Frequently Asked Questions

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes, acupuncture is safe when practiced by a professional.  Acupuncture needles used in practice today are very fine and solid, sterilized, and single-use.  We are certified in Clean Needle Technique as a part of the requirements of NCCAOM certification.  The health benefits of acupuncture are great and treatments generally involve zero to few side effects.  Most clients have no adverse reaction to acupuncture.  Cupping, gua sha, and needling can occasionally leave bruise-like marks on the skin that generally disappear within a few days.  Sometimes numbness or swelling can occur, or a drop of blood might appear at a point or two when the needle is removed.  Most side effects normalize very quickly.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is considered bu tong, or painless, in Chinese.  Generally, the brief sensation upon insertion feels similar to a mosquito bite, and subsides very quickly.  Acupuncture is usually very relaxing, and many folks often fall asleep during treatment.  Gua sha and cupping sometimes result in a mild achy feeling in the local area treated, and this feeling should subside after a day or so, followed by an improved condition.

Do you go to school to become an acupuncturist?

Yes.  All licensed acupuncturists/TCM practitioners in the US are required to complete a 3-4 year Master's Degree.  

How do I prepare for treatments?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing, avoid wearing heavy perfumes, and avoid having an overly empty or filled stomach..please be sure to eat something substantial within a few hours of treatment.  If you need to use the restroom and/or change clothes, please arrive a little early so that you will be ready for your treatment at the scheduled time.

How many treatments will I need?

Acupuncture works cumulatively and usually renders optimal benefits when administered over a period of time.  The number of treatments needed varies, depending on the severity and duration of the condition being treated.  For acute conditions, as little as one to a few treatments may be needed, while chronic conditions may require several weeks or months of treatment.  On average, 4-6 regular treatments are suggested to start, and the treatment plan is adjusted according to progress made.  Acupuncture is also a preventive medicine, and some clients enjoy receiving acupuncture "tune-ups" or wellness visits on a regular or occasional basis after their initial main complaint has been resolved.

Do you treat pregnant people?

Yes!  Acupuncture can greatly reduce common pregnancy discomforts and help prepare the body for labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery.  

Do you treat children?

Yes!  We use gentle non-insertion techniques, cupping, and/or acupressure for children.  

What is that smoky smell?

Moxa!  Moxibustion is the burning of compressed herbs, and is used indirectly near acupoints.  We use this modality from time to time when deemed appropriate.