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Frequently Asked Questions in Our Acupuncture Clinic

  • Does acupuncture hurt? Is it painful?
    The simple answer is NO. You may feel a slight pinch when they are inserted, many patients are surprised to find that I've inserted needles and they didn't even feel them.
  • Is acupuncture safe?
    Acupuncture is incredibly safe, especially compared to conventional medical treatments. A fully licensed acupuncturist receives 4 years of training and is required to pass National Medical Board Exams to obtain a license. Side effects are extremely minimal. The most serious are possibly some bruising at the acupuncture site.
  • What is the difference between dry needling and acupuncture?
    Acupuncture is a tool within Traditional Chinese Medicine that has evolved over 4000 years. It uses small needles inserted at very specific points in the body to balance the bodies energies that will result in improved physical and mental health. Modern scientific understanding shows how acupuncture stimulates a wide range of chemical reactions that lead to a large array of physical changes in the body ranging from reducing pain and decreasing inflammation to hormonal, emotional changes and accelerated healing. A licensed acupuncturists undergoes 4 years of training and must pass a series of National Acupuncture Board Examinations to be qualified to practice. Dry Needling is a term that defines the use of acupuncture needles at injury sites to improve healing and reduce pain. The term was developed in "Physical Therapy" industries to differentiate the practice from real acupuncture. There is no national certification for dry needling and the level of training to allow Physical Therapists to do dry needling ranges from a couple of days to a few weeks.
  • How long does each acupuncture treatment last?
    Treatments last about 1 hour including diagnosis and acupuncture treatment.
  • How often should I get treated with acupuncture?
    Traditionally, patients would receive a treatment once daily for 10 days, after which time, the condition was re-assessed. This treatment schedule is obviously not practical. For acute conditions, we recommend treatments at least twice a week for the first few weeks. Once acute conditions are resolved, we recommend maintenance treatments between once and twice per month.
  • What should I wear?
    Loose fitting clothing is recommended. Most acupuncture points can be administered by simply rolling up your sleeves or pant-legs. To treat the back, patients might be asked to remove their shirt. For women, we encourage them to bring a tank top or sports bra.
  • What are the other tools that you use besides acupuncture?
    Moxibustion: Moxibustion is a healing tool where the herb mugwort (Artemis Vulgaris)is burned and applied directly or indirectly to the skin or on the acupuncture needle. The dual effects of the burning herb and the heat promote increased blood circulation and aid in “tonifying” or adding “Qi” (vital energy) to a particular area. While the patient will experience a distinctive warmth during a moxibustion treatment, care is taken to avoid causing any permanent burning or scarring of the patient. Cupping: Cupping describes the technique where small fist-sized glass jars are fastened using suction to a specific body part. The cups may be left stationary, or they may slide repeatedly across the specific area. Cupping is used to help dispel stasis or resolve “phlegm”. It is often used to address back-pain and chest congestion. It will likely leave distinct round “bruises” in the treated areas, but they should disappear within 4-5 days. Electro-Acupuncture: “E-stim” is a technique where electrodes are connected to two are more acupuncture needles and a mild electric current is run between them. Both amplitude and frequency of the current can be altered depending on the type of treatment. While the patient will feel a mild tingling sensation, intensity is adjusted to prevent any discomfort. This technique is very effective to treat acute pain. Cold-Laser or Low-Level-Laser Therapy: Cold laser therapy is a relatively new technique where a laser beam specifically under 500 milliwatts of power can be applied to specific acupuncture points to stimulate a healing effect. Since the power is limited to a maximum of 0.5 watts, there is no “burning” effect unlike the lasers used in tatoo removal, laser surgery, or hair-removal. Depending on the wavelength, cold lasers have been shown to be effective in treating disorders ranging from carpal tunnel syndrome, acne, to stimulating bone and muscle repair. During a cold-laser treatment, the patient may experience a mild warmth due to increased blood circulation, but there should be no discomfort. Both the acupuncturist and the patient are required to wear the appropriate eye-protection during the course of the treatment.
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