Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is acupuncture?
Recently, science has determined that human beings are complex
bioelectric systems. This understanding has been the foundation of
acupuncture practice for several thousand years.
Acupuncture is an effective form of health care which has evolved into
a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture
and Chinese medicine have used this non-evasive medical system to
diagnose and help millions of people become well and stay well.
Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative
power and immunity, support physical and emotional health and improve
overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective
way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
What is Qi?
At the core of this ancient medicine, is the philosophy that Qi,
(or chi, pronounced ‘chee’) or Life Energy, flows throughout the body. Qi
animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A
person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of
How does Qi move?
Qi flows through specific pathways called Meridians. There are 14
main meridians inside the body. Each meridian is connected to specific
organs and glands.
Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a
river flows it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment
to the land, plants and people. Like rivers, where meridian pathways
flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every
cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When it becomes
“backed up” in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in
other parts. Hindering the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s
health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.
What causes Qi to get stuck?
Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise,
overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive
activity are among the many things that can influence the quality,
quantity and balance of Qi.
Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occur, the body easily bounces
back, returning to a state of health and well-being. When this
disruption is prolonged, excessive, or if the body is in a weakened
state, illness, pain or disease can set in.
What does an acupuncturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history will be taken.
Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and life-style. Pulse
and tongue diagnosis, along with an appropriate physical exam is
The information is then organized into a well structured treatment
plan. This enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect
any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a person’s
Once the imbalance(s) of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place
fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways.
This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the
obstruction, and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this
is done, Qi freely circulates throughout the body providing adequate
nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This
eliminates pain, restores balance and harmony along with the body’s
natural ability to heal itself, ultimately leading to optimal health
Acupuncture is a safe, effective and drug-free therapy that can help
address a wide variety of common ailments and problems.
Why do they want to feel my pulses?
There are 12 pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist
will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and
organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for 27 individual qualities
that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may
appear in the pulse.
Why do they want to look at my tongue?
The tongue is a map of your body, reflecting the general health of
your organ and meridian systems. Your acupuncturist will look at the
color, shape and coating of your tongue.
What is acupuncture useful for?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH)
and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the
treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Here are a few
imbalances acupuncture and Chinese medicine has been effective at
Addiction - drug, alcohol, smoking
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Low back pain
Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD)
Urinary Tract infections
Do the needles hurt?
The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies from patient
to patient. Some people feel a little pain as the needles are
inserted, but most people feel no pain. The needles are tiny,
sometimes just a little larger than a cat's whisker. When
treating young children, infants, or sensitive adults, there are other
techniques which are equally as effective. If you have a real fear of
needles, please bring it up in discussion at your initial
consultation. An appropriate treatment strategy can always be agreed
upon. The needles used in my practice are disposable, and have
never been touched prior to your treatment and will be disposed of
after treatment. They are pre-sterilized.
What can I expect?
During your initial exam a full health history will be taken, with
questions regarding your health, lifestyle, and any other information
necessary for diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will check your pulses,
look at your tongue, and conduct the appropriate physical exam. This
information's then organized according to the theories and
philosophies of Chinese medicine in order to diagnose.
How should I prepare?
- Come to the clinic with any question you may have, your acupuncturist
is here to help you.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture
- Don't eat large meals just before or after your visit.
- Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for up to 6 hours after
- After your treatment, avoid stressful situation. Make time to
relax. A warm bath or shower is helpful. Also, be sure to
get plenty of rest.
- Between visits, make notes of any change in your body that may have
occurred. Like the alleviation of pain, or pain moving to
another area, changes in the frequency and of problem, etc. This
information will be important to share with your acupuncturist.
How safe is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is a "drug-free" therapy,
yielding no side effects, except feelings of relaxation, and being
grounded. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles
because they are sterile, used once, and disposed of after each use.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments varies from person to person. Some people
experience immediate relief after the first treatment, others may take
months, to see results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to
resolve than acute problems. But, plan on a minimum of a month to see
Treatment frequency depends upon a variety of factors: the severity
and duration of your problem, your constitution, and the overall
quality and quantity of Qi. Your acupuncturist may suggest one or two
treatments per week of several weeks, or monthly visits over time for
health maintenance, seasonal "tune ups," or preventative medicine.
Is acupuncture safe for children?
Yes! In some instances children actually respond more quickly than
adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist
may suggest massaging the acupuncture point. This is called
Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
Most insurance companies provide acupuncture benefits. Contact your
insurance provider to learn what type of alternative care is covered
and how many visits are allowed per calendar year.
Get a Free Initial Consultation!
Call now to schedule an appointment: 352-284-5937.
the Contact Page for more information and