Frequently Asked Questions

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture does not hurt because the needles used are so thin and flexible. Most people report a sensation of heaviness or tingling where the needles are placed, but not pain.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is a very safe form of treatment and it has very few side effects. At our clinics, we only use medical grade disposable acupuncture needles.

What is a normal treatment like?

Acupuncture is usually administered with the patient lying on the treatment table, either wearing their normal clothes or changed into a gown that we provide. After the needles are inserted, you will rest quietly by yourself for 25 to 35 minutes. The length of time may vary depending on your condition. During this time, your acupuncturist will return to stimulate your needles once, sometimes twice, before taking them out at the end of the session.

How long is a normal treatment?

Generally, an acupuncture treatment lasts around 1 hour, but may run as long as 1 hour and 45 minutes if your provider thinks it is necessary. Additional time may also be added to the end for massage sessions.

What can I expect after a treatment?

Patients usually report feeling relaxed and sometimes energetic after a treatment. You may see small red dots on your skin where the needles were placed. Those will go away within a couple hours. If you received cupping as an adjunct treatment, you will see circular bruising on your skin. These bruises will take longer to go away, usually within a few days but sometimes up to a week.

What is involved in diagnosis?

Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis usually centers around careful observation of the patient. This includes pulse reading, tongue reading, observation of the skin, hair, and hands, and a detailed patient history interview. Your provider may ask to palpate any affected areas, have you demonstrate your range of motion, or have you walk to observe your movements.

How many treatments will I need?

Usually one treatment per week for several weeks. But if your condition is severe enough and your provider feels it is necessary, they may ask you to come in two or three times a week initially until your condition improves. Treatment length completely depends on your condition and what your provider thinks is best for you. Chronic illnesses usually require more treatments while acute problems generally respond much faster.

What are adjunct treatment options?

Adjunct treatment options include: cupping, electro-stimulation, heat lamps, and massage therapy. These treatments (except for massage) are applied during your acupuncture treatment, usually after needles have been inserted. Massage is usually applied after the acupuncture treatment for 10-15 minutes.

When are adjunct treatment options used?

This is dependent on your condition and what your acupuncturist thinks is best for you. One or more adjunct options may be used per treatment session and can vary from session to session.

What is Tui Na massage?

"Tui Na" is the formal Chinese name for Chinese Massage Therapy, and translates to "push grasp." This massage technique was developed long ago to move Qi in various parts of the body. It is an excellent adjunct therapy to acupuncture and can be applied to relieve inflammation, tension, and muscle pain, as well as speed up the healing process following an injury.

How long is a massage session?

If massage therapy is used, it is usually applied at the end of an acupuncture treatment for 10-15 minutes. A 30 minute or 1 hour massage session can also be scheduled as a separate appointment.

Are there side effects to Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine has very few side effects. Occasionally, patients report having indigestion or loose stool after taking herb for the first time, but this normally resolves within a day. In very rare instances patients might have an allergic reaction to some ingredient in the formula, in which case the formula would be changed or we may stop prescribing the herbs altogether.

Can I use Chinese herbal medicine while taking other medications?

In most cases, yes. It is very important to let your acupuncturist know of any prescription medications, supplements, or other herbal formulas you are taking to avoid any possible interactions.

What forms do the herbs come in?

We have herbs in several forms: pills, loose, and powder. Pills are pre-packaged herbal formulas processed into pill form that are easier to take. Loose herbs are made into formulas by acupuncturists depending on the patient's condition. And powders are just loose herbs ground into powder form.

How do I take herbs?

Pills are taken with water like any other medication. There might be specific instructions on when to take them. Loose herbs have to be cooked at home and you drink the tea that is made from them. Powders can be stirred into water and taken as a solution.

When do I take the herbs?

Your acupuncturist will give you specific instructions on when to take your herbs. Please follow any intsructions closely. As with any medication, it works best when taken consistently.

Do you take insurance?

Yes, we take insurance. We process all the associated insurance paperwork as well. Check out our Insurance Coverage section for more information.

What does my insurance cover?

Most insurances now cover acupuncture and massage therapy. Many major companies in the area like Intel, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, etc. offer insurance that has great coverage. If you are unsure, we can check your insurance coverage for you if you fill out this form.

What type of payments do you take?

We take cash, check, and all major credit cards except for American Express. Payment schedules can also be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.