Acupuncture FAQ'S:

  1. What if I'm afraid of the needles? We understand, the word needle can be a trigger for some.  The acupuncture needles we use are slender and as thin as a hair.  Most people feel little to no discomfort.  We also have non-needle techniques we can use if you definitely don't want needles.  We can use lasers, microcurrent, gua sha, tui na, and cupping.

  2. How many treatments will I need? This depends on the nature of your complaint.  Most patients see results (but may not be fully healed) within 4-6 treatments. Some chronic issues may not fully heal, but can be managed with ongoing treatment.  This will be discussed in your first 1-2 visits.  After your symptoms improve, we encourage you to come in for regular wellness visits to manage stress and maintain your good health.  This usually looks like coming in 1-2 times per month.

  3. What is expected after I receive a treatment? Ideally, you should have a relaxed, easy day and avoid strenuous exercise for 6 hours after.

  4. Is acupuncture safe? Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are extremely safe. In the hands of a properly trained licensed acupuncturist there are virtually no negative side-effects, and minimum risk. Your safety and well-being are my primary concern! Because needles are sterile and single-use, the risk of contagion or infection is almost zero.

  5. I've got several health concerns.  Can you treat more than one condition at a time? In short, yes. Chinese medicine doesn't treat "diseases", it treats "patterns".  "Patterns" can include any number of western medical conditions.  Chinese medical diagnosis and treatment are very different from our western counterparts.  There is a saying I learned in school that goes "Different diseases, same treatment; same disease, different treatments."  This means that each person and problem are unique and will receive a different acupuncture treatment, herbs and recommendations.  

  6. What is an acupuncturist? What is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine? An Acupuncturist is a person who has graduated from a nationally accredited Acupuncture School. Acupuncturists must pass written and practical state and national board exams to become licensed. Licensed acupuncturists are also certified in Clean Needle Technique. Currently, most states require a 4-year Master’s degree in Acupuncture (MSAC) or Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) from an accredited acupuncture school for licensure. Training includes all aspects of biomedicine as well as Traditional Oriental Medicine. Dr. Heather has an additional national certification in Chinese Herbology and is board certified through the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine.  A doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a person who has continued their schooling for an additional 2-4 years and has received their doctorate in the profession of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  This is the highest level of education and training in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.  

  7. What is "dry needling", how is acupuncture different?  Dry needling is a term used by other healthcare professionals that allows them to practice acupuncture without an acupuncture license. To obtain an acupuncture license requires thousands of hours of training and rigorous board exams. Physical therapists or chiropractors see the value in acupuncture but are not trained to practice it. They may take a short workshop or seminar (in some cases only 24 hours) that allows them to include “dry needling” in their scope of practice.  Dry needling is the placement of acupuncture needles into trigger points. Trigger points are locations within a muscle belly, which often cause radiating pain. By inserting needles at these points, the muscle releases and relieves the associated pain. Acupuncturists are trained to do dry needling, as well as many other techniques designed to relieve pain and treat the entire body. Acupuncture is much wider in scope with many more applications than dry needling. If you are interested in trying dry needling for pain, the safest option is with a licensed acupuncturist.

  8. What is acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?  Acupuncture, a treatment technique within Chinese medicine, originated in China over 2,500 years ago and is a primary and complementary health care modality used throughout the world. Chinese Medicine views disease as the result of an imbalance or blockage in the body’s natural energy flow. It is a method of balancing and building the body’s energy, known as “qi” (pronounced “chee”). Acupuncturists insert sterile needles into unique points that lay on particular pathways called channels (aka meridians) that circulate energy throughout the body. The list of conditions that acupuncture may help is virtually limitless. The most common conditions we treat in the clinic are allergies/asthma, headaches, digestive disorders, anxiety/depression, fertility, gynecological disorders, and pain anywhere in the body. Chinese Medicine treats the whole person by viewing the body, mind, and spirit as being on a continuum. Such imbalances can manifest as physical, emotional, and stress-related disorders. Patients feel relief from their symptoms, along with a feeling of vitality and peace. Acupuncture is only one a part of a more extensive health care system. Chinese Medicine also includes herbs, exercise, and diet and lifestyle changes.


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