1. What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and to help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

2. What can affect Qi?

Many things influence the quallity, quantity and balnce of Qi. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise,overexertion, seasonal changes, diet, accidents or excessive activity can lead to a blockage or imbalance of Qi.


Normally, when this imbalance occurs, the body naturally bounces back, returning to a balanced state of health and well-being. When the disruption to Qi is prolonged or excessive or if the body is in a weakened state, then illness, pain or disease can set in.

3. What will my acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken including questions regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist may check pulses, your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is used to create a comprehensive diagnosis of where the Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. The acupuncture treatment will then commence. This visit will last form 30 - 90 minutes.

4. Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for 27 individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

5. Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

6. How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people will experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week monthly visits for health maintenance or seasonal “tune-ups”.

7. What should I expect during treatment?

Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. This is called the “Qi sensation”. All these reactions are good and signal the treatment is working. After treatment, you may feel energized may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

8. How should I prepare?

  • Come with any questions you have. We are here to help.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Avoid large meals before or after visits.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol within six hours after visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax and get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take note of any changes such as pain alleviation, pain in other ares of your body or changes in the frequency and type of any problems.

9. Do the needles hurt?

Acupuncture needles are tiny, just slightly large than a cat’s whisker or a human hair. Most people feel no pain at all but a few will feel a little pain at the insertion site.

10. How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used only once and immediately discarded after use.

THe needles are typically inserted anywhere from 1/8 in to 1.5 in.

11. Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some cases children may respond faster than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, the acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or Tui Na.

12. What type of schooling do acupuncturists get?

Today, acupuncturists receive 3 to 4 years of comprehensive and extensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. Graduates must pass a natinal exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

13. What is cupping?

Cupping is a therapy designed to stimulate blood flow and Qi within the superficial muscle layers. It is used for sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold. The acupuncturist places small glass or plastic "cups" over specific areas of the body. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat or suction. They may be moved over an affected area or left in place. You may leave the office looking as though a large octopus gave you a big hug. There is no need for alarm. The slight redness will dissipate quickly.

14. What is Gua Sha?

Gua Sha is another technique used to release muscle tension, tightness and constriction. A specialized instrument is used to gently rub the skin over a problem area. Gwa Sha feels like a deep massage. This treatment leaves some redness which dissipates quickly.

15. What is Tui Na?

Tui Na translates as "push grasp". It is a massage technique that moves Qi in various parts of the body. It is used to relieve muscle pain, tension, inflammation and to heal injuries.

16. What is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a treatment that uses an herb called mugwort. It may be burned on the handle of a needle, above the skin, on salt or a slice of ginger. This is used to "warm" the accupuncture points or areas in order to quicken the healing process.

17. Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuntcure care. They are used to strengthen, to buld and to support the body. They can also be used to clear the body of colds, fever or acute pain. The acupuncrutist may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.

18. Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Insurance coverage varies from state to state. Contact your insurance provider see if your benefits cover acupuncture. Some information to seek from the insurance provider: number of visits allowed, co-pay, referrals, deductibles.

19. What can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the NIH (National Institute of Health) and the WHO (World Health Organization) to be effective for a wide variety of medical problems. Some of these include: addictions, anxiety, depression, fatigue, fertiility, colds, etc.