Q&A: General

Does acupuncture hurt?

You may feel a mild “poke” sensation when an acupuncture needle goes in, but it should go away quickly. Once the needles are in, it is normal if you feel some sensation as long as it is not uncomfortable. It is also normal if you forget the needles are even there! If any uncomfortable sensations persist, however, let your acupuncturist know.


How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture serves as a stimulus causing the transmission of various signals within the body. A promising scientific theory of the mechanism behind this transmission is that acupuncture activates opioid receptors. Once activated, opioid receptors can transmit signals that relieve pain and induce a sense of calm, two of the main reasons people seek acupuncture! The uses of various acupuncture points (where the needles go) have been developed through empirical testing of theories based on the observation of nature, human and otherwise, going back thousands of years.


Are there any side effects?

The most common “side effect” of acupuncture is relaxation! By activating opioid receptors, acupuncture induces a feeling of calm. Bruising is also possible, but harmless.


How many needles are used?

While the number of needles used depends on the condition(s) being treated, a typical acupuncture treatment involves 10-20 needles.


What should I wear?

It is best to wear loose-fitting attire with easy access to the forearms (below the elbow) and legs (below the knee). For private treatments, it is possible that you will have to remove some clothing.


Is there anything I can do before/during/after my acupuncture treatment to maximize its effectiveness?

  • Before – It is a good idea to have some food in your stomach.
  • During – Your only job is to lie still and let the needles do their work!
  • After – Make sure to drink plenty of water and take it easy. Additionally, allow yourself time to process any sensations, emotions, thoughts, memories, and other reactions that acupuncture may bring into your awareness.

What can acupuncture treat?

In short, acupuncture can treat anything! However, it may or may not be effective for certain cases or conditions and it is not recommended as emergency care. Here is a non-exhaustive list of conditions commonly treated with acupuncture:

  • Pain
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Addiction
  • Allergies
  • Infertility (male and female)
  • Premenstrual and menstrual symptoms

Can I have acupuncture when I’m pregnant?

Yes! In fact, acupuncture can treat issues related to pregnancy such as morning sickness, breech baby, and delayed labor.


If I have back pain, can I still have an acupuncture treatment in the community setting even though sitting in a recliner chair may render the area of pain inaccessible to the acupuncturist for needling?

Yes! There are many acupuncture points to treat back pain that are not located on the back.


If I have had an acupuncture treatment in one of the settings (community or private) and I want to try the other setting, do I schedule an appointment for a first visit or a return visit?

First visit. The first visit price accounts for a filing fee for the forms you fill out, which are specific to each setting.


Will insurance cover my treatment?

While we do not take insurance, upon request we can provide you with a superbill that you can submit to see if your insurance plan will cover your treatment.