Frequently asked questions
Does acupuncture hurt?
Because acupuncture filaments or needles are typically not much thicker than a few hairs put together, acupuncture is essentially painless. In most cases, you will not even know the needles are in place. Some normal sensations during the treatment are tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of qi moving up and down the channel. Most patients find acupuncture extremely relaxing and many fall asleep during the treatment.
Is acupuncture safe? Are the filaments clean?
When performed by a trained and licensed professional, acupuncture is extremely safe. All licensed acupuncturists today use pre-sterilized, individually packaged, single use, disposable filaments. This ensures that there is no transmission of communicable disease from patient to patient due to contaminated filaments. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) administers a “Clean Needle” test as part of every national board exam for acupuncturists.
How does acupuncture work?
Traditionally, Chinese Medicine is based on ancient theories of the flow of Qi (energy) and Xue (blood) through the meridians or pathways of energy throughout the body. Qi is considered to be a fine, essential substance that nourishes and constructs the body. It is the life force with in us, and as it flows through the meridians in the body, it carries and moves blood throughout the pathways as well. The meridians traverse the body similar to nerves and blood vessels; however, are unable to be seen with the naked eye. Research has shown via MRI, the electromagnetic location of the points of the meridians throughout the body. According to this theory, acupuncture regulates the flow of Qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is overabundant. Essentially, acupuncture restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body, as well as nourishing the body.
How many treatments will I need?
The amount of treatments depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. Generally, six to ten treatments are adequate for many chronic problems. Most acute conditions many require two to five treatments. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time. Acupuncture treatment benefit is known to have an effective range with respect to time.The effect of each treatment is cumulative; therefore, it is very important to schedule your visits to maintain frequency, in order to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. Dietary modifications, Chinese herbal Medicine, and/or specific exercise regimes, are all ways to help increase the effectiveness of your acupuncture treatments.
Should I do anything before receiving an acupuncture treatment?
To get the maximum benefits from your treatment you should: Make sure you have eaten a small meal before your treatment and that you are not excessively hungry. Avoid treatment if you are excessively full from a meal, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex. Wear loose fitting clothing and remove all jewelry before treatment.
What should I do during an acupuncture treatment?
The most important thing to do during an acupuncture treatment is to RELAX and BREATHE! Calm your mind and feel proud of yourself for choosing to welcome acupuncture and its benefits into your life. It is also important to remain still and not move suddenly or change your position during your treatment. If you should experience dizziness, nausea, cold sweating, shortness of breath, or faintness during your treatment, inform your practitioner and the filaments will be removed immediately. This is called needle shock and is primarily a result of anxiety in first- time patients. Note: This rarely happens if the patient is lying down.
What are the qualifications of a practitioner of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine?
In the state of Florida, Acupuncture Physicians are considered Primary Health Care Practitioners. Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in forty-three states throughout the United States. The state of Florida requires a 4 year Masters degree in Oriental Medicine with over 3,000 hours of training. Information on licensing can be found at https://floridasacupuncture.gov/