Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Chinese medicine?
Chinese medicine goes back over 3,000 years.
How does it work?
Chinese medicine uses tiny needles to access and activate qi (pronounced "chee" - most closely translated into Western thought as "vital energy"), which helps nurture the body back to health by helping resolve energy imbalances.
What are the needles like?
Acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow like needles used by doctors. They are small and hair-thin and can literally be bent with your pinky.
Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it.
US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles
In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on
acupuncture needles.The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does
medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must
now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.
Does it hurt?
People experience needling differently. Acupuncture needles are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly
adjusted if the patient feel's any discomfort. If any unpleasant sensation is experienced during insertion,
it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are
inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy and biochemical responses in your body in order to balance it. Often people describe their
sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take great care to make my patients very
comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax
during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep
Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.
Do I have to believe in it for it to work?
No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Acupuncture is even used successfully on
animals and children. They do not understand or believe in the process yet they get better
anyway. Of course, a positive attitude helps with any type of therapy but it is not necessary to believe
in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.
Since positive expectations and belief in a particular therapy help to increase therapeutic
results, I encourage you to raise any concerns or doubts you may have about acupuncture
and Chinese herbal medicine. I'd like to help you to better understand acupuncture and
Chinese herbs so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible.
You are invited to contact me today, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.
How quickly can I expect to feel better?
In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 3-5
treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take many treatments to help resolve.
How often should I be treated?
Typically I treat patients once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may want to
do treatments 2-3 times per week for the first couple of weeks. The benefits of acupuncture
treatments tend to hold longer as you receive treatments, so what typically happens is that
my patients start to need to see me less and less, so after a while they come periodically for maintenance.
Does acupuncture always help?
No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 3-5 treatments, then acupuncture
may not work for you.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance does. You need to check with your insurance plan. I do not accept insurance, but I am happy to give you a receipt you can submit to your
insurance company for reimbursement.