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Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What will my acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis of where Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with your acupuncturist may last from 45 to 60 minutes.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some conditions may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. An initial treatment plan is usually weekly treatments for 4-6 treatments for best results. This way treatments strengthen the body to better maintain the results of the treatment.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.

How much does it cost?

Rates vary and depend upon what procedures are performed. It is best to consult with your acupuncturist about costs.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Wendy Weiss is an out of network provider. Payment for your acupuncture treatment is due at the time of services.  If you have acupuncture coverage with your insurance company, a superbill can be provided for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement directly to you, according to your specific insurance plan benefits.

How should I prepare?

  • Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Do not eat large meals just before or after
    your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

Acupuncturists also take on going continuing education courses to maintain their State License.

What can acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Below are some of the health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Dysentery
  • Emotional problems
  • Eye problems
  • Facial palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gingivitis
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low back pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Pneumonia
  • Reproductive problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Smoking cessation
  • Sore throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wrist pain

How Does Acupuncture Feel? Does It Hurt?

When the acupuncture points are contacted, the energy or Chi moves. This is done with the use of very fine solid stainless steel needles. Needles are about as thin as a strand of hair. The acupuncture needle is a tool, that enables us to move through the surface of the skin, and contact the point to move the energy.

When the energy is contacted, there is a momentary sensation, which tells us the energy is moving. This is a good sign! How this feels can vary from person to person. Any sensation usually goes away within seconds.

Only pre-packaged, single-use pre-sterilized disposable needles are used.

How Does It Work?

The Life Force Energy or Chi flows in pathways called meridians, that correspond to each organ of the body. Along these meridians at the surface of the skin are acupuncture points that function to move the Chi in specific ways. When these points are contacted, through the use of an acupuncture needle, the Chi moves, and we are able to support and restore the balance and flow of energy in the body. When the person’s own Chi is flowing properly the body’s inherent healing capacity is restored. Symptoms begin to resolve, and there is movement toward greater health and well-being.

A central part of Acupuncture is taking the pulses on the wrists of both hands. There are six positions on each hand, which correspond to the twelve meridians and the organs of the body. The pulses provide essential information about the quantity and quality of the Chi flowing in the meridians and to the organs.

Moxibustion is also part of Chinese medicine. Moxa is made from mugwort leaves (Artemisia vulgaris). The moxa cone is placed directly on the acupuncture point, on the skin. The moxa is lit and as it burns slowly, the heat permeates the acupuncture point, warming the Chi and supporting the energy flow of the blood. It has a strengthening effect that magnifies the benefit of treatment.

What can I expect at my first acupuncture treatment?

Your initial treatment is a time to get to know you and your concerns. This includes a thorough intake evaluation covering your medical and personal history, a Chinese Medicine evaluation and diagnosis, and your first Acupuncture treatment.

Treatment includes a traditional pulse and tongue examination and diagnosis, examining meridian energy flows, treating acupuncture points to balance the meridian flow, address symptoms, and support your constitutional energy. Treatments may also include acupressure and moxibustion.

We will discuss your diagnosis, you can ask all your questions, and I will offer you a treatment plan.

How is acupuncture a “wholistic” system of medicine?

The Chi, or Life Force Energy, flows to everywhere in the body-mind-spirit. From the superficial level at the skin, at the meridian level, the Chi then flows deeper into the body to the organs. Then that same Chi continues to flow back to another meridian, which in turn flows deep again, to feed another organ. In this way everything in the body-mind-spirit is literally connected. We can treat the ‘whole person’ through this connected system of energy flow throughout the body.

How does it treat the body, mind and spirit?

When there is balance we move easefully through life, in body, mind, and spirit. If we become imbalanced at any level, symptoms may arise at that level.

Each of the Five Elements has a physical, mental/emotional, and spirit level correlation. We can address various issues you may experience at these levels.

By diagnosing the energetic root cause of the symptom, we can treat the specific level that needs support, to restore energetic balance and well-being.

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