• Frequently Asked Questions

    • What is Chinese medicine?

      An ancient, yet sophisticated form of medicine that uses the body’s own internal resources to foster healing, Chinese medicine has existed over 3,000 years. A wealth of information gathering and knowledge has culminated in a medicine that is effective in treating a wide range of conditions. To illustrate the relevance of this medicine, there is plenty of clinical research supporting it’s success treating modern diseases and yet it was developed at a time when many of these diseases did not exist.Chinese medicine has five branches:

      • Acupuncture
      • Herbal medicine
      • Energetic exercises (Qi Gong/Tai Chi)
      • Massage (Tui Na)
      • Nutritional therapy
    • What is Acupuncture?

      Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that uses very fine needles, gently inserted at specific points, to stimulate the body’s own healing systems which restore balance, decrease pain and increase functionality. It is used for both acute and chronic conditions and excels as a preventative medicine.

    • How does Acupuncture work? An Eastern Explanation

      Life energy termed Qi (pronounced chee) flows throughout the body along meridians and promotes the smooth circulation of blood and body fluids. When this flow is blocked, pain and illness prevail. Qi flow, and hence blood and body fluid flow, are influenced and balanced by the stimulation of specific points of the body. These points are located along meridians which connect to every organ system.

    • How does Acupuncture work? A Western Explanation

      Acupuncture is the stimulation of points on the skin that influence and restore balance to the biochemical and physiological systems of the body.

      Physiological effects of acupuncture include:

      • Increased circulation
      • Decreased inflammation
      • Pain relief
      • Increased immunity
    • What does Acupuncture treat?

      Over many decades, extensive studies on acupuncture through controlled clinical studies have taken place. In recognition to the ever increasing worldwide interest in acupuncture, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a lengthy document establishing acupuncture to be a proven, effective treatment based on controlled clinical trials for the following diseases, symptoms and conditions:

      Cardiovascular  Hypertension. Hypotension. Stroke.
      Gastrointestinal/ Renal Peptic ulcer. Acute and chronic gastritis. Gastrospasm. Dysentery. Nausea and vomiting. Biliary colic. Renal colic.
      Head/Ear/Nose/Throat Allergic rhinitis. Headache.
      Mental/Emotional Health Depression.
      Pain Dental pain. Facial pain. Sciatica. Neck, low back and knee pain. Shoulder periarthritis. Postoperative pain. Rheumatoid arthritis. Tennis elbow. Sprain.
      Women’s Health

      Dysmenorrhea. Morning sickness. Malposition of fetus. Induction of labor.


       Adverse reactions to radiotherapy/chemotherapy. Leucopenia.

      The WHO also composed an extensive list of diseases, symptoms and conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

      Addiction Alcohol dependence. Tobacco dependence. Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence. Detoxification.
      Cardiovascular Hyperlipidemia. Raynaud Syndrome. Vascular dementia.
      Endocrine Diabetes Mellitus.
      Gastrointestinal/Renal Ulcerative Colitis. Abdominal pain (gastroenteritis/gastrointestinal spasm). Cholecystitis. Cholelithiasis. Hepatitis B. Gastrokinetic Disturbance.
      Head/Eye/Ear/Nose/Mouth/Throat Earache. Epistaxis (nosebleed). Eye pain. Meniere disease. Sjogren Syndrome. Post extubation in children. Sore throat. Sialism. Craniocerebral injury (closed).
      Mental/Emotional Health Anxiety. Stress. Insomnia. Schizophrenia.
      Neurological Bell’s Palsy. Facial spasm. Neuralgia. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. Tourette Syndrome.
      Pain Cancer pain. Fibromyalgia. Fascitis. Gouty arthritis. Osteoarthritis. Radicular pain. Stiff neck. Spine pain. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction. Pain due to endoscopic examination. Pain due to Thromboangitis Obliterans. Tietze Syndrome.
      Post-Surgical Support Postoperative convalescence.
      Respiratory Asthma. Whooping cough (Pertussis).
      Skin Acne vulgaris. Herpes zoster. Neurodermatitis. Pruritus.
      Urogenital Prostatitis. Urinary Tract Infections. Urine retention. Urolithiasis.
      Weight Loss Obesity.
      Women’s Health Female infertility. Hypo-ovarianism. Labor pain. Lactation deficiency. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). PMS. Female Urethral Syndrome.
      Other Craniocerebral injury. Male sexual dysfunction. Postextubation in children. Epidemic hemorrhagic fever.
    • Will Acupuncture work for me?

      Don’t despair if your condition is not listed in the above two tables. We are happy to provide a brief, free phone consult to determine if acupuncture may be a treatment option for you.

      Due to low cost and safety, acupuncture is a sensible option for most conditions even when efficacy has not been proven through clinical trials. Please keep in mind that you can receive acupuncture treatment without a diagnosis from your physician.

      We take your health seriously and are trained to refer out to an M.D. or other healthcare provider when necessary.

    • What does it feel like?

      Needles the width of a cat’s whisker are inserted at specific points of the body restoring healthy function, resolving symptoms and reversing disease. They are thin, flexible needles compared to the thicker, non-flexible hypodermic needle. In fact, acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner. Sometimes these points are stimulated with heat, pressure or electrical current. Although acupuncture is virtually painless, one may feel a brief discomfort when the needle is inserted through the skin. Needle insertion may be followed by a dull ache around the needle, sensations of pressure, movement, warmth, heaviness, numbness or tingling. These are harmless sensations that are usually brief in nature and from a Chinese medicine perspective, are a positive sign that healing is taking place. However, if any of these sensations persist please notify your acupuncturist as they want you to have a relaxing and enjoyable treatment.

    • How deep are Acupuncture needles inserted?

      Typically the needles are inserted from a 1/4 – 1 inch in depth. Depending on the condition treated and the age, body size and weight of the patient, needle depths can exceed 1 inch.

    • How many treatments do I need?

      This is highly individual. The number and frequency of treatments will vary based on the condition being treated. In general, more acute disorders can take less time to treat while chronic conditions take longer. However, one should start experiencing some level of improvement within the first 3-6 treatments. A usual course of treatment is between five to twelve sessions, depending upon each individual case. Remember, acupuncture is a natural medicine that is helping your body to make positive changes. This lends to a gradual healing process.

    • What can I expect during my first visit?

      As your healthcare partner, my intent is to assist you in creating positive changes in your life to promote optimal health and well-being. For our partnership to be successful, trust is essential to establish. My style of practice involves providing a healing atmosphere through respect, warmth, attentiveness and compassion for human experiences.

      We will begin the treatment in a comfortable, private treatment room. A thorough review of your medical history will take place. This detail is essential because as an acupuncturist, we are weaving together a tapestry of your life which is key to understanding your current health condition and will assist in an accurate diagnosis. I will then look at your tongue and check your wrist pulse. These are the primary and highly accurate diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine. If necessary, further medical examination/testing is conducted such as: blood pressure, orthopedic testing, and palpation of the affected area.

      A treatment plan will be discussed during your first or second visit, which outlines your course of treatment. It will contain information regarding an estimation of number/frequency of visits, an herbal medicine prescription, lifestyle changes, and at home therapies which will assist your healing process.

      Now the fun begins! You lie down on a soft, heated table and the acupuncture needles are inserted at specific points on your body. Your only job is to relax for 20-30 minutes until they are removed.

    • What should I feel after treatment?

      The effects are many but most will agree you will feel relaxed and have a sense of well-being. If you came in with pain, you will more than likely experience relief. You may also feel peaceful, refreshed, energetic or all the above!

    • What is Chinese herbal medicine?

      Chinese herbal medicine dates back to 1,000 BC. It consists of over 5,000 substances derived from plant, animal and mineral sources. Herbal medicine is powerful and highly versatile in it’s ability to treat a variety of diseases.

      Traditionally, herbs were boiled with water and made into a tea which was consumed throughout the day. In modern society, capsules, tablets and powdered granules are the preferred methods of administration.

      Herbal formulas are made by selecting individual herbs for their specific function. Herbs are combined to enhance the effectiveness of the herb combinations and to minimize the side effects of each other. Therefore, a balanced formula emerges that can treat much more effectively than a single herb. When Chinese herbs are prescribed by your acupuncturist, they are in the form of a balanced formula.

    • Safety of Chinese herbs

      There is a low risk of side effects from taking Chinese herbs. The most common adverse side effect is minor gastrointestinal upset. If this occurs, please stop taking your herbal medicine and contact your acupuncturist.

      There are increasing concerns of herb-drug interactions. Therefore, please be detailed and inform your acupuncturist of all pharmaceutical medications and supplements that you are taking. Also, please keep your acupuncturist informed of any changes to this list.

    • Quality of Chinese herbs

      We purchase Chinese herbs that are manufactured in laboratories that meet or exceed the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). GMP guidelines ensure that a food or drug product is safe for human consumption through manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance.

      Good manufacturing practices are overseen by regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, China and other countries.