Frequently Asked Questions
Is Acupuncture Safe?
What Kind of Training do Acupuncturists have?
Acupuncture is very safe when performed by a licensed Acupuncturist. Acupuncturists are required to use sterile disposable needles that are discarded after one use. Look for NCCAOM credentials after their name and/or L.Ac (Licensed Acupuncturist).
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine training involves a vigorous program that includes aspects of western medicine as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. Upon completion of school an acupuncturist must pass national board exams in order to obtain a license. Jennifer Hicks also passed the California state board exams to become licensed in California, where acupuncturists are recognized as primary care practitioners.
How does Acupuncture Work?
Chinese medicine is a comprehensive system of medicine that has been in use for nearly 3,000 years. Acupuncture is one branch in this holistic system, which works similarly to the nervous system in how it connects the body.
It involves the use of very small, solid, stainless steel needles that are inserted into specific points along acupuncture meridians. This primarily communicates with the nervous system, which tells the brain where to direct blood flow. This activates your bodies natural healing response, improving circulation, decreasing inflammation, releasing hormones and feel good chemical messengers for the body to restore health and eliminate symptoms.
This makes it effective for treating many types of pain, boosting immunity, and energy levels. Acupuncture also has a very calming and relaxing effect to reduce tension and stress from the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.
How Many Sessions Do I Need?
This varies as each person responds differently to treatment, however acute conditions are often resolved more quickly than chronic conditions. Some factors that determine the length of treatment include the patients overall health, how long the problem has been going on for, and compliance to the treatment plan once started. The ideal approach is to begin treatment as soon as the issue arises, as the sooner you seek help, the easier the condition is to treat. The effects of acupuncture tend to be cumulative, so follow up treatments are important in the healing process.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Most patients do not feel any sensation when the needles are inserted and are surprised by how thin and small the needles are. Acupuncture needles are much different from hypodermic needles used by doctors for blood draws or injections. Acupuncture needles are solid hair-thin filiform needles that are sterile and single use.
Everyone experiences acupuncture differently, but it is common to feel a sensation of warmth, tingling, pressure, or a mild dull ache at the acupuncture location. I prioritize the comfort of my patients and if for any reason there is discomfort, the point can be removed or adjusted. The most common experience from acupuncture is of deep relaxation. Licensed Acupuncturists are well trained for comfortable insertion of acupuncture needles.
What Will My First Visit Be Like?
The first visit usually lasts about 90 minutes. We begin with a discussion of the main reason you’ve come for treatment, followed by a detailed health history. Chinese medicine considers all aspects of your health, not just the symptom. It is important to get detailed information regarding you’re overall health in this visit to determine the root cause of the issue at hand. After the initial interview, I look at your tongue, check your pulse, and may palpate certain acupuncture meridians. These are important diagnostic tools that offer more information and provide quantitative data to look at in addition to your symptoms.
After the initial evaluation and going over any questions you may have, your treatment will begin. Patients typically feel very relaxed during treatment and often fall asleep. Additional modalities will also be used depending on your condition, and an individualized treatment plan is created to suit your needs.
What is the History of Acupuncture?
The first known document to describe a system of diagnosis and acupuncture treatment is The Yellow Emporer's Classic of Internal Medicine from about 100 BC. The contents of the text are believed to have been passed down for many centuries. The concept of Qi (life energy or life force) flowing through meridians and precise channels was a well developed one at that time, though the precise anatomical locations of acupuncture points developed later. The practice of acupuncture was passed from China, to Korea and Japan before traveling to most of the world.
How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?
We will work with you to determine if your treatments may be covered by your insurance company. We offer a wide range of Acupuncture services starting as low as $30 per session, depending on the treatment required.
Learn more about our Acupuncture Services. Often times, one session is sufficient, however some patients may require multiple sessions, especially in regards to ongoing medical conditions or the treatment of persistent side effects from medications. Speak with your Acupuncturist to determine the best treatment plan for your needs.