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Frequently Asked Questions
Does acupuncture hurt?Acupuncture needles are sterile, thin, solid stainless steel filiform needles that are one time use. Some people may feel the initial insertion of the needle but afterwards it shouldn’t be sharp or shooting. The sensations often associated with needles once they are inserted can be described as an ache or heaviness at the needle insertion site - this is all normal. Most people encounter needles during visits to the doctor through vaccinations, injections and when drawing blood for lab tests. These needles are hollow (hypodermic) and are rather large. In contrast acupuncture needles are thinner and solid (filiform), and have been described to have more of a ‘pushing’ action rather than a ‘cutting’ one from conventional hypodermic needles. This results in less damage to the tissue of the skin and muscles, which is reflected in being less painful.
What should I expect during my first treatment?Prior to treatment, eat a light meal and wear comfortable and loose clothing. We will come to your home with a massage table and all necessary tools for treatment. Please provide a comfortable space in your home for us to set up. This should be a place you can relax easily in, such as a quiet spot with a comfortable room temperature. We will go over the history/intake form that you filled out prior to the appointment and ask any additional questions ranging from sleep to digestion that may not seem to be related to your current complaint. This allows us to see the bigger picture of who you are, which helps guide diagnosis in Chinese medicine. Needles will be retained for about 30 minutes and while you rest. During treatment, most patients fall asleep or relax in a meditative state After treatment, try to avoid any strenuous activity and drink plenty of water. Patients can feel a little drowsy after treatment or have a little burst of energy. Sometimes, patients can experience a ‘healing crisis’ after treatment where the pain can get a little worse before it gets better 24 hours after treatment. This does not happen often but everyone reacts differently to acupuncture so it’s important to observe how acupuncture affects you personally.
How many sessions will I need?Every patient’s needs are unique so we will come up with a personalized treatment plan after your initial session. Typically, the longer you’ve had the problem, the more sessions you will need to resolve the issue. Each treatment builds on the next so the cumulative effect of treatments also matters - a typical course of treatment is 6-10 sessions, and it may take up to 3 to 5 sessions to properly gauge if the treatments are effective for you. Acupuncture also focuses on prevention so even if you believe you have ‘nothing wrong’, a monthly maintenance session is still beneficial to adjust any minor imbalances to keep you healthy.
Are there any side effects from acupuncture?Acupuncture is a very safe form of treatment, especially when performed by fully qualified practitioners. Some more physical side effects are from needle insertion, such as soreness or bruising in the area that was needled. Some points may bleed a little bit when the needles are removed. Patients can feel a little drowsy after treatment or have a little burst of energy. Sometimes, patients can experience a ‘healing crisis’ after treatment where the pain can get a little worse before it gets better 24 hours after treatment. This does not happen often but everyone reacts differently to acupuncture so it’s important to observe how acupuncture affects you personally
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