Common Questions about Acupuncture

Here are some common questions regarding acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Please visit our clinic info page for rates, hours, and clinic policies.

What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles are far different from the hypodermic needle used to give injections. The needles are solid and are inserted into the skin from 1/8 to several inches deep. They are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles, absolutely insuring that there is no contamination or transmission of disease possible. They are usually painless upon insertion, but you may feel a slight pricking, numbness, heaviness, or distended sensation in the area around the needle when it is planted. The sensations usually last only a moment.


What are acupuncture points and meridians?

Acupuncture points are those areas on the body that have been shown to have an influence on pain or body function when stimulated by a needle, pressure, or heat. These points are quite small, and exact location is important for attaining maximum benefit from a given treatment. By inserting needles into points on the meridian pathways, the normal flow of energy may be restored and balanced. The points are organized into twelve classic meridians which are named after the organ systems to which they correspond. There are also eight extra meridians which have distinct functions and address specific conditions.


How many treatments are necessary?

It is usually recommended that a series of six to ten treatments be given, initially. However every case is unique, and some (like pain) can be resolved in only one or two treatments. We will be happy to discuss your case and treatment plan with you frankly and in detail.


What are the side effects of acupuncture?

One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is the absence of serious side effects associated with its use. Rarely, there may be some slight bruising around the area where a needle was placed.


How long does a treatment take?

The initial visit lasts one and a half hours due to the time required for the extensive intake questions and acupuncture treatment. Follow-up treatments take only one hour. 


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