Will it hurt?
This is one of the most common questions, often followed up by “I really hate needles!” My response to this is that acupuncture is minimally painful. Having gotten acupuncture many times, I cannot say that it is completely painless; but with good technique and skill, the needles should not be intense or sharp. That said, there are many different styles of acupuncture, along with a wide variety of needles. My personal style is more consistent with that of the Japanese tradition, which uses minimal and very fine needles along with a relatively shallow insertion. I try to make my treatments as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. The amount and type of needling will depend on what ailments people come in with, but I am always open to feedback and can easily adjust many treatments to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible.
How many treatments will I need?
This varies person to person. Many factors are considered when determining a prognosis or treatment plan, and all are very individualized. During the first appointment, this will be discussed at length and more specific questions can be answered. Things such as how long the problem has been going on, age, overall health, and severity of the issue are all key factors in determining prognosis and furthermore how long-lasting each treatment will be. Taking that into consideration, acupuncture has a cumulative effect, meaning that commonly, the more you come the better results you will see. People are often recommended to come more frequently at first and then appointments can be tapered depending on results.
How does it work?
Acupuncture works with a channel system that runs throughout the whole human body. The channels, or meridians, carry energy, referred to in Chinese medicine as Qi (pronounced chee). By inserting needles at different points along these meridians, a skilled acupuncturist can increase, decrease, or redirect energy in the body, based on what is needed for relief and balance. Restoring balance allows a body to function at optimal level. From a biomedical point of view, acupuncture also works to increase and redirect blood flow and body fluids to specific areas, relax tight muscles, release endorphins in the brain, and increase overall healing response in the body. The overarching goal of acupuncture is balance; if the body is in balance, there will be no disease or discomfort.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can help with many conditions, in many different ways. Some immediate benefits reported by patients are: reduced inflammation, pain reduction, improved sleep, improved digestion, and an overall increased positive outlook on life. At your first visit we will discuss particular areas of concern and come up with a customized treatment plan tailored just for you. Following is a list of conditions that have been proven to be treatable with acupuncture. If you do not see your ailment listed, do not despair; as noted throughout my site acupuncture brings the entirety of the body back into balance, so it can help with many more ailments than are listed below.