What should I expect during an acupuncture treatment?

During the initial treatment we will start with a medical history and interview regarding all aspects of the condition being treated. An exam follows that includes an examination of the tongue and pulse to gain information about the internal state of the body. A physical exam including range of motion or abdominal palpation may be included if applicable. The treatment itself may involve acupuncture alone, or be combined with moxibustion, cupping, microcurrent or electro-acupuncture. Most people feel deeply relaxed during their acupuncture treatment, and you may even drift off to sleep.

How should I prepare for an acupuncture treatment?

Before your acupuncture treatment, have something light to eat and wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes. Do not come under the influence of alcohol or other recreational drugs. It is preferable to have not ingested any caffeine for a couple of hours prior to treatment. To optimize your body's ability to fully absorb the benefits of the treatment, it is best to avoid strenuous physical activity for a couple of hours before and after your visit. Ideally you should rest and relax for a few hours after your acupuncture treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

Each person and condition is unique, therefore the number of treatments needed varies. While chronic conditions may require several weeks of treatment or repeated courses of treatment, acute problems generally respond more quickly. Many conditions can be alleviated quite rapidly, results being felt after each treatment. Carefully following the recommended acupuncture protocol, diet and lifestyle changes and proper use of an appropriate herbal formula will have a beneficial effect on the outcome and course of treatment. A typical course of treatment consists of 8 to 12 acupuncture treatments. Reasonable expectations will be discussed after an evaluation of your particular condition.

How long does an acupuncture visit take?

The initial acupuncture consultation and treatment usually takes about two hours. Follow-up visits take approximately one hour.

What does acupuncture feel like?

I use a very gentle needle technique and work with you to make your treatment as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Acupuncture needles are hair-thin and when inserted into the acupuncture points a sensation is rarely felt. Once the needles are inserted, the range of sensations vary, most people feel a dull, heavy or slightly achy sensation at the site where the needle is inserted. These sensations are a sign that the acupuncture is working to activate your body's innate healing ability.

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes, when practiced by a qualified and licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is very safe. Acupuncture is a medical treatment that has almost no side effects. I use only sterile, disposable single-use needles, eliminating almost any chance of infection.

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the burning of the herb ai ye (aka mugwort or Artemisia vulgaris) at particular sites of the body for therapeutic applications. The herb is placed on a needle or used in a stick form to warm an area, improve blood circulation and stimulate acupuncture points.

What is cupping?

Using heat to create a partial vacuum, cupping is the application of glass cups to certain areas of the body to invigorate blood circulation, break up stagnation, warm the meridians and promote the free flow of qi and blood through the channels.

Does medical insurance cover acupuncture treatment?

Yes, many health insurance companies cover acupuncture. Details of coverage vary from policy to policy, so you should contact your health insurance company for specific benefit information. I am also available to assist you in determining the details of your coverage and whether my services are covered by your policy.