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What is an acupuncture treatment like?

The first acupuncture visit involves discussing your chief complaint, health history, and lifestyle habits.  During the intake, your pulses will be felt and your tongue will be examined at to aid diagnosis.  After discussing your treatment plan, the acupuncture needles will be inserted and any adjunct therapies will be administered.  The needles may be inserted in your arms, hands, legs, feet, face, chest, abdomen, or back.  The needles are retained for 20-30 minutes.  During that time, herbal prescriptions will be prepared, if applicable.  At the end of treatment, the acupuncture needles are removed and discarded.

How Does Acupuncture Feel?

Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are very thin and their insertion into the skin is nearly painless.  You may feel the insertion, but the sensation should be brief and mild.  You may also notice heaviness, dullness, aching, or a radiating sensation around the needle after insertion.  This indicates that the body is responding to treatment.  Styles can be adjusted for those wary of acupuncture needles.

How many treatments will I need?

Each patient responds differently to acupuncture treatments.  The number of treatments will depend on the duration, severity, and nature of your condition.  Some acute conditions may require only one or two treatments.  Chronic conditions that have progressed over months or years may require several treatments.  As part of your initial visit, a treatment plan will be developed and the number of visits you are likely to need will be discussed.


Acupuncture FAQWhat is Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is a systematic way of using traditional Chinese herbs to improve how the body functions, and ultimately how a person feels.  Traditional herbs come from plant, animal, and mineral sources.  Single herbs are combined into formulas to balance the functions of the herbs, as well as maximize effectiveness and minimize negative side effects to the patient.

How long should I take Chinese herbs?  

Chinese herbs should be used only for as long as your condition warrants.  Herbs are meant to change the body’s function to overcome imbalances.  They are generally not meant to be used as nutritional or pharmaceutical supplements or replacements.  Some herbs are known to have negative side effects if used in large doses or over long periods of time.

Can I take Chinese herbs with my prescription medication?

Most people who are taking prescription medicines will be able to take traditional Chinese herbs.  Please inform your practitioner of any medications you are taking so that possible herb-drug interactions can be avoided.

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