Frequently Asked Questions

What can Acupuncture help?

Many people come to acupuncture for help with a specific symptom or condition. For example, anxiety states, arthritis, asthma, back pain, circulatory problems, depression, facial paralysis, fibrosis, high blood pressure, indeterminate aches and pains, infertility, menstrual problems, migraines, sciatica, skin conditions, sinus problems, fatigue or ulcers. Extensive experience and research have shown acupuncture's effectiveness in helping these and many other conditions.

The effect of good acupuncture, however, is to do more than simply treat the symptom.

Acupuncture directed at restoring the overall energy balance will deal with the conditions and also help the patient feel better in a general way. Hence the frequent comment, "I'm feeling better in myself", which refers to such things as increased energy and vitality, greater enjoyment of life, greater confidence, better sleep, etc.

The acupuncturist's role may be likened to that of a musician tuning an instrument. Diagnosis determines the "tone" of the individual strings of the instrument; treatment involves tuning the strings to restore a coordinated sound, with all the strings resonating harmoniously.

This approach, where the whole person as well as the symptoms are taken into consideration, is integral to traditional acupuncture. It is contrasted with the systematic approach which uses treatment formulas for specific conditions and where no heed is paid to the overall energy imbalance

Diagnosis and treating the person rather than the disease, is particularly appropriate in two cases. There are some people who feel quite unwell in themselves but do not have a sufficiently serious or "physical" complaint to present themselves as "sick". Traditional acupuncture can diagnose the imbalance and restore well-being without the person having a named disease.

Many patients also come to the acupuncturist for preventive treatment, to keep the instrument in tune. An acupuncturist can often detect and treat imbalance before that patient is aware of any symptoms.

What happens when I come for treatment?

For your initial visit, the acupuncturist allows enough time to gather information on
  1. your symptom(s), the history and treatment to date
  2. you medical and family history
  3. the behavior of your various systems, for example how you sleep, whether your digestion is good, etc.
  4. physical examination including observation of the tongue and radial pulse, and other physical signs

Generally speaking, the amount of treatment required depends on the severity and duration of the condition. For acute conditions, only a few treatments my be required; for chronic conditions, more may be required. Treatment is usually give once or more weekly, although results will be faster if treatment is given more frequently. Treatment usually lasts from 20 minutes to one hour.

Does it hurt?

Some people would like to try acupuncture but may not because they assume it will be painful. The needles used solid and much finer than those used for injections. In most cases only a slight prick is felt as the needle goes through the skin. When the needle reaches the acupuncture point, there is another sensation described as a dull ache, or a numb and tingly feeling. This sensation is quite comfortable and lasts only 1 or 2 seconds.

What about my doctor?

If you have been seeing your doctor, you may want to tell him or her that you are coming for acupuncture. Your acupuncturist prefers that you do. Often, as a result of acupuncture treatment. a patient's need for medication may be reduced. Any changes in medication are done in consultation with your doctor.

What about needle sterilization?

State and federal agencies have established stringent standards of hygiene and sterilization. This clinic uses pre sterilized disposable needles.