AND YOU WANT TO KNOW SOME THINGS BEFORE YOU START...
That's what I'm here for! This FAQ will answer all the questions you may have about how to start. Let's just jump right in:
Does it hurt? This is by far the most common question any acupuncturist gets, and the answer is - no, not really. You may get some sensations when the needle first goes in, akin to a mosquito bite, or when it's moved but these range for every individual. Most people feel what they describe as pressure, heaviness or warmth. These are all positive responses and what we call the arrival of qi to the point - or 'de qi'. Some people are extra sensitive to needles, but a skilled practitioner can adjust the approach and make it less intense. Most people report feeling incredibly relaxed during their treatments.
How long does it take? Initial acupuncture treatments take 60 minutes, and our follow up treatments take 30-45 minutes depending on what the session requires. Your first treatment will have long intake that asks you so many questions about your body that you may not have even thought about before.
How much does it cost? At the time of this post in 2018, initial treatments cost $80 and follow ups cost $65. To see our full list of services and current prices check here.
How do I know the needles are sterile and clean? In modern acupuncture we use single-use needles that are disposed of after each treatment. The needles come in sterile packs and are not used on anyone else or in any other treatments.
How many treatments will I need? This is a tough question to answer because it really depends on the condition being addressed and how long you've been dealing with it. Generally I see marked improvements in 1-3 treatments and resolution in 4-6 treatments. Sometimes people only need 1 treatment, and still others need regular acupuncture to maintain their health.
What can acupuncture treat? Much more than you think! Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been around for thousands of years for a reason, it has so many applications. It's especially good for chronic conditions and conditions hard to treat in Western Medicine (or biomedicine) - migraines, headaches, IBS, intestinal distress, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, chronic pain, PCOS, PMS, stress, PPMD, PTSD, auto-immune disorders. If you have a disorder or disease that is hard to treat, you know it because your doctor is just as frustrated as you. Biomedicine is extremely necessary in some cases, and in those cases you can bet I'm gonna see an MD - like if I break my arm or my appendix is about to burst and I need surgery. But I will definitely get acupuncture and Chinese herbs to help heal more quickly.
Are treatments just acupuncture? No, Chinese Medicine has many tools used to treat patients including moxibustion (moxa), cupping, gua sha, tuina, herbal medicine, and non-insertive techniques.
Hopefully these answered some of the questions and concerns you may have about acupuncture. Please feel free to leave comments and ask any other questions you may have. Also, look for another FAQ about the basics of Chinese Medicine techniques and theory for all you health geeks out there.