COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I receive many questions about acupuncture, and love educating my patients about how it works. If you have never had acupuncture before and are curious about it, please refer below to these frequently asked questions:
How does acupuncture work?
There are many ways to answer this question. A lot of the beauty of this medicine lies in the mystery of the mechanism. Here are some offered explanations: On a physical level, acupuncture increases micro circulation to the capillaries. This initiates the healing process and reduces inflammation. Acupuncture also manipulates the fascia in the human body (the web of connective tissue that interconnects all of our tissues, muscles, and organs). The direct contact with the connective tissue serves as a messenger to our nervous system and endocrine system so they are able to release endorphins and regulate our hormones, thereby reducing pain. On an energetic level, our body has meridians (or channels) that run through our bodies and connect to our tissues and organs. When energy is running smoothly, our bodies operate in a state of balance. When there is a blockage (from injury, illness, or even our emotions), our bodies manifest symptoms. Acupuncture stimulates points that lie on the meridians, resulting in reduction of blockage and encouraging the body to return to balance. You could view the meridians as a system of roadways, and the acupuncture points as "on and off ramps" to these freeways. Acupuncture helps redirect the “traffic” and reduce congestion so the cars can run smoothly. Each acupuncture point has it's specific functions in helping the body heal itself.
Does it hurt?
Most people say that acupuncture does not hurt. People experience acupuncture in different ways; common sensations that are felt during an acupuncture treatment are a heaviness, temperature change, or dull ache where the needle is inserted. These sensations are very normal, and are in fact a good sign that the qi has arrived at the needle and the body is changing. Some people feel very little or no sensation. Most patients feel very relaxed during a treatment and sometimes fall asleep.
What should I wear?
Lightweight, loose and comfortable clothing is recommended. This enables the practitioner to access various parts of the body easily and ensures the comfort of the patient.
Do you accept health insurance?
Yes, I am a provider for ASH (select members), HMSA, Kaiser, and HMAA. Individual plans are different. Please contact your insurance carrier for more information on your personal plan, such as number of treatments allowed per year, and co-pay amount. I also accept no-fault auto accident and workman's comp insurance claims.
How many times should I come?
The frequency of visits and length of time to resolve an issue depends on the condition, the chronicity of it, and the person’s constitution. With many pain conditions, the importance of regular visits is essential especially in the beginning, until the body has noticeably changed. As a new patient, you will be given a treatment plan with a recommended duration and frequency of treatments at the end of your first visit.
Will I feel better right away?
Many times patients experience a relief or reduction of their symptoms after the first treatment, but these improvements may be temporary. To solidify the body’s healing mechanism, a series of treatments is usually recommended.
What can acupuncture treat?
Although it is widely used for pain conditions, acupuncture can treat a variety of conditions much vaster than musculoskeletal pain. Please refer to the list of commonly treated conditions that acupuncture and herbal medicine can treat.
Why choose acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a good avenue for many people as a natural and safe way to treat medical conditions. It is also useful when other avenues of medical care have been explored without efficacy. Acupuncture is not a cure for everything. The best thing to do is consult with a licensed practitioner to see if it can be helpful for treating your particular condition.