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Frequently Ask Questions

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body's Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What is Qi?

At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced Chee), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi helps to animate the body and protect it from illness, pain, and disease. A person's health is influenced by the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi.

What should I expect at my first treatment?

During the initial exam, a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health, and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate, and comprehensive diagnosis of where Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process, you will receive an acupuncture treatment. Where the acupuncture needle has been inserted, you may experience a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache. Some people will feel a little pain as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain. After a treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being. Your first visit will last about sixty minutes.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from patient to patient. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve optimal results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones.

How safe is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects except feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, one-time-use needles.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Acupuncture is safe for children. In some instances, children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, acupressure or tuina massage may be used instead.

What type of schooling is required for an acupuncturist ?

Today, acupuncturists receive 3-4 years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must meet strict guidelines and pass a comprehensive test to practice nationally and additional testing for the state of California.

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