Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions

What types of conditions is acupuncture good for?
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions including, but not limited to;

Does acupuncture hurt?
Rarely. Acupuncture is done with very fine, sterile needles which are very different from the types of needles that Western doctors use. With acupuncture, patients typically feel a wide variety of sensations, often different from one point to the next, and with sensations ranging from nothing at all to tingling, heaviness, pulsation or a quick prickling.

How should I prepare for my appointment?
It is recommended that you eat something 60 minutes or so prior to your appointment as some patients can become dizzy or nauseous on an empty stomach. It is also recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be pushed up above the elbows and knees. Last, come prepared to discuss your medical history and to provide a medications list if appropriate.

What should I wear?
It is recommended that patients wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be pushed up above the elbows and knees as a gown is often not needed when such clothing is worn. However, please be advised that even with such clothing, some treatment protocols may still require that the patient change into a gown in order to facilitate proper treatment.

How long does a treatment take?
For the first visit, patients should allow 90 minutes for complete review of issues and treatment. Follow up visits typically take anywhere between 30 to 60 minutes.

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed varies from one patient to the next, depending upon the issues being treated, the age of the patient, the overall health of the patient, lifestyle, factors contributing to the issues and how long the patient has had the corresponding issues.

As a general rule of thumb, though, the longer a patient has had an issue and the more complicated the case, the longer it may take to treat. That said, patients should expect to feel some level of relief with the first treatments, with relief continuing to improve if treatments are continued in a timely manner and any corresponding advice is followed. Acute issues are typically resolved within one to a few treatments.

Acupuncture is a very safe method of treatment with very low side effects, especially in comparison to Western medicine. However, it typically takes longer to see an effect than one might see with Western pharmaceuticals. The up side is that there are typically little to no side effects; the down side is that this might require patience and a change in thinking from expecting immediate changes or in expecting everything to be fixed with just one or even a few treatments in more serious cases.

Are there side effects?
Rarely, especially when performed by a licensed acupuncturist.

What can I expect from treatment?
Most patients feel some level of relief starting with the first treatment. In general, acute issues are typically resolved relatively quickly and more chronic issues may take more time.

Can pregnant women receive acupuncture?
Yes, absolutely, acupuncture is often used to provide much needed relief from discomfort during pregnancy as it is a safe alternative to drug therapy. However, it is essential to let your acupuncturist know if you are pregnant or if you might be pregnant as there are a few points that should be avoided during pregnancy as a precaution. As long as your acupuncturist knows, they can provide a safe and supportive treatment.

What if I’m interested in acupuncture but hate needles?
You’re not alone! Many people are uncomfortable with needles. However, many people also do not realize that acupuncture needles are much finer than the needles used in hospitals and that there is usually no pain with them.

That said, if the idea of needles still bothers you, treatment can still be given by using manual techniques such as Asian Bodywork or Reiki (see our list of services for more information).

If I came in for back pain, why did the practitioner put needles in my ear instead of my back?
In Acupuncture all areas of the body are connected and various parts of the body act as maps for other parts of the body so, through this, there are many ways to treat one area of the body by using another area.

I’ve gone to other practitioners and they did something different to treat the same issue; why?
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and has been handed down via many different family lineages and philosophies. Because of this, there are many styles and methods for treating the same issue. Each practitioner is taught the same, core principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), but each practitioner chooses which methodologies they feel are best for each treatment.

back to top