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Acupuncture FAQ

If you are planning to try Acupuncture, here are some commonly asked questions


What can Acupuncture do?


TCM treats:

-Physical injuries and pain management


-Chronic pain: neck, shoulder, arm, hands, carpal tunnel, back, sciatica, leg, foot

-Women's health and fertility: irregular cycles, PMS, painful periods, peri/post-menopause, hot flashes, IVF support, infertility, hormonal imbalance

-Sleep and Insomnia

-Digestive issues: IBS, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion

-Stress related conditions, Anxiety


-Skin, Dermatological: dermatitis, Herpes zoster (shingles), psoriasis, eczema, rash, acne, wrinkles

-Athletic Performance & Recovery

-Side effects of Cancer: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite,

-Headaches, Migraines

-Chronic fatigue


-Stroke rehabilitation

-Bell’s Palsy


-Mental Health

-Weight loss

-General health maintenance through strengthening the immune system and harmonizing the functions of the various organ and meridian systems.


Acupuncture can also help: reduce dependency on pain medication, prepare for and recover from surgery, manage chronic pain when surgery is unavailable, and increase the effectiveness of other therapies (i.e. physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy). And, of course, one of the best reasons to choose acupuncture care is that it is a safe, natural, drug-free treatment option.


For more information, please go to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM):



Does Acupuncture hurt?


Acupuncture generally does not hurt. When the needle is inserted, there is often a slight pinch, followed by varying sensations of warmth, tingling, or a radiating dull ache. During acupuncture, patients commonly experience heaviness in the limbs, a pleasant feeling of relaxation and often fall asleep.


Most of us associate needles with hypodermics used in injections at the doctor's office. Hypodermic needles are much thick and hollow. Acupuncture needles are much thinner and solid. In fact about 40 acupuncture needles can fit inside the needle used for blood draws!



Is Acupuncture safe? Are there any side effects?


Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are known to be safe and low-risk treatment modalities with minimal side effects under the care of professionally trained and licensed practitioners. Your practitioner will discuss with you any potential side effects that you may experience depending on which modality is used during your treatment.  


To become an acupuncturist the practitioner needs to gradate with their Masters in Traditional Medicine as well as pass State Boards. Acupuncturists are considered to be primary healthcare providers in California.


 Like other medical Providers, Acupuncturists must complete CEU’s (continuing educational units) to stay current in their field. They must renew their licenses every two years and must possess malpractice insurance.


To determine if a practitioner is qualified, see if they are either state board licensed (California).



Are needles sterile?


Yes, in the clinic I practice at we use sterile single-use disposable needles. 



Do I first need to be referred by my primary physician before accepting acupuncture treatments?


No, an acupuncturist is considered a primary care provider in California.



What to expect during your first treatment?


Your first visit will last approximately 90 minutes including registration and paperwork. The provider will go a thorough intake, including traditional pulse and tongue exams. If the provider believes you are a good candidate, you will receive a treatment ranging from 15 to 60 minutes long.


Things to keep in mind before your treatment


~It’s best to have something light to eat an hour or so before your treatment, avoid being too hungry     or too full during your treatment.

~Same goes for hydration, make sure you are not dehydrated coming into treatment

~Try to avoid caffeine or any other stimulants within 3 hours of your appointment

~Wear comfortable clothes that allow access to areas below your arm and legs.

~If possible, set aside time after your treatment to rest.



How many treatments will I need, and how frequently?


The number and frequency of treatments will depend on your condition and response to acupuncture. Usually, a series of treatments are needed. Acute conditions generally require fewer treatments while severe or chronic conditions require more.


Acupuncture can be scheduled as often as daily or as little as once a month. Some patients respond after only one or two treatments, while it may take several weeks for others. Your provider will discuss with you the optimal treatment plan for your case based on your individual case.

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