FAQs

How safe is Acupuncture?  Needles generally cause no bleeding or pain and the needles used are disposable. Acupuncturists are trained in exact location, angle and depth of insertion of the acupuncture needle to be completely safe.

What does L.Ac. stand for? Dipl. OM? L.Ac. stands for Licensed Acupuncturist, indicating that the practitioner has gone through the rigorous schooling required and has passed the state board exam. This is opposed to a Medical Acupuncturist which is an MD who has received only 400 hrs of acupuncture training as opposed to the over 3,200 hrs required of a licensed acupuncturist. Dipl. OM stands for Diplomat in Oriental Medicine. This indicates that the practitioner is also licensed nationally.

Are there any side effects to Acupuncture? One of the great advantages of acupuncture is that, other than an occasional bruise, there are no side effects.

Does Acupuncture hurt? Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a coarse hair, so they are virtually painless when inserted.  You will then usually feel a very unique sensation that can vary from tingling, to heaviness, to warmth, or nothing at all. Each person’s experience is different. Should you experience any discomfort, inform the practitioner, and they will adjust the needles accordingly.

Where do the needles go? This depends on the condition being treated. Acupoints are located throughout the entire body, but the needles are usually placed on the extremities from your elbows down to your hands and from your knees down to your feet. Other common areas include the abdomen and back.

What are the meridians? There are 12 major meridians in the body. Each of these is like a highway transporting energy and blood to its respective internal organ (Liver, Heart, Lung, Spleen, Kidney, etc.). When the energy in a meridian is not moving properly it can, in turn, affect the proper functioning of the organs and cause imbalances throughout the body.

What are the acupoints? The acupoints are the areas along a meridian where the energy comes together and rises to the surface of the body. It can therefore be more easily accessed and redirected with the use of a needle.

Are the needles sterile or are they reused? Needles are individually wrapped and sterilized by the manufacturer. They are opened only when they are ready to be used and afterwards, each needle is disposed of in a medical waste container.

Are Chinese Herbs beneficial? Acupuncture on its own is great.  Herbal medicine on its own is great. However, both acupuncture and herbal medicine in conjunction is fantastic. Taking herbs is a way for the patient to continue their treatment and enhance the benefits of acupuncture.

Are Chinese Herbs safe? As long as you are seeing a trained professional, Chinese Herbs are very safe.  Some herbs do have side effects, though your acupuncturist can inform you of these risks. People have problems when they take over-the-counter herbal supplements without consulting their herbalists. Thanks to international pressure, there is also an organization that tests for quality and safety of all herbs that enter the United States. If an herb is contaminated or of poor quality, it is sent back to the distributor.  This keeps the quality of our herbal medicine at its highest.

What should I expect during my first consultation? The practitioner will collect a complete history and detailed evaluation of your condition. They will ask questions relating to many different aspects of your life, not only the condition for which you are seeking treatment. This is because Asian Medicine takes the whole body into account in determining a diagnosis. The practitioner will then take your pulse & examine your tongue. The initial visit usually lasts 1 hour including the treatment. Subsequent visits usually last about 45 min.

How often do I have to come? Treatments are often done on a weekly basis. However, depending on the nature of the condition being treated, treatments may be less or more frequent . Chronic problems usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed every six sessions.

How can I prepare for my session? It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions. It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.

Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant? Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.

What can Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine Treat? The following is a partial list of common conditions that we treat. If your condition is not listed, you can use the contact form & send me your question. I will give you an honest answer & refer you to the right health care professional if I can’t help you.

  • Chronic and Acute Pain – Injuries, headaches, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia.

  • Neurological Disorders – Post-stroke recovery, Bell’s Palsy & Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement disorders

  • Upper Respiratory Disorders – Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu.

  • Digestive Disorders – Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers.

  • Immune Function – Recurrent infections, poor immune system.

  • Urinary and Reproductive Disorders – Cystitis, Menstrual Cramps, Irregular or Heavy Periods, Infertility, Menopausal Symptoms.

  • Eye and Ear Disorders – Tinnitus, Meniere’s disease.

  • Prevention – Coronary Artery Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Dementia…