Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture
Frequently Asked questions:
What are the needles like and how many of them are used in a session?
The needles are fine and flexible, about the size of a thick hair. The comment I hear most often is “I can’t believe how thin they are!” I have treated people with needle phobias who report afterwards that acupuncture was so much easier then they had anticipated. In general, the average number of needles used is anywhere from eight to twelve.
Is acupuncture painful?
When the needles are inserted there can be a slight pricking sensation. Many people do not feel any sensation. When the Qi (energy) is stimulated at the needle, there is a “toothache” sensation, tingling or a feeling of heaviness, which often dissipates within a few seconds. While the needles are retained there is little sensation. Most people find it deeply relaxing, as if being relaxed from the inside outwards.
Note: Addressing those persons who have a fear of needles. I do have an acupressure technique which neutralizes fear and phobias (EFT). After a few minutes of applying this technique, fear is greatly diminished if not resolved. You are always in charge. If any anxiety or discomfort is felt during the treatment the needles can be withdrawn immediately. In all the years I have practiced acupuncture I have had only one person who could not continue the treatment due to fear. This woman did not speak any English. Perhaps if I had been able to communicate with her the outcome would have been different.
How long are the needles retained?
Depending on the condition treated and other factors, needles are retained for about 30 to 40 minutes. During that time people report feeling very relaxed and often fall asleep. Often, a front and back treatment are done in the same session.
How many sessions will I need?
Depending on the nature of the complaint and other factors, you can expect to have anywhere from 3 to 7 sessions. Some people respond with one or two treatments. This is often the case with acute conditions of short duration. Those presenting with chronic illnesses need ongoing treatments during the year. Each session builds upon the former, consequently, in the beginning weekly treatments are advised. As the core of the issue resolves and symptoms abate, sessions can be spread out over a longer period of time. If there is not a positive response to treatment within a reasonable amount of time we will re-evaluate and decide on the next course of action. Click here to learn about medical conditions that respond to acupuncture treatments.
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