FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
While some people feel nothing at all; others experience a brief moment of discomfort followed by a mild sensation of tingling, numbness, traveling warmth, or heaviness. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and uplifting and even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment. If you experience discomfort it's important to communicate with your acupuncturist throughout your session so we can make adjustments to maximize your comfort.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM YOUR TREATMENTS?
Everyone! Really, if you have a pulse you definitely should be get acupuncture. Acupuncture is useful for the prevention of illness and also as a treatment when you are not feeling well. In the office I see a bit of both.
The only area of caution would be for recent acute illness that have not been previously assessed by a MD. Such as, pain after a accident/ fall, severe uncontrolled blood pressure, sudden loss of consciousness or one of the 5 senses. If you are experiencing a new symptom or have a noticed a drastic change in a old symptom see your medical provider first. Once you are cleared by your medical provider you are welcome to explore your treatment options at SAW.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A FIRST VISIT?
Each person who performs acupuncture has a unique style, often blending aspects of Eastern and Western approaches to medicine. To determine the type of treatment that will help you the most, I will ask you about your symptoms, behaviors and lifestyle. Then, I will examine the parts of your body where you may be experiencing discomfort and take a look at your tongue and pulse. This initial evaluation and treatment may take 75-90 minutes. Subsequent appointments usually take about 45-60 minutes. A common treatment plan for a single complaint would typically involve one or two treatments a week. The number of treatments will depend on the condition being treated and its severity. In general, it's common to receive eight to ten treatments in a single acupuncture series.
HOW WILL I FEEL AFTER AN ACUPUNCTURE SESSION?
Many people aren’t quite sure how they feel right after treatment. You may feel drowsy and a little lightheaded, so don’t just jump off the table and run right out the door! Most patients will report “Well, I felt better later that night.” or “I had a good day the next day.” Acupuncture is a treatment that has a cumulative effect over time, so as time goes by, you will notice that the relief that you get from treatment lasts longer and longer.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
Acupuncture is a cumulative process, meaning that each subsequent treatment builds upon the work done previously. The amount of treatments needed varies by the individual and condition being treated. For example, shoulder pain in a 20-year-old athlete who has an acute sports injury will respond much differently than chronic shoulder pain in a 75-year-old with arthritis and degenerative disc disease.
We generally ask that people come for at least 10 treatments to see a noticeable effect. For some patients, their condition may completely resolve in 4-6, treatments. For others, they may have a course of 12 weekly treatments, and then begin to taper off their visits to maybe every two weeks, once a month, and then they may discontinue treatment, or only come in when they have a flare-up of symptoms.
Finally, there are patients with chronic, degenerative conditions that may never completely resolve, but regular acupuncture treatment helps them manage their chronic pain and other symptoms so that perhaps they are able to use less medication, stay more active and experience a better quality of life. Some people will come in once a month for a general “Wellness Tune-up” just to keep them healthy!
WHAT TRAINING AND LICENSURE DOES AN ACUPUNCTURIST HAVE?
Acupuncture is a procedure that should only be performed by licensed acupuncturists who have proper training and education. Acupuncture school is a graduate-level course of study encompassing thousands of hours of training. Acupuncturists in the state of Texas are licensed by the Texas Medical Board, and are board-certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.