Summer Special – Holistic Pampering Spa Package! Enjoy a 90-minute mini-retreat to recharge yourself for a busy summer! $75 for a healing 90-minute treatment. Your visit includes acupuncture to strengthen and balance your body; facial acupuncture to calm your mind and soften forehead lines; ear acupuncture and ear magnets for anxiety, cravings and pain; cupping to release shoulder and back tension; crystals to soothe emotions; aromatherapy to deepen relaxation; and a comforting guided meditation to help you connect with your intuition.
Because it’s a new experience, many people who are considering trying acupuncture for the first time feel some understandable trepidation. I want to assure you up front that your first acupuncture treatment will be a very pleasant experience!
Will it hurt? Usually not at all! Acupuncture needles are tiny, about the size of a hair. I was trained in gentle Japanese acupuncture techniques, and my clients are surprised to find that they don’t feel the needles at all. If you feel more than a tiny pinch, please let me know so I can remove or adjust the needle. I want you to feel completely comfortable during your treatment because part of acupuncture’s magic comes from the deep relaxation it induces.
Will I feel uncomfortable? Actually, you’ll likely feel relaxed and cozy and have a nice acupuncture nap! I want you to feel completely at ease during your treatment, so please let me know if there is any way I can help you feel more comfortable.
Some tips for de-stressing your first acupuncture treatment
Think about a positive intention for your treatment. Let yourself imagine your best future. It might be something like: “I am excited to see how much acupuncture will help me.”
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. It’s best to wear stretchy pants and sleeves that roll up easily, because I usually want to do points around your knees and elbows. You may also need to take your top and/or pants off so that I can put needles and cups on your back and legs. I’m respectful of modesty and will step out of the room while you change. There’s always a cozy blanket on the table for you to cover up with!
Eat a little something beforehand. Acupuncture can lower blood sugar, so eat a little something within a couple of hours before your appointment.
Come a little early to fill out some simple paperwork. Then we’ll talk about your goals for treatment and the relevant details.
Visit the restroom before you get on the table. It’s the last door down the hall on the right. Acupuncture tends to stimulate urination, so it’s also best to not drink a lot of liquids right before your treatment!
Then it’s relaxation time. You’ll lie down on a comfortable massage table and I’ll insert the needles, usually on your head, ears, arms, legs, and sometimes on your back and/or belly. People who are new to acupuncture are always surprised to find that it doesn’t hurt, and especially, that it is deeply relaxing.
Tune into your body. People usually experience interesting and relaxing sensations in their body during an acupuncture treatment. In the acupuncture world, we see these sensations as signs that the body is moving and healing. You may feel tingling, warmth, a pleasant heaviness, or a floating sensation. Know that these sensations are signs that healing is happening!
You may feel teary. And that’s a good thing, it means you’re releasing old painful emotions which are stored in the chemicals of our tears. I always have plenty of tissues!
Take it easy after you get acupuncture. It’s best if you can schedule your treatment so that you can relax afterwards, rather than rushing back into a busy day.
Pay attention to how you feel in the days after you get acupuncture. Most of my clients feel a significant improvement in symptoms during the first treatment. I’ll ask you for your symptom level on a scale of 1-10 before and after each treatment. A significant decrease in symptom level during at treatment is good indication that your body responds well to acupuncture. Every once in awhile, though not often, symptoms will briefly flare up in the days following an acupuncture treatment, after getting much better with acupuncture – the good news is that is a sign that your symptoms are likely to get even better. In addition to feeling improvements in the symptoms you sought acupuncture to treat, you’ll probably feel better in other ways. Most folks sleep better and feel a sense of enhanced mood and well-being after an acupuncture treatment. Most of my clients experience improvement during the first treatment, and you’ll usually get the most benefit from doing at least eight once-a-week treatments. Chronic or severe symptoms generally require more treatments than less severe symptoms and acute issues.
Acupuncture reduces arthritis pain and improves mobility.
Many of the people who see me for help with arthritis pain tell me they don’t like taking pain medications. The good news is that acupuncture is a proven way to reduce pain and use of pain medications. Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world, and is a safe and effective option for people looking for non-drug options for treating arthritis pain.
When can I expect to see results? Most people experience some pain relief during their first treatment. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative, so you can expect the degree and duration of your pain relief to increase with each treatment.
How will I know I’m getting better? You’ll likely feel a significant decrease in you pain, and at each visit, I’ll ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. We’ll keep track of these numbers to give you a good indication of your progress.
How many treatments will I need? For just about any issue I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 weeks of once-a-week treatments to start with, though you will probably feel improvement from the first or second treatment. People with arthritis usually find receiving acupuncture every week or so on an ongoing basis helps them manage their pain and improves their quality of life.
What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture does not cause negative side effects, but you’ll likely experience positive effects like better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being. Also, when people receive acupuncture treatment for one symptom, they often find other symptoms improving. Don’t hesitate to tell me about symptoms that you are experiencing in addition to your pain because I can usually address them all in one treatment.
Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no contraindications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease or stop taking pain medications.
Why doesn’t my doctor recommend acupuncture or think acupuncture works? MDs are generally not educated or well informed regarding alternatives to what they learned in medical school, i.e. drugs and surgery. However, research shows that acupuncture can be better than medications for reducing pain, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture works, particularly for pain, probably hasn’t had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.
People experiencing sciatica pain typically respond very well to acupuncture. In my experience, it’s common for sciatica pain to decrease by 50% or more in the first treatment, and it usually only takes a few treatments to get people where they want to be pain-wise (or no-pain wise!).
What is sciatica? Sciatica pain follows the path of the sciatic nerve, starting in the buttock, and traveling down the side and back of the leg to the feet. Most cases of sciatica will resolve without intervention over time, but acupuncture can provide immediate relief. Many clients with sciatica pain have told me they wished they had tried acupuncture sooner because it gave them relief they hadn’t found elsewhere.
How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I start seeing a decrease in my sciatica pain? In my experience, most people with sciatica pain experience significant pain relief during the first visit.
How will I know I’m getting better? When you come in for treatment, I will ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on your level of pain (10 being the worst pain you’ve experienced), and I’ll keep track of the numbers to track your progress. I know it can be hard to put a number on such a subjective thing, so I always tell people the first number that pops into your head is likely the right answer. It’s all relative to you, especially if you have a high tolerance for pain, as many of my clients do.
How many treatments will I need? For sciatica pain, I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 once-a-week treatments. It may also be best to come in twice a week for the first couple of weeks to speed your progress. You will probably feel significant relief of pain from the 1st or 2nd treatment, and feel complete before 6 treatments.
Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no containdications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, people often use acupuncture to help them decrease or stop taking medications.
Acupuncture is a blessing for people with frequent migraines. “My daughter is 18 and has suffered since age 12 with almost daily migraines. Within ONE treatment, her headaches improved. For someone who has suffered daily with pain, this has been a huge blessing.” Deb Vaughn, Bolivar, Missouri
Research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than standard medical care in reducing the frequency, intensity and duration of migraine headaches. Acupuncture is among the oldest healing practices in the world, and is a safe, natural and effective option for people looking for ways to treat migraine headache pain without medications. Acupuncture effectively treats most types of pain, and migraines respond particularly well to acupuncture. Unlike pharmaceuticals, acupuncture is so safe that its “side effects” are positive: better sleep and mood, decreased anxiety and use of medications.
How soon after beginning acupuncture treatment will I feel an improvement in my symptoms? The good news is that migraines respond particularly well to acupuncture. Most people experience pain relief during their first treatment, and subsequently experience a reduction in the frequency, intensity and duration of their migraines. As I write this, I have a client on the table who after only 3 acupuncture treatments had his first migraine-free week in six months. People with more severe symptoms may take longer to respond, but most experience a significant improvement in their symptoms within the first few sessions.
How will I know I’m getting better? At each visit, I’ll ask you to rate yourself 1-10 on the pain, frequency and duration of your migraines. Improvements in symptoms are usually clear from the first or second treatment.
How many treatments will I need? Generally for just about any issue, I recommend clients plan to come in for 6 weekly treatments, though you will probably see an improvement from the 1st or 2nd treatment. At the 6th treatment, we will discuss your progress, and make a plan for going forward. That usually involves coming in less frequently. People with longstanding, severe migraines often find that coming in for a treatment monthly on an ongoing basis significantly improves their quality of life.
What are the side effects of acupuncture? Unlike medications, acupuncture has no negative side effects. Positive side effects you may experience include better sleep, a sense of calm and enhanced well-being.
Is acupuncture safe if I’m on pain medication? Definitely! There are no contraindications for acupuncture with medications – in fact, acupuncture often helps people decrease or stop taking pain medications.
Why doesn’t my doctor recommend acupuncture or think that it works? MDs are generally not educated or well informed regarding alternatives to what they learned in medical school, i.e. drugs and surgery. It’s just not covered in their training. However, research shows that acupuncture decreases all types of pain, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture “works,” particularly for pain, hasn’t had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.
Traditional Chinese medicine philosophy is partly organized around the Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each of these elements are associated with a particular organ and energy meridian in the body, and can be applied to all things in nature, including the human body and psyche. We are all always ebbing and flowing among these elements, but will usually resonate most with one of the following patterns.
Fire / Heart Element – quick mind, “wears heart on sleeve,” outgoing, enthusiastic, excitable, expressive, empathetic, affectionate, optimistic, sensitive, impatient, sees the humorous side of life, easily shares innermost feelings, easily frustrated, prone to circulatory and heart problems, anxiety, insomnia. Spirit Remedy: Ask yourself what brings you joy, and bring more of what brings you joy into your life.
Earth / Spleen Element – sincere, easygoing, agreeable, accommodating, peacemaker, nurturing, loyal, diplomatic, conservative, methodical, prone to overthinking and worrying, digestive and intestinal issues, most content in company of other people but can be needy or too giving. Spirit Remedy: Do something by yourself to build self-sufficiency. Create clearer boundaries with people you habitually overextend for.
Metal / Lung Element – neat, orderly, self-contained, enjoys solving puzzles, likes procedures and organization, logical, systematic, meticulous, discriminating,intellectual, organized, prone to colds, allergies and asthma, hyper-rational, detail-oriented. Spirit Remedy: Do something creative to balance your hyper-rational tendencies.
Water / Kidney Element – cautious, sensible, enjoys solitude, curious, imaginative, intellectual, patient, persevering, self-sufficient, independent, reflective, will power, endurance, timid, susceptible to urinary and reproductive problems, low back pain. Spirit Remedy: Nurture social relations and plan activities with other people – your self-sufficiency can isolate you.
Wood / Liver Element – intense, type A, smart, decisive, prone to stubbornness, control freaks, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, high blood pressure, acid reflux. Spirit Remedy: Add non-competitive, relaxing activities to your routine, like meditation or hiking in nature.
Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold, New York: Ballantine, 1991.
Second Spring: Hundreds of Natural Secrets for Women to Revitalize and Regenerate At Any Age, by Maoshing Ni, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.
Acupuncture speeds recovery for Bell’s palsy & facial paralysis.
“From my first treatment, I knew Abba really cared about my well being. I had three treatments the first week and three treatments the second week. I noticed a slight change by the third treatment, and by the sixth treatment, I saw a tremendous improvement. The treatments helped me for a faster recovery.” Janet Herzog, Springfield, Missouri
The onset of Bell’s palsy is usually sudden and upsetting. People often wake up in the morning to find that one side of their face feels weird and droopy. They may think they’ve had a stroke. The good news is that Bell’s palsy symptoms usually resolve in a couple of months without intervention, and that acupuncture can significantly speed recovery. I have seen clients improve so dramatically in one treatment that we’ve both had a hard time believing the change in their face.
Bell’s palsy affects about 40,000 people in the United States every year, and one person in 65 will experience it in their lifetime. It’s caused by inflammation of the facial seventh cranial nerve, which wraps around the ears and facial muscles, affecting facial expressions, taste, and the muscles around the eyes. Symptoms include one-sided facial paralysis, pain, numbness, tearing eyes and impairment of taste. Bell’s palsy was named for Sir Charles Bell, a Scottish surgeon who studied the facial nerve and muscles 200 years ago. (I always wonder where these names come from!)
It’s best to begin acupuncture treatment as soon as possible after onset of Bell’s palsy symptoms – within days is ideal. And it’s usually best to do 2 or 3 treatments per week in the beginning, for a couple of weeks at least, to get the best results.
Acupuncture can also be helpful if you have lingering symptoms from a long-ago bout of Bells palsy. A client who’d had numbness on the left side of her face for five years following Bells palsy told me her numbness was almost gone after her first acupuncture treatment!