Does acupuncture hurt? No, I firmly believe that acupuncture should not hurt! Acupuncture needles are tiny – about the size of a hair – and I insert them very gently and shallowly. Most people are surprised to find that they don’t feel the needles at all. If you have had pain with acupuncture before, it’s likely your acupuncturist practiced a different style of acupuncture than I do. I was trained in gentle Japanese acupuncture techniques, so my approach is more comfortable than Chinese and Korean methods. If you feel more than a tiny pinch during your treatment, please let me know so I can remove or adjust the needle. I want you to be completely comfortable during your treatment because part of acupuncture’s magic comes from the deep relaxation it induces.
What can acupuncture treat? Acupuncture enhances your body’s ability to heal itself, which means it can improve a wide range of conditions. I regularly see people get relief for sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, neck, shoulder and back pain, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, migraines, PMS, menstrual cramps, excessive menstrual bleeding, menopausal symptoms, allergies, addictions, stress-related and autoimmune disorders.
How many treatments will I need? For most chronic health problems, I suggest clients plan on 8 weekly treatments to start with. In that time, you should experience an improvement in your symptoms and overall well-being. Most people notice a positive change in their symptoms during the first treatment. Acute pain conditions typically respond quickly, improving in the 1st treatment. People with chronic pain conditions usually come in every week or two because it improves their quality of life so much. For women’s health issues such as PMS, heavy bleeding and irregular periods, the best plan is weekly treatments until symptoms are alleviated, and then monthly treatments to maintain that improvement. Resolution of menstrual issues usually takes 2-3 months of weekly treatments.
What forms of payment do you accept? Cash, checks, credit and debit cards.
Do you take insurance? I don’t currently do insurance billing, but I am happy to provide you with an invoice that you can submit to your insurance company. You can also use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and card to pay for acupuncture.
What can I expect on my first visit? Come a little early to fill out some simple paperwork. We’ll talk about your goals for treatment and the relevant details. Then 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 are always surprised to find that acupuncture mostly doesn’t hurt, and that it is deeply relaxing. It’s best to wear shorts or stretchy pants that roll up easily, because I usually want to do points around your knees. You may also need to remove or pull up your shirt so that I can put needles and cups on your back. Once the needles are in, you will have a nice nap for about 30 minutes. Most people find that they feel deeply relaxed during their treatment. It is best if you can schedule your treatment so that you can relax afterwards, rather than rushing back to a busy day.
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 more effective than medications for many conditions, so I would say that anybody who doesn’t think acupuncture works probably hasn’t actually had personal experience with it or looked at the research with an open mind.
How do I find a qualified acupuncturist? Look for a “Licensed” Acupuncturist with “LAc” following their name, as opposed to a “certified” acupuncturist. In Missouri, chiropractors can be certified to provide acupuncture with only 300 hours of training, while a Licensed Acupuncturist like myself has completed a 3,000 hour (4-year) accredited master’s degree program in acupuncture and Chinese medicine that includes an extensive clinical internship. I’ve found that when clients tell me about a bad acupuncture experience, it’s usually someone who is not a Licensed Acupuncturist.