Frequently Asked Questions
What can acupuncture treat?
When is acupuncture appropriate?
Acupuncture is a complete system of medicine and can treat anything from muscle pain to headaches to PMS to common colds and allergies — the list goes on and on. In cases where immediate intervention is necessary, we require that a patient also sees a Western medical doctor or osteopathic doctor in addition to receiving acupuncture care. In emergency and life-threatening situations, conventional Western medicine is always more appropriate.
However, acupuncture is often a preferred method of care in the following situations:
- when conventional medications do not work or do not solve the underlying problem;
- when conventional medications cause side effects that negatively impact the patient’s quality of life;
- when the cause of the condition is unclear and there are no helpful medications available (frequently the case in infertility, digestive issues, anxiety, and migraine headaches); or
- when the condition does not pose a threat to the patient’s health, but she/he wants to pursue a more “natural” method of treatment (common in cases of PMS and menstrual cramps).
Does acupuncture hurt? What does it feel like?
Acupuncture treatments are usually very relaxing, even blissful. Acupuncture needles feel nothing at all like getting a shot or having your blood drawn. They are hair-thin, and you will likely only notice a very small pinch on the insertion. Once a needle is set, people often feel some sensation: warmth, tingling, or a light “hum.”
How quickly does it work?
How many treatments do I need?
The answer to these questions varies greatly from person to person. Although some patients sense an immediate effect, it is more common to experience a noticeable improvement around 4 – 24 hours after treatment.
Generally speaking, we ask patients to commit to three weekly treatments to see how well they respond to acupuncture care. If we see that we’re making good progress, we’ll continue with treatment either weekly or biweekly until the condition is resolved (often 6-10 treatments total).
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of the safest medical modalities available. In addition to extensive training in Clean Needle Technique and bloodborne pathogens, we use only single-use, sterile, disposable acupuncture needles every time.