Frequently Asked Questions
All time question number 1...DOES IT HURT?
Honestly...No. Acupuncture is not without SENSATION, but there is no pain. Most people describe the feeling from the needles as a heaviness, or sometimes a slight electric sensation. There is a slight feeling when the needle first penetrates the skin, but this is about the strength of a mosquito bite. Most people are so unaware of the needles that they often drift into a relaxed, semi-sleep state.
It's a needle, how can it NOT hurt?
Most people's experience with needles comes from hypodermic injections. Hypodermics are several times the size of an acupuncture needle. An acupuncture needle is literally hair-thin, and very sharp. Rather than cutting through your skin, it can actually slip between cells. Also, much of the lasting discomfort from an injection is a result of the volume of liquid injected. Until this fluid is absorbed, it puts pressure on the surrounding tissues.
Is acupuncture safe?
Very safe. Acupuncturists receive at least three years of training, and must do hundreds of supervised treatments before being allowed to graduate and get a license. In addition, they receive training in western science, diseases and in infection control. A good acupuncturist can give safe, effective treatment, but also knows when to withhold treatment and to refer you to another health practitioner.
How effective is it?
Acupuncture has a long history of effectiveness, and is recognized effective for over 40 conditions.
How long before I see results?
That varies from case to case. In some acute cases of short duration, you may get some results after one or two visits. Chronic conditions may need five to ten visits before any difference is seen. Certain degenerative conditions such as arthritis may require continued treatment to maintain relief. But if you see no change after five or six visits, acupuncture may not be suitable for you.
How often do I need a treatment?
In the beginning once or twice a week. Once your condition improves, you may space your appointments to maintain a comfortable level of relief. Some people never need to come back, while some people need a tune-up every few weeks. Some people enjoy their sessions so much that they schedule wellness visits.
Are there any side effects?
No. Acupuncture is extremely safe. Occasionally there is minor bleeding or bruising, more likely in the face, but these generally disappear in a day or two. Needles are sterile and disposed after one use, so infection is rarely a problem. If you have prolonged pain after a session, or heavy bruising, call your acupuncturist for advice.
Do I need to do anything special to get ready?
Just use common sense. Practice good hygiene to minimize infection risk. Wear comfortable clothing. You may have to remove some clothing so the acupuncturist can reach certain points. So avoid elaborate outfits or one-piece clothing. Avoid heavy eating or drinking before treatment. Avoid treatment if you are overly tired, hungry, emotionally upset or right after sex or heavy exercise.