.