Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions that we hear. If you do not find the answer you are looking for, please don't hestitate to call or message us with your question!
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture does not hurt because the needles used are so thin and flexible. Most people say that when a needle is inserted it feels like a pinch or a bug bite, but not painful. Afterwards, there may be a sensation of heaviness, tingling, or zing.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is a safe form of treatment and it has very few side effects. At our clinics, we only use medical grade one-use acupuncture needles.
What is a normal treatment like?
Acupuncture is usually administered with the patient lying on the treatment table face-up or face-down, 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 and what the acupuncturist determines is necessary. During this time, your acupuncturist may return to stimulate your needles before taking them out at the end of the session.
How long is a normal treatment?
A normal acupuncture treatment is around 25 to 35 minutes but may be as long as 45 minutes to an hour depending on your treatment and condition. However, we tell patients to plan for an extra 30 minutes in addition to any treatment time for checking-in, treatment, and checking out.
Your treatment may also be lengthened if you are getting massage or any other services such as cupping, moxibustion, consultations, or re-evaluation. We will tell you how much time to prepare for, but please ask if you are ever unsure.
What can I expect after a treatment?
Most patients report feeling relaxed, but some people may actually feel more energetic after a treatment. Whatever you feel, we always suggest that you take it easy and do not overexert yourself as that may worsen your condition in the long run and be counter productive to your treatments.
You may see small red dots on your skin where the needles were placed. Those will usually go away within a couple hours. You may also see slight bruising around where needles were placed, these may take a couple days to go away. These signs are normal, but please tell your provide if you experience them so we can try to avoid them in the future.
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. Again, this bruising is normal as the section in the cups will draw blood up to the service of your skin causing bruising.
Are there any side effects?
Common side effects of acupuncture include:
- Fatigue, extra energy
- Slight bruising
- Tenderness at needle site
- Temporary worsening of symptoms
- Emotional release
We most commonly see temporary worsening of symptoms or emotional release for first time acupuncture patients. These side effects can be normal and may indicate the treatments working to stimulate and move qi and blood.
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 health history and lifestyle. 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?
Depending on your the severity of your condition and how quickly you response, your acupuncturist may suggest 2 to 3 treatments per week to start until you condition starts to improve. Length of your treatment plan depends on your condition and what your provider thinks is best for you. Chronic illnesses usually require more treatments while acute problems may respond faster.
How long is a massage session?
We provide massage at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minute intervals. We very rarely provide 1.5 hour massages due to scheduling. If you are interested, please speak with your massage therapist and our receptionist staff.
Can I get massage without acupuncture?
Yes, you can schedule massage only sessions but we ask that you meet with a massage therapist beforehand to discuss your case. We still strongly encourage patients to try acupuncture.
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.
Are there side effects to Chinese herbal medicine?
Chinese herbal medicine has 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. Please talk with your acupuncturist about any side effects you may be experiencing.
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 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. 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. Your acupuncturist will provide specific instructions on taking herbs.
When do I take the herbs?
Your acupuncturist will give you specific instructions on when to take your herbs. Please follow any instructions closely. As with any medication, herbs 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 page for more information.
Does my insurance cover acupuncture?
Many insurance plans do have some form of alternative care coverage, which includes acupuncture and maybe massage therapy. The best way to find out about your coverage is to call your insurance provider and ask. Alternatively, we can help you check your insurance coverage if you if you give us your insurance information either by calling us or using our secure message form to send us your information.
What type of payments do you take?
We take cash, check, and all major credit cards except for American Express.