Chinese Acupuncture FAQ

Quick answers to some of our most commonly asked acupuncture questions.

HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?

For as many things that can happen in the human body there are probably an equal amount of ways this question can be answered.

Here’s a very simple response to this age old question:

Why does my pain disappear after a treatment at Good Medicine?

Local acupuncture: You know when you get a splinter on your finger and you literally see all of the white blood cells rush to that splinter?

The human body is genius at recognizing foreign objects ad wants to keep you safe. When we place an acupuncture pin in a muscle tear, near a herniated disc or a back spasm – your body will recognize this and immediately harness all of the agents in your blood stream to rush to that area in order to clean out debris and rapidly regenerate healthy tissue.

Why do I feel so relaxed and euphoric after a treatment at Good Medicine?

Distal acupuncture: You can think of your nervous system as the electrical wiring underneath sheet rock. It starts in your brain/spinal column and travels through pathways all the way to your fingers and toes. Stress, injury, trauma can disrupt this pathway over time. The points we choose just below the surface are mostly on or near nerve plexuses. We choose a pattern specific to your presenting complaints to literally rewire your nervous system.

The nervous system is intelligent and recognizes this pattern and as you wake up you have rebooted your internal computer. This message reminds your body and mind what it feels like to live with the ease and comfort of a nervous system in harmony.

WHY SHOULD I GET ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used and dependable medicinal therapies in the world. It is by nature simple, safe, and effective health care. As this medicine has gained popularity over the last 40 years in the United Sates it has been proven by an increasing body of scientific evidence to not only be exceptionally safe, but statistically effective as well.

People get acupuncture for many different reasons. The simple list of conditions that can be treated without hesitation include:

Athletic sprain/strain, acute back and/or neck strain, temporal mandibular disorder (TMJ), Bell’s palsy, headaches (including migraines), palpitations, early stages of cold/flu, asthma, tendonitis, arthritis, insomnia (poor sleep), Raynaud’s, anxiety, high levels of stress, addictions, digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, bladder issues, restless leg syndrome, reproductive issues, menstrual issues (including PMS), herpes zoster (shingles), cancer treatment support, and pre/post-surgery for accelerated healing.

Acupuncture can be used to address an extensive number of physical, emotional, and internal ailments, restoring your health and returning you to an active life. If your condition is not on this general list, or you have questions about treatments, please call us any time and we are happy to chat.

DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?

Not much, if at all. Acupuncture needles are very thin and sharp, designed to slip painlessly into the skin with minimal sensation. 

Here’s what we would like our patients to know: You may feel a little pinch when a needle is tapped in, but this should ease right away. If you continue to feel a pinching or a burning sensation at the needle site any longer than this, let us know. It means we need to adjust the placement of the needle. If, on the other hand, you are feeling a slight ache or heavy feeling near the needle, this is usually a good sign- a clue that the body is reacting in a productive way.

The bottom line is that as long as the feelings around the needled areas don’t keep you from closing your eyes and napping for a little while, we say let them be. More than anything a treatment should be a deeply relaxing and sleepy slice of time for you.

Trust us….many of our patients fall right asleep during their treatments. 

IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?

Acupuncture is safe when performed by a qualified practitioner, L.Ac. Acupuncture needles are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA requires that the needles are manufactured and labeled in accordance with set standards of sterility, non-toxicity, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. If anyone knows how safe acupuncture is, it’s the insurance companies. The minimal cost of our malpractice insurance speaks volumes about the safety of this medicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) comments that unlike many drugs, acupuncture is non-toxic and adverse reactions or side effects are minimal. For instance, acupuncture and morphine have similar rates of effectiveness when used for chronic pain, but with acupuncture, unlike morphine, a patient does not have the negative side effect of dependency.

WHAT IF I DON'T WANT NEEDLES?

We can often use different modalities such as cupping, guasha, herbs and moxa. For very sensitive patients we can use special needles that are designed for children. Be sure to let us know if anything feels like too much for you!

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

Your first appointment can last from 1 to 1.5 hours. Follow-up visits usually last 40 minutes to an hour. If you need to leave by a certain time, let the front desk know and we’ll make sure you’re out the door with plenty of time. If you book online, it might look like your appointment is only 15 or 30 minutes long, but that’s because we treat multiple patients at the same time. The first 15 or 30 minutes, if you’re a new patient, are the time that you spend talking with your provider, and the remaining 45 minutes are the time you will spend resting.

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND FREQUENT AND REGULAR TREATMENTS?

Acupuncture can take time and often we recommend regular treatments. Your body didn’t develop disease or discomfort in one day, so we cannot expect it to be fixed in one treatment. We think of Acupuncture As a commitment you make to yourself because you value your health and want to enjoy your life to its fullest! Your acupuncturist at Good Medicine will come up with a recommended course of treatment and discuss your individual case with you directly. If you have questions, please ask us! While some patients will feel immediate relief or a measurable lessening of symptoms with each treatment, this does not mean your condition is gone for good. A good analogy is the use of antibiotics in western medicine. With antibiotics, you are not asked to take a pill once. Instead you are prescribed a course of treatment that can last for days or weeks. You might feel markedly better after a short time, but you still need to complete the course of treatment. Acupuncture is the same. We are slowly changing the way your body is balanced and establishing that new pattern so it won’t revert to its old ways. 

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE TO KEEP COMING IN FOR TREATMENTS?

Well, it depends on the reason(s) you’re getting treatment in the first place.

For short term issues, a handful of acupuncture treatments should do the job. For chronic or long-standing issues, a maintenance schedule of some sort would be in order to keep everything running smoothly and steadily after the initial period of relief and change. The goal of your practitioner is to restore health and wellness to the whole person, addressing the cause of the condition, and at the same time addressing the immediate symptoms. 

HOW MUCH DOES ACUPUNCTURE COST?

Our community acupuncture style aims to make acupuncture as affordable as possible so that anyone can get the care they need. Our sliding scale is based on your annual household income.

We do not ask for verification of your income.

Please visit our Sliding Scale page for a detailed explanation of our sliding scale & costs.

I FEEL 100% HEALED AFTER 1 TREATMENT; WHY SHOULD I COME BACK?

Some patients will feel “100 percent” better after their first treatment. This is especially true of more acute or recent injuries, such as minor sprains, strains, or pains. While that’s great news, experience has taught us that instantaneous relief may not always last. Since we don’t want you to conclude that, “acupuncture doesn’t work,” we recommend you come in for a follow-up visit, even if you don’t think you need it. Yes, acupuncture works, but the effects change due to lifestyle and physical activity and we believe it is our job to create a lasting change in your body. When working with our practitioners, we recommend you keep track of when your symptoms reappear or new ones present themselves, and together we create a treatment schedule that builds on successful acupuncture sessions. Our goal is to treat you as thoroughly and as quickly as possible, so you can rave to your friends about how awesome we are and how effective acupuncture is.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF FOR TREATMENT?

Absolutely not. Occasionally, we may need to have access to areas just above the knee or up to the shoulder joint, in which case we’d ask you to wear shorts or a tee shirt. All it usually takes to get ready for treatment is to roll up pant legs and shirt sleeves, as points on the lower arms and legs are the most commonly used in community acupuncture clinics. If you do need more privacy during your treatment, please let your practitioner know. We have a screen available any time you would like a bit more privacy.

IS IT HARD TO RELAX IN A SHARED TREATMENT SPACE?

It’s surprisingly easy! In accordance with our mission of fulfilling a true community based healing environment, your treatment area is a shared space.

You will always have appropriate privacy during your appointment. All of our treatments tables are separated with curtains, but please silence your cell phone and speak in a soft voice or whisper, so as not to disturb other clients. There is always a private room available to discuss sensitive information. Please let your practitioner know if you would like privacy during your appointment intake.

While Good Medicine cannot always guarantee complete silence during your appointment, we are diligent about creating a space of relaxation and wellness. If you have any concerns you are encouraged to speak with your practitioner at any time.

ACUPUNCTURE & MASSAGE QUESTIONS

Have Questions?

We are here to help. Give us a call to speak with someone from our office who is more than happy to answer your questions. For the best and most comprehensive answers, schedule a consultation with one of our therapists.

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