Acupuncture FAQ


What is Traditional Acupuncture?
2 How Does It Work?
3 What About The Needles?
4 What About My Doctor?
5 What Can I Expect?
6 What Modalities are Used?

What is Traditional Acupuncture?

It is likely that more people have been treated by Oriental Medicine throughout history than any other formalized system of health care. Acupuncture originated in China and Korea over 3,000 years ago.  At that time, people understood that the body, mind, and spirit were inseparable.

This therapy works with the natural, vital energy inherent in all living things to promote the body’s ability to heal itself.  Working in concert with the practices of healthy living, acupuncture is a cornerstone of the treatment and prevention of illness.

Since traditional acupuncture does not separate the mind, body, and spirit, it looks at the whole person, including the person’s lifestyle and approach to health.  If the underlying cause is not addressed, more serious problems may occur.

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How Does It Work?

Acupuncture is based on an energetic model rather than the biochemical model of Western medicine.

The ancient Chinese recognized a vital force that is the basis of all life forms.  This is known as Qi (pronounced “chee”). This Qi flows along specific pathways in our bodies, known as meridians.

When Qi becomes blocked, deficient, or stagnant, we experience the signs and symptoms of illness.

The acupuncturist has learned precise points at which blockages can occur.  The proper placement of needles enhances the flow of Qi, restoring the body, mind, and spirit to its harmonious state.  Each point has a predictable effect upon the energy passing though it.  The system was derived from carefully recorded observations, passed from master to student for thousands of years.  Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, thus verifying the locations of meridians mapped by the ancients. 

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What About The Needles?

Acupuncture needles are just a little thicker than a human hair.  They are not hollow like hypodermic needles and are made of the highest quality surgical steel.

Needles are pre-sterilized, individually packed, and disposable.  They are used once, and then discarded.

With proper placement techniques, the needles cause little or no discomfort and are painless after placement.  A feeling of tingling or heaviness may be felt as the needle contacts the Qi.  People generally enjoy their acupuncture treatments and report feeling deeply relaxed during and after treatment. 

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What About My Doctor?

Acupuncturists cooperate with other healthcare providers and do not recommend altering your medications and other therapies without consulting your physician or primary care provider.  There are certain conditions best treated by Western healthcare, and the acupuncturist may recommend seeing a physician.

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What Can I Expect?

The initial visit generally lasts about two hours.  This will include a discussion of your health concerns, a health history, and a physical examination.  Subsequent sessions last about an hour and are generally scheduled 3 days to a week apart for six to eight sessions.  

As in any form of healing, your attitude, diet, determination, and lifestyle will affect the outcome of a course of treatment.  You are encouraged to actively participate in the healing process. The goal of treatment is not to "fix" the specific disorder, but to help you rediscover your own inner harmony and balance.  Often health problems other than those you have entered treatment for are likely to clear up.

The Course and Frequency of Treatment


An adult will typically be in my office for about an hour.


We begin by discussing your history and main problems that have brought you to the office. We start each acupuncture session reviewing how you have felt since the last session in light of your original complaints. I will evaluate the pulse at each wrist, and with your report of how you feel, and other assessments, I will make the decision of how to proceed.


The first part of the acupuncture treatment is called a root treatment and it strengthens your fundamental constitution.


This is followed by the branch treatment that addresses specific needs. Sometimes the root and branch treatments are performed together.  I have found this two-part approach to be the most successful for long-term results.


You can expect your overall results to be extremely positive. After treatments, most people express feeling light and more awake while being more relaxed. They usually report further improvement for approximately 24 hours after treatment. You will find the results are cumulative with successive treatments.


Frequency of Treatments


Treatments are scheduled according to your condition. For acute conditions, we may need to have two treatments per week for one or two weeks. Treatments are then spaced out according to your progress.


By your second or third treatment, we will be able to determine how effective be for you. Every treatment builds on the foundation of the previous treatments to ensure that the effects last longer each time. I also use homeopathy or Chinese herbal formulas to enhance treatments and to reduce the frequency of clinic visits when possible.


Once your symptoms subside, two or three additional treatments will strengthen you and provide a better defense against the return of your symptoms.

To watch a video that explains what you can expect from a session, please click here.

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What Modalities are Used?

  • 5 Element Acupuncture
  • TCM
  • Moxa
  • Cupping
  • Gua Sha
  • Auricular Acupuncture
  • Electro Stimulation
  • Trigger Points
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