5 FAQs Newcomers Want to Know
FAQ 1: Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture has been proven to be extremely safe when practiced by a qualified, licensed professional (LAc). Statistically, the two most common side effects are a feeling of calm and/or an increased sense of well-being after treatment. Occasionally there may be a bruise at the needled site or a drop of blood will exude when the needle is withdrawn. The needles used for acupuncture are solid metal, sterile and disposable, packaged for single-use. The needles are strong, but very thin, roughly equivalent to the thickness of a strand of head hair.
FAQ 2: Does acupuncture hurt and what does it feel like?
The sensation as the needle penetrates the skin feels different for each person: some feel a brief moment of transitory discomfort that is characterized as a feeling of distention or tingling for a few seconds at the needling site. Others feel very little or nothing. Many report a pleasant sensation of movement inside their bodies that is unlike anything they’ve felt before, a sensation that induces calmness, and describe weaving in and out of a light slumber while lying on the table.
FAQ 3: Can acupuncture help my condition?
In the US, acupuncture is best known for its ability to treat pain, but in actuality, acupuncture serves a broad population, covering the spectrum from health maintenance to improving the quality of life during end-stage disease. Additionally, acupuncture is being used adjunctively with chemotherapy, infertility treatments, physical rehabilitation, and immune support. While one of its best uses is as a preventative medicine, it also treats many chronic conditions in a minimally invasive way, often reducing the need for or dosage of pain-relief medications. This benefits the patient’s overall health, speeds recovery time, reduces hospitalization time, and reduces doctor visits.
FAQ 4: How many treatments will I need to get better?
Chinese medicine is cumulative in its effects, and everyone responds differently to treatment. In general, acute or recent conditions will take a shorter time to resolve, and chronic conditions will take longer. Because acupuncture can take several sessions before changes are established, you will be apprised of the recommended number of visits after your first visit, when this practitioner has had a chance to review your case in more detail.
FAQ 5: What should I expect on my first visit?
Your first visit is comprehensive, reviewing all your systems from a western medical standpoint, and through the lens of Chinese medicine. In this way, the practitioner determines what underlies the various presenting symptoms, and sets out a treatment plan to alleviate the immediate problem and its root. Ultimately, the goal is to resolve the complaint, so you are free of it. We like to equip you with knowledge on how to take care of yourself to prevent recurrence. This counseling comes through discussion during treatment sessions. Follow-up visits for tune-ups are often recommended. Many people choose to continue, because regular acupuncture treatment improves metabolic function, leaving one feeling better, stronger, and more relaxed.