Frequently Asked Questions

How does Acupuncture work?

ct scan points
Scientific research has shown that Acupuncture works by altering the brain chemistry and mediating the releasing of the neurotransmitters and hormones into the central nervous system to affect every part of the body and blood chemistry. There are 365 specific Acupuncture points and unlimited number of non-specific points throughout your body. Acupuncture achieves the desired therapeutic results by inserting hair-thin needles into a selection of these points near or on the surface of the skin, and by stimulating these points it alters biochemical and physiological conditions in the body. Because Acupuncture points are designated areas of electrical sensitivity, inserting needles at these points stimulates sensory receptors. This in turn regulates the nervous system by stimulating nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system in the brain. The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones (200 times more potent than morphine). Endorphins play a significant role in the hormonal system, which is why acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of conditions. The substances released as a result of acupuncture relax the body, and also regulate serotonin in the brain, which affects emotional states. Other physiological effects include increased blood circulation, decreased inflammation, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count, which supports the immune system.

CT scan on Acupuncture Points

What are acupuncture needles like? Do they hurt?

Acupuncture-needles hypodermic

Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, solid and designed to push away the body tissues with minimal discomfort. Acupuncture needles should never be compared to hypodermic needles, which are thick (up to 25-50 times thicker), hollow and designed to cut through body tissue and blood vessels to draw blood or push in drugs.

People experience Acupuncture differently. Most Acupuncture treatments are relatively painless. While some people do not feel any pain or discomfort, some will only feel a slight prick when the needle is inserted. The sensations may vary depends on the insertion sites and the patient’s existing medical conditions. Read below on what to expect during your treatment.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Your safety is paramount to us. Acupuncture is noninvasive, drug-free, and one of the safest treatment options available. The Acupuncture needle is an FDA approved medical device that is made of surgical grade stainless steel. It is factory sterilized and sealed. We only use single-use disposable needles, which are used once then discarded. Unlike hypodermic needles, Acupuncture needles are designed to push away rather than cut through body tissue. Because your comfort is important to us, we only use the finest quality needles to further minimize any discomfort. Acupuncture points are located on or close to the skin’s surface. The depth of insertion depends on the location of the insertion, the condition being treated, and the patient’s size, age and health conditions. The needle is inserted gently and carefully at the proper depth to avoid blood vessels, nerves, and organs. Always make sure your Acupuncturist is properly licensed by the state and trained by a nationally accredited Oriental Medicine school with 3-4 years of extensive and comprehensive education and clinical experience on both Western Medicine and Oriental Medicine.

How should I prepare before the treatment?

The new patient evaluation is designed for us to understand your health concerns and assess the underlying cause leading to your symptoms through a comprehensive oriental medicine diagnostic system. An interview with full medical history will be conducted with complete confidentially.

To ensure the accuracy of the diagnosis and quality of the treatment, we recommend the following:

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and be able to comfortably roll your pants to the knee. Depending on the conditions being treated, sometimes we may need to access your torso, arms and legs or ask you to change into a gown.
  • Wear minimal or no jewelry, watches, or earrings.
  • Wear minimal or no makeup and nail polish.
  • Have a light snack and water 1 hour before your appointment.
  • Start a food journal and write down everything you eat.
  • Allow enough travel time and arrive 5 minutes before your appointment, if you are more than 15 minutes late, we might ask you to reschedule.
  • Notify the Acupuncture physician before the EACH treatment
    1. If you are pregnant, maybe pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
    2. If you have common flu, cold or fever.
    3. If you have commutable, contagious diseases.
    4. If you have a pacemaker.
    5. If you take blood thinner or have bleeding disorders.
  • If you are a new patient, obtain and complete the paperwork before the appointment.
  • If you are a new patient, bring a list of your prescription drugs and supplements you are taking.

To ensure the accuracy of the diagnosis and quality of the treatment, we recommend you to avoid the following:

  • Avoid eating a big meal within the hour of your appointment.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise or sexual activity within the hour of your appointment.
  • Avoid over exhaustion.
  • Avoid fasting or excessive hunger.
  • Avoid rushing to your appointment.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, recreational drugs, or being heavily medicated before your treatment.
  • Avoid drinking and eating colored food and liquid on the day of the treatment.
  • Avoid brushing your tongue on the day of the treatment.

What to expect during the treatment?

In order to treat your specific conditions, based on the health history and symptoms you provided, a selection of appropriate points will be chosen at each session to affect the functioning of various organs and activate a specific action and response in your body. For example, if you suffer from back pain, needles may be inserted not only on your back but also on your foot and hand.

Upon the insertion of the needle, depending on the location of the insertion sites and patient’s existing medical conditions, you may briefly experience “De Qi” sensation (translated as “arrival/attaining of Qi”) at the insertion site which is often described as heaviness, throbbing, dull ache, soreness, pressure, tingling, numbness, or electrical sensation. The sensation varies from person to person but all of the above are good signs that the needle has ‘tapped’ into the nervous system and the treatment is working.

Once the needles are all inserted, you will enter a relaxed state and often doze off. We will check on you at regular intervals and a bell will be left with you just in case. The needles typically stay in for 20-30 minutes. The Initial evaluation and treatment session is typically 120 minutes to 150 minutes. The follow up treatment session is typically 60 to 90 minutes depending on the conditions being treated.

How will I feel and what should I do after the treatment?

After the treatment, people often feel a deep sense of relaxation and well-being and reduction or complete relief of their symptoms. Sometimes it could take up to 12 hours for the full effect of the treatment to take place. Some people may feel recharged while some feel tired.

The following is recommended after the treatment to maximize the effect of the treatment:

  • Drink plenty of water to help assist in flushing out any toxins that may have accumulated in your body.
  • If possible, a nap after the treatment will be highly beneficial to the healing process.
  • Relax for the rest of the day and avoid big meals, vigorous exercise, stimulants, exhaustion and stressful situations.
  • If your pain has improved, please refrain from overuse or continuously “testing” the troubled area.
  • If you feel dizzy, light headed or drowsy immediately after the treatment, please notify the Acupuncture Physician, sit quietly and relax for few minutes.
  • If you had Cupping or Gua Sha done to your back, depends on how severe is your condition is, it is normal to have painless bruise-like discoloration on your back for few days. Please cover your back with proper cloth and avoid any exposure to wind or coldness.
  • Follow the necessary diet and lifestyle recommendations.
  • Research has shown that positive thinking will create positive results, so positive health promoting attitudes and behaviors will reinforce the healing process.

Even if you feel better after the treatment, always consult your doctor first before reducing or discontinuing any prescribed medication.

How many treatment sessions do I need and how fast will I see results?

It is important to understand that the effects of acupuncture accumulate with repetition. For best results, it is recommended that the patients receive treatments twice a week consistently for the first few weeks until certain level of progress is achieved. Since every person is unique, individual treatment plans are designed and frequently evaluated based on what is best for that particular person. For most conditions, we typically recommend a series of treatment consisting of 3 to 12 sessions, once or twice a week. For example, acute conditions such as the common flu or muscle strain generally require less sessions, whereas more chronic and severe conditions such as arthritis or bell’s palsy require more sessions. Factors such as age, lifestyle, habits, severity and the type of conditions also affect the number of sessions and prognosis. Some people will see immediate results within 1-3 sessions while others between 3-10 sessions. For some it could be subtle, while others, more profound. For example, feeling less pain is always more obvious and than seeing a change in more complicated chronic disorders. Once all the symptoms dissipate and bodily functions have been restored, bi-monthly or monthly sessions are recommended to maintain results and optimal health.

We are committed to helping you achieving your health goals. However, It is essential that you understand that for best results, you also need to make the same commitment by consistently following through the treatment plan, and the necessary diet and lifestyle changes recommended to you.

Who is Acupuncture suitable for? Do I have other options besides needles?

Acupuncture is suitable for people of all ages, sex and genders. Although Acupuncture is the primary therapy of Chinese Medicine, but if you have small children or have any fear of needles, we also offer other therapeutic treatment options such as Cupping, Chinese Medical Massage, Acupressure, Electrical Acu-Point Stimulation, Moxibustion, Auricular Ear Seeds, Chinese Herbal Therapy, Nutritional and Lifestyle Counseling to assist you reaching your health goals.

I am undergoing other treatments for my condition. Can I still do Acupuncture?

Acupuncture works great alone or with other treatments, it can enhance the effect or reduce the side effects of other treatments.

Do I need to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?

Having a positive outlook on anything in life will often have a beneficial effect on your health and wellbeing. However, Acupuncture works very well on small children, as well as animals such as horses, dogs and cats who are not capable of understanding or believing in the treatment.