Is it painful?
No. You will most likely feel a sensation of pressure or achiness or warmth. This is a positive sign. It means we have engaged the energy or “Qi” of your body to begin the process of healing. Most patients feel relaxed enough to fall asleep!
Is it safe?
Yes! Not only is it safe, it is often the safest course of action for any condition as it regulates your entire system. The premiums for malpractice insurance paid by Licensed Acupuncturists are a mere fraction of what medical practitioners must pay.
What are the needles like?
Chinese Medicine does not use the Western Medical hypodermic needles you are likely thinking of. The needles have a much smaller diameter, about 1/10 the size, and are therefore about the diameter of a human hair and highly flexible. In fact, many refer to them as “filaments” and must be made with a laser. Additionally, they are not hollow, as we do not inject anything or withdraw any substance. The needles are made of surgical stainless steel, sterilized, and individually hermetically sealed.
Are the needles reused?
Never. They are only extracted from the manufacturer’s packaging immediately prior to insertion. They are then disposed of in a Medical Waste container and picked up by a professional Medical Waste disposal company who disposes of them according to federal medical waste regulations.
Are there alternatives?
- Gua Sha
How long is an acupuncture treatment?
Plan on 45 minutes to one hour. It will take 10 to 15 minutes to fill out the Medical Intake form reflecting your overall health and your chief concerns that are most prominent that day. Once there, we will spend 5-15 minutes reviewing your Intake and discussing your symptoms to make a Point Prescription, place the needles, assure your comfort and then another 20-30 minutes for you to relax before having the needles extracted. In some instances, an additional 20 minutes of rest may be recommended for more profound affect according to your symptoms.
How many treatments will I need?
Everyone responds differently according to their age, and various parameters around their symptom; such as the nature of the symptom, longevity of its occurrence, intensity, etc. In most cases, we recommend three treatments to determine your rate of response within a one week time frame. Most people seeking our care have on average 50-55 symptoms and acupuncture effects with this amount of imbalance tend to last only 1-3 days initially, until a higher level of function is achieved.
At this point, we meet for a Report of Findings, to determine your Rate of Response. It is determined by several factors, both subjective and objective. You provide the Subjective findings, for example how your symptom has improved, and whether or not other areas such as sleep, digestion, energy and so on have changed. We provide the Objective findings by inputting all of your objective measures, such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature and adrenal function on a spreadsheet to calculate overall averages and trends. Frequently, we see blood pressure decrease and temperature and adrenal function improve. We generally recommend three more treatments after the Report of Findings, since, in a group of three, we find changes tend to hold longer, so that you do not experience symptoms simply resuming their previous levels prior to our care. Additionally, this provides enough input to stimulate your body’s healing response so that the change is more profound. At this point in the process we do a Case Study in order to prescribe your further course of treatment based on your response to treatment. This will include acupuncture and possibly a Chinese Botanical formula and nutritional supplements.
What is the training for an acupuncturist?
Depending on when someone trained, they may have one or two years of training. Virtually all states require and offer licensure and, in most cases, for those licensed in the last 11 years, three years of training is required. As a Licensed Acupuncturist in California Joe was required to complete a full 4-year, full-time training program, one of the longest Masters’ programs in the United States. California has one of the most rigorous Board Examinations in the country. In addition to being licensed in California, Joe holds a Diplomate in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology which allows him to practice in all states.