headshot 1Q.  What does acupuncture feel like?  Do the needles hurt?

A.  When the needles are placed it is common to feel a little pinch, mild sting or dull achy sensation; it should not be painful.  We do our best to gauge each patient’s sensitivity level (some people are more sensitive than others) and adjust our needling technique and the gauge of needles used based on each person’s feedback and response.  Our goal is to make sure each point on each person is comfortable.  We’ve needled many nervous first-timers and their responses are most commonly “that’s it?  I barely felt anything!”.

Q. Can you treat my back or hip pain if I’m seated in a recliner with my clothes on?  Don’t you need to put the needle exactly where I’m feeling pain?

A.  Low back pain, hip pain and sciatica are a few of the most common conditions we treat in our practice – and these conditions tend to respond extremely well to acupuncture, even when no needles are placed at the site of pain.  Amazingly, there are acupuncture points located all over the body which are indicated for conditions occurring elsewhere.  We specialize in a distal style of needling and have extensive clinical experience effectively treating all types of conditions with this method.

Q.  What types of needles do you use?  Are they sterile?  How big are they?  Are they Chinese or Japanese?

A.  Standard practice in the USA is to use pre-packaged, single use, disposable needles, and that’s exactly what we do.  The needles we use are stainless steel and hypo-allergenic.  We actually carry a brand of needles that are Korean, simply because they happen to be our favorites.  Whether needles are made in China, Japan, Korea or elsewhere, they come in the same standard range of gauges and lengths.  We carry 2 gauges of needles: the thinnest possible ones on the market (40 gauge), and medium-thin ones (36 gauge), which most people find to be very comfortable.  For more sensitive areas of the body or for people who are more sensitive all around, we’ll use the thinner needles.

Q.  How do I know when I feel done and ready to end my treatment?

A.  Most people feel drowsy or fall asleep during treatment.  When you feel like you’re rested, ready to get moving or possibly a little fidgety or restless it means you’re ready to go.  It’s pretty similar to the way you feel after you’ve woken up naturally.

Q.  Is acupuncture safe during pregnancy?

A.  Yes, and we are very experienced with it!  There are certain points which are contraindicated in pregnancy so we avoid them; otherwise, acupuncture is very beneficial, and can be used to alleviate many discomforts associated with pregnancy.  In fact, many midwives and obstetricians refer their pregnant patients to Acupuncture Together!

For a more extensive and interesting discussion about how and why acupuncture works, we suggest reading Why Did You Put That Needle There?