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FAQs – Acupuncture

 If your question is not addressed in this section, please don’t hesitate to ask!

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one modality of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is the use of thin, sterile, needles inserted into specific points on your body to help correct the flow of your body’s energetic systems, or Qi.  When the Qi flows freely without blockage we are in a state of health and balance; when the Qi becomes blocked we feel out of balance or in pain. Other modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine include herbal medicine, Tui Na (massage), cupping, and moxibustion (heat therapy).  Each treatment is specific for each patient and a variety of modalities may be used.  Patients tend to report a feeling of relaxation following a visit.

Does it hurt?

We use very thin needles — about the width of a human hair — and most insertions are painless. Some patients will experience a Qi sensation after the needle has been inserted. This sensation can range from a tingle to a dull pressure and often fades quickly. Practitioners employ a variety of techniques to ease any fear or discomfort you may have as they insert the needles.

Is it safe?

Our Acupuncturists are graduates of accredited training programs, are Licensed by the Virginia Medical Board, and have been certified in Clean Needle Technique. Each acupuncture needle is individually wrapped in a sterile package and used only once. When the needles are removed they are immediately placed into OSHA approved Biohazard containers and disposed of properly. Acupuncture has a much lower rate of adverse reactions compared to most types of medical intervention.

Will it help me and my condition?

Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine are a great way to correct imbalances in the body as well as maintain health and well-being. You don’t have to be “sick” to receive the benefits of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, many come for Wellness Visits. As far as your specific condition, sometimes imbalances respond more readily to Acupuncture and sometimes Herbal Medicine is needed, sometimes both. Acupuncture is not a “Cure-All” for every condition and there may be times when a Western Medical approach will best suit your needs. We carefully monitor each of our patients’ progress and refer when necessary.

What should I expect during a visit?

Your initial visit requires some paperwork and a little extra time to do a full health-history intake so our practitioners can come up with a proper diagnosis. You may receive Acupuncture as well as Tui Na (massage), moxibustion (heat therapy), and/or herbal medicine. Our practitioners are highly trained and utilize their own unique styles to best suit your healthcare needs. After you have been to our clinic for an initial visit and your practitioner has come up with a plan, additional visits typically last about an hour.

How can I be best prepared?

  • It is best to dress in comfortable clothes so that points may be easily accessed — yoga pants or sweatpants are ideal.
  • Use the restroom before your appointment.
  • Ideally, come hydrated, fed, and uncaffeinated.
  • Come prepared to tell as much of your medical history as possible. For example, you might not immediately guess the connection between your backache and your mood, or the significance of waking up at 3am every night, but your practitioner can use all of that information in diagnosis.

Come with an Open Mind

Acupuncture works whether or not you believe in it, but come with an open mind and be sure to ask any questions you may have. The shifts that occur from acupuncture are often subtle and may not feel like what you’re expecting. Some patients notice significant changes right away whereas others take longer to notice the effect.

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