Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect? Expectations need to be addressed and adjusted accordingly for each individual. (If you haven't slept for 10 years, your insomnia may not go away on the first treatment.) The first treatment is new for you, so you may not be able to sink in like the guy/gal that comes out looking like they just woke up. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to get the feel of and relax into acupuncture.
Treatments are subtle. Most people get very relaxed, some of them snore (which is considered a compliment). A variety of discomforts may naturally ease. I have patients that say it's important to look for what is no longer there. Are you sleeping better? Is your energy better? How's your mood? Has your pain subsided or lessened, knowing that it may not be 100%. Expect to feel relaxed after. You can do what you normally choose to in moderation.
Do you reuse the needles? No, they are sterile packed and after treatment disposed of in a sharps container.
Does it hurt? For the most part no. There are some points that are more sensitive than others, but generally, we can get the needles in without you feeling almost anything. The most frequent reaction to first-time needle insertion is, "That's it? I didn't even feel it". Sometimes we get: "You put a needle in?" There are some point locations that are tender. Those can feel like small pressure or light pulsation. If anything is uncomfortable you let the practitioner know so that we can make adjustments. We don't want you to be uncomfortable during treatment.
Why do some of the needles look different? There are different colors indicating the length and diameter of a needle. There are also different types of needle handles and packaging that each practitioner gets used to. We like to find needles we are comfortable with, and more importantly that you are comfortable with.
What's in the needles? Nothing. Acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow, and constructed hair-thin.
Do you reuse cups?
The cups are disinfected after each use. If someone wishes to have their own set of cups, they are available for purchase.
We do teach our patrons how to use cups if they wish to practice at home.
How often do I need to come in? Expect to make a commitment of at least 5-6 visits. While one-hit wonders are amazing, and we love them too, the reality is that it may take at least a few visits to balance out. (It's like going to the gym, you do not go just once and say you are in shape again.) Expect to come in seasonally or when stress kicks up in your life to maintain results. Seasonal maintenance and "tune-ups" are important.
Does Acupuncture help with weight loss? Acupuncture and real food is an excellent combination for weight loss. Acupuncture can help mitigate cravings by looking at the systemic root cause you are having them. Your energy level can be improved greatly, your sleep, your ability to cope with stress, digestive system upsets can be ironed out, and your overall health picture improved. These improvements in overall health can help give you the start you need for better food choices and physical activity.
Will it magically melt pounds away? No. Food, as in nutritious real food can introduce permanent weight loss. Each body is unique and you may have to find what works for you in order for the weight loss to be permanent. Establishing those habits is not easy, but they are worth it. I usually have patients keep a food log, overweight or not, because it shows areas for improvement.
Over the years, I've referred people off to resources such as Marksdailyapple.com, and Whole30.com. I like this particular approach because it begins to change your mindset around sugar consumption and fat. In order to keep track of meals you can use Myfitnesspal.com or the app, take pictures of your meals, or just use plain paper.
Many people experience great improvement with minimal changes in a real food direction. It takes a small amount of work and planning. If you cannot get it together Catered Fit and Fitlife foods can help. There are meal plans laid out by Melissa Joulwan. Free grocery store shopping lists to download and help keep you on track while grocery shopping can be found at Paleo On A Budget's site. There are so many resources online you could get lost sorting through it.
Acupuncture offers many benefits that help with weight loss: improved sleep, better energy, improvement in the way you and your body handle stress, and easing digestive discomfort. Digestive system relaxation and systemic relaxation often go hand in hand. Acupuncture helps shift the body to a relaxed state and organ systems function smoothly. The whole picture health plan is not just to lose weight, it's to feel great.
The acupuncture approach to weight loss is slower than crash diets. We are seeking to shift lifestyle choices in a direction to maintain better health choices, weight loss is the byproduct of choosing differently daily.
We hope this helps with the basics. We are happy to answer more as they arise, but these seem to be the most common. Everyone has a different reason for trying acupuncture. Some have tried everything else and it is a last resort. Some are just looking for a unique experience. Whether it is just relaxation or assistance with a health issue, you should be comfortable in your clinic.