Frequently Asked Questions
Does acupuncture hurt?
In most cases, acupuncture is painless, but every person is different. If you feel any pain during your treatment, let the practitioner know, and they will make an immediate adjustment to make you more comfortable. Your practitioner will carefully choose the right thickness and length of needle to treat different parts of the body and different types of conditions, based on the sensitivities of each individual patient. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin and often you may not even feel the needle go in. As many as 20 acupuncture needles can fit inside of a single hypodermic needle used to draw blood at the doctor’s office.
What should I wear?
Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing is ideal, but we can always accommodate whatever you are wearing. For most treatments, clothing can be simply moved out of the way. If needed, sheets and towels are available for draping.
What happens during a typical acupuncture appointment?
Initial appointments last 90 minutes so that I can learn about you and the concerns that have brought you in for treatment. I will ask you questions about your diet, sleep habits, digestion, family history, work, stress, exercise habits, and more as I get to know you as a whole patient.
Depending on what we are working on, I may need to gently palpate specific areas of concern or ask you to do range of motion tests. Then, you’ll get comfortable on the treatment table and I will place the needles based on the treatment plan I’ve created for your specific needs.
Once the needles are placed and you are feeling comfortable, I will leave the room for 15-30 minutes to let you experience the benefits of your treatment and relax deeply. The length of time may vary, depending on how many treatments you have had, your overall health and constitution, and how much time you prefer to rest on the table.
After I return and remove the needles, I may supplement your acupuncture treatment with other therapeutic modalities, such as:
- Tui Na and Gua Sha, which are forms of traditional Chinese massage
- Cupping, which is a unique treatment that uses glass cups to create suction that lifts and spreads the layers of skin and muscle on your back to provide pain relief
How often do I need acupuncture?
After our initial visit, I will recommend a treatment schedule that will best serve your health and wellness goals. Generally, new patients should have more frequent appointments at the beginning of treatment, which can then become less frequent as your symptoms come into balance. For chronic conditions, weekly treatments are a good place to start. For acute injuries, I generally recommend having two to three visits in the first week, then gradually reducing the frequency of appointments as the injury heals. Personally, I feel at my best when I have acupuncture treatments once a week.