Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about acupuncture and Oriental medicine. If your questions have not been answered, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

What is acupuncture?

It is one of the oldest forms of healing known to mankind, which originated in Asia nearly five thousand years ago. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body to stimulate certain points along the course of the meridians. Such stimulation helps restore the normal balance and flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) so organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony. The points are chosen after diagnosis is made according to the principles of Oriental Medicine.

Qi? What is it? What does it do?

Qi means energy. Though Qi is invisible, its presence becomes especially apparent in the workings of the bodily organs and systems, which require prodigious amounts of energy. Qi is also known as the life force, and since the total absence of Qi is death, obviously one’s good health depends on a balanced distribution of Qi throughout the meridian network that influence the organs as well as the bodily systems.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture treatment sets out to correct any imbalance in the energy of a person, to restore the energy to its natural balance, and to re-establish its rhythm. Harmony and equilibrium are then re-established within the body, within the mind, within the spirit of the person. As the energy imbalances are corrected, the person’s body, mind and spirit start to heal. This is how acupuncture normalizes the physiological dysfunction, helps to maintain the body’s physical condition by preventing disease, promoting health, and yearning to achieve longevity.

Does acupuncture hurt?

It is hard to describe the sensation felt. Each person will experience a unique sensation. Nothing is felt as the needle penetrates the skin but there are some sensations as the needle reaches the acupuncture points. This can be a feeling of numbness, or an ache, or an “alive” sensation, or a sort of sharpness. When the needle makes contact with Qi, many patients tend to experience a slight tingling sensation. Some even find it little painful, but only momentarily. The patients, however, are usually amazed at how comfortable they are during treatment.

What are needles like?

Needles used in acupuncture are usually of stainless steel, not much thicker than a human hair. They are solid, not hollow like needles used for injections in Western medical practice.

Are acupuncture needles sterile and safe?

The government requires acupuncturists to follow very strict sterilization and health procedures. Pre-sterilized Acupuncture needles are manufactured, packaged, and shipped in sterilized containers to ensure compliance with law.

How deep do the needles go?

The depth of the insertion of the needle varies considerably. Usually, needles are inserted just below the skin surface since most acupoints lie just under it. But some needles need to penetrate to a depth from a ¼ inch to as much as 1½ to 2 inches, depending on the nature of the problem or the appropriate acupoints being used.

How long, how many, and how often do I need treatments?

Depending on the patient’s condition and treatment plan, each treatment averages about thirty minutes. Because each patient’s health condition and reaction to treatment are unique, the number and frequency of treatment are various. Typically, the recommendation is two to four times per week for eight to sixteen treatments. Some patients respond remarkably after only one or two treatments. Some may not improve until the eighth or ninth visit. For chronic symptoms, it may require two or three treatments per week for several months for maximum results. In general, acute condition requires less treatment than chronic one.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Based on thousands of years of research and experience, acupuncturists and herbalists have accumulated a variety of formulas to create the perfect herbal medicine for patients. Herbs, with their innate medicinal properties, are vital in adding healthful benefits to treatments like acupuncture. Raw herbs or herbal supplements, such as herbal tea, may be prescribed for the patient to complement the acupuncture treatment by supplying nutrients to areas that need nourishment.

How do I take herbal medicine?

The herbal medicines are infamous for their bitter taste; however, due to their healthful benefits, patients manage to overcome the bitterness. The herbal medicines today are available in tea, pill, and powder forms.

Is herbal medicine safe?

Chinese herbs are effective and safe in the hands of a well-trained herbal practitioner. Herbal medicine education programs train herbalists with knowledge in dosage, combination, and interaction of herbs. Herbalists work with the FDA to ensure the quality and safety of Chinese herbs imported into this country.