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Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world. It involves the stimulation of specific acupoints in the body to correct imbalances in the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) or life energy flowing through the body’s meridians. While acupuncture is most commonly associated with the insertion of thin solid needles into the skin, skilled practitioners typically employ a range of additional techniques including moxibustion (the burning of herbs) and cupping (the placement of suction cups on the skin).

  • How much time do I need to allocate for a visit?
    A new patient acupuncture treatment will last 60 to 90 minutes. For follow up patients, visits typically last 30 to 40 minutes. For Herbal Consults, a new patient visit will last about 30 minutes, follow up visits 20 minutes. At your initial consultation, you will be given an estimation of the duration of follow up visits.
  • How many treatments will it take to see results?
    Acute conditions can be resolved fairly quickly, in some cases with one visit. Chronic problems on the other hand take longer, perhaps weeks or even months. At the initial visit, the expected length of treatment will be discussed with you. The goal is to get you better as quickly as possible, and then you can tell others about your satisfaction with the treatment!
  • Does acupuncture hurt?
    Patients often worry that acupuncture will hurt. The needles are completely unlike those that are used for giving shots, drawing blood or infusing intravenous (IV) fluids. They are about the width of a hair and are designed to slide effortlessly into the body. The tip is even shaped to increase the patient’s comfort. Some patients do not feel any sensation when the needle is inserted; others describe what feels like a mosquito bite or small pinch. Sometimes there is a sensation of tingling, warmth, coolness or heaviness at the site of insertion as well as radiating from the point as the Qi travels throughout the body.
  • How does acupuncture work?
    It is easy to explain how acupuncture works from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, but much more difficult to explain from a modern scientific perspective. Some studies have recently shown that acupuncture “lights up” certain areas of the brain, inducing natural pain relieving endorphins, but these studies do not adequately explain the results we see in the clinic. What we do know is that patients with many different types of complaints respond favorably to acupuncture every day in the clinical setting.
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