Q: Does acupuncture really work?
Yes. Trials have proven the efficacy of acupuncture when treating a host of illnesses. Many critics believe this to be the result of placebo effect, and while this may be an obvious argument, many animal studies have discredited this theory.
Q: How big are the needles?
Our needles are very thin. Unlike needles used for giving shots, our needles are solid. They are even thinner than lancets used for pricking fingers. The average thickness of an acupuncture needle is 0.22 mm!
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
Rarely do patients complain of actual pain. The insertion of an acupuncture needle is often referred to as feeling like a mosquito bite, but many people don't feel anything at all. Common sensations patients feel after insertion of the needles are heaviness, distention around the needle, soreness, and warmth. These sensations can actually be pleasant!
Q: What should I expect when getting my first acupuncture treatment?
There will be initial paperwork to fill out which will take around 15-20 minutes. We do very detailed intakes with new patients so that we can best understand what is going on. That's why our initial treatments usually last for 1½ hours. We always ask that patients eat something before getting treated. Fainting during acupuncture is rare, but most often occurs in patients who have not eaten prior to their treatment.
Q: How many treatments will I need and how often should I receive them?
The longer you have had your symptoms, conditions, etc. the longer it will take to make them better. As a general rule for every year you have been suffering from your condition it will take a month of regular treatments to see improvements. As for “regular treatments”, in the beginning all patients should come in at least once a week. Sometimes we recommend twice a week for more serious conditions and for acute conditions which can be treated in less time. How long people need treatments also depends upon age, overall health, and whether or not they are taking herbs (see below). The more proactive our patients are about taking care of their health the easier our job is!
Q: Will I receive any benefits from acupuncture if I am not sick?
Absolutely! Acupuncture is excellent as preventative medicine. There are basic balancing treatments that can be used to prevent illness and decrease stress. Think of it as a tune up for your body.
Q: Do I really need to take herbs?
We are big proponents of herbs, when they are used correctly. Using the Chinese medicine system, each herbal formula is customized to the individual needs of the patient. And taking herbs in conjunction with acupuncture can speed up the time it takes to start feeling better! In fact there are some conditions which are necessary to treat with herbs (common cold, flu).