Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during a first office visit?
Your first visit is composed of three parts: comprehensive health intake, tongue and pulse examination, and treatment. At the beginning of your visit, your practitioner will ask you detailed questions regarding your medical complaint, health history, and lifestyle to better understand your condition(s) and overall constitution. Next, your practitioner will examine your tongue and pulse. From your intake, tongue and pulse, your practitioner will devise an individualized medical treatment plan and administer your first treatment.

What is a tongue and pulse examination?
Your practitioner will examine your tongue for shape, color, and coating and, your pulse for its shape, speed and quality. Both the tongue and pulse diagnosis will provide your practitioner insight into the health of your internal organs and well being of your body systems. For example, if you have excess internal heat it typically reflects as a red tongue and rapid pulse.

Does needle insertion hurt and what am I supposed to feel?
Your practitioner will skillfully and gently insert the acupuncture needles into your body. Most folks report feeling nothing and are surprised to know that they have been inserted. The Qi sensation that is felt is different from people to people. People describe the sensations as a feeling of heaviness, throbbing, tingling, warming and/or achy.

How should I prepare for my treatment?
Wear loose clothing to provide access to acupuncture points and a light meal or snack before treatment.

What happens after a treatment session?
After your session, you may experience a range of reactions including but not limited to: relaxation, sleepiness, energized, happiness and/or feeling pain free.

How long is a treatment session?
The treatment length will vary with your condition and constitution. The average is between 30 – 45 minutes.

How many treatment sessions?
The number of treatment sessions will vary from individual to individual and condition to condition. Your practitioner will review and advise you.

What happens during a return treatment session?
A return treatment is compose of a brief intake, tongue and pulse examination, and treatment.

What is the current Western Sciences explanation of how Acupuncture work?
As explained by Bastyr University, western sciences believe that Acupuncture works on the body in three major areas:

1. Activation of opioid systems. Research has found that several types of opioids may be released into the central nervous system during acupuncture treatment, thereby reducing pain.

2. Changes in brain chemistry, sensation, and involuntary body functions. Studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones. Acupuncture also has been documented to affect the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes whereby a person’s blood pressure, blood flow and body temperature are regulated.

3. Changes in blood flow. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine alters the circulation of blood to the affected area, resulting in removal of pain causing chemicals, and restoring normal function to the area being treated.