Frequently Asked Questions
What happens during my first visit?
After gathering the details of your main complaints and treatment goals, we will perform a full Chinese Medical evaluation. This evaluation includes tongue and pulse diagnosis and a discussion about your state of health that covers lifestyle habits, digestion, elimination, sleep, energy, and more. All of this information provides a snapshot of your current state of health. This holistic view enables us to help you as efficiently as possible. Following this evaluation, we will discuss a treatment plan with you and answer any questions you might have, and then we will begin your treatment with an initial acupuncture session.
How should I prepare for an acupuncture treatment?
Please wear loose-fitting clothing and try to have a light meal or snack in the hours leading up to your treatment. Please also avoid wearing fragrances when you visit the clinic as some clients have chemical sensitivities.
How will I feel during the acupuncture treatment?
Many people are pleasantly surprised that acupuncture is so comfortable. You may not feel the needle insertion at all, or you may feel a slight pinch like a mosquito bite. Once set, the needles may produce a dull ache or tingling sensation. Overall, acupuncture has a strong calming effect, and many people become quite relaxed and even fall asleep.
How will I feel after the treatment?
Most people report feeling refreshed and relaxed following their treatments. We recommend savoring this relaxed state of body and mind throughout the rest of your day and avoiding heavy exercise. In terms of symptom relief, you may feel relief after 1-2 treatments, but in some cases it may be 4 or more visits before you notice a substantial shift in your symptoms. Please note that any incremental relief that you feel following an acupuncture treatment is significant and is a signal that your body is beginning to heal. Take note of the amount and/or duration of relief, and you can expect to experience deeper and longer-lasting relief with each subsequent treatment.
How many visits will I need?
The answer to this question varies greatly and depends on a number of factors including the severity of your symptoms, how long you have had your symptoms or condition, your age and overall health, your body's responsiveness to treatment, and how diligently you implement suggested lifestyle and dietary modifications. Generally speaking, acute conditions can resolve in as few as 1-3 treatments and chronic conditions can require regular treatments for a few months. Hormone imbalances tend to require a minimum of 3 months of regular treatment.
The aim of Chinese Medicine is threefold: to alleviate symptoms, to address the underlying root cause of the symptoms, and to promote an ongoing state of optimal health. Consequently, unless you are coming in for a short-lived issue such as a head cold or a recent injury, I will most likely recommend a full course of treatment involving three phases:
Acute Care: During this phase, treatments are scheduled 1-3x/week with a goal of alleviating your symptoms and beginning the process of addressing underlying causes.
Corrective & Strengthening Care: During this phase, treatments are scheduled weekly or biweekly with a goal of correcting underlying imbalances.
Maintenance Care: During this phase, treatments are scheduled monthly with a goal of maintaining positive gains, addressing any small issues as they arise, and generally supporting your vitality and overall well-being.
The Bottom Line
Acupuncture is incredibly powerful, but it's not magic.
Sometimes people say, "I tried acupuncture once, and it didn't work." The truth is that acupuncture is immensely powerful and the majority of people do reap great benefits from it when they follow through with a full course of treatment; however, acupuncture is not magic. A single treatment is not likely to catalyze lasting change. On the contrary, acupuncture functions more like eating well: it is very beneficial and has a cumulative effect when repeated over time, but usually isn't life-changing in a single sitting. If you look at medical research, you will notice that the studies demonstrating the efficacy of acupuncture in treating chronic conditions typically involve a minimum of 12 to 16 treatments administered regularly over a period of 2 to 3 months.
So why choose acupuncture & herbal medicine?
Why invest in a course of treatment with Chinese Medicine when you have other options like pharmaceuticals and surgery? The reason to choose Chinese Medicine is that it strengthens the body while training it back towards homeostasis (balance). Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine have the power to heal tissues and restore optimal functioning in a way that re-teaches the body how to engage its own innate healing capacity. What that means for you is that your symptoms will resolve AND your overall health will improve to make you more resilient against succumbing to future health imbalances.
Let's work together!
If you want to improve your health and quality of life, we would be honored to help you achieve your goals. Cultivating vibrant health is a process that has many parallels to cultivating a beautiful, thriving garden. Both take care, persistence, and patience. We all have the seeds of health within us, and we can begin to nurture those seeds at any time. Whether your health simply needs some tweaks and fine-tuning, or whether you need more intensive treatment to meet your health goals, we are committed to empowering you to live your best healthy life.