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Most Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture from Our Patients


Acupuncture FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected some of the questions we hear from our patients. Sometimes there's no simple answer, and sometimes there is no short answer to a given question. If the question you have is not answered here or not answered in enough detail, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Who can have acupuncture treatment?

There is no limitation regarding age, sex, or condition regarding acupuncture treatment.

  • The very young or extremely old can be treated.

  • All conditions can be treated – chronic or acute, severe or mild, mental or physical. The only things that Dr. Annie has found don’t respond to acupuncture are symptoms that require surgery. She’s helped many patients avoid surgery and chronic pain med usage but will tell you right away if she doesn’t think she can help your symptom.

  • Pregnant women are prime candidates for TCM, and much can be done to promote both pre-natal and post-natal care of mother and baby.

Can children have treatment?

Yes. All ages of people can safely and effectively have treatment. Children can attend the acupuncture clinic with a parent or guardian.

What kinds of conditions can be treated?

TCM and acupuncture do not treat western-labeled conditions; they treat individuals. Three people who come in with the same western named condition, say ‘migraine’, may receive three different diagnosis, and different treatments, but all will make a sound recovery.

TCM has a complete diagnostic framework that is capable of diagnosing and treating any known problem. Still, as with any medical system or treatment, it is better for some things and less suitable for others. You should contact us to ask more about your particular condition.

Can I have acupuncture with Western medical treatment?

Acupuncture can, and often is used in conjunction with Western medical treatment. It does not negatively interfere with other forms of medicine. It is crucial, however, to tell your practitioner what other forms of treatment you are receiving.

Can acupuncture treat fertility issues?

Yes. Acupuncture TCM can be very helpful for those having trouble conceiving or having the family they dream about.

Can acupuncture treat cancer?

No, you can’t treat cancer with acupuncture or Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture can be very helpful in treating side-effects of western medical treatment, such as chemotherapy, and alleviating cancer-related pain or other problems, but it cannot treat cancer itself. For this, you need to seek Western medical treatment.

What happens on my first visit?

Your first visit is for a diagnostic consultation, and if you have made an appointment for acupuncture, your first treatment will be included.

Your practitioner will find out medically relevant information about your condition and examine your tongue and pulse. A brief physical examination will be conducted where necessary.

If you are seeking treatment for a physical injury or ailment, please wear something that will allow the problem area to be examined easily. If you take any medication, including vitamins and supplements, bring a list of these to your first appointment.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture doesn’t hurt. Acupuncture needles are extremely fine, almost like a hair, and it is sometimes hard to even feel them being inserted. Often people report a sensation sometime after the insertion of the needle, but this is a pressure-like sensation rather than a pain.

Is it safe?

In the hands of a professionally trained practitioner like Dr. Anne, Acupuncture TCM is safe and entirely free of negative side effects.

Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, single-use needles. They are safe and painless to use and safely discarded after the treatment.

What if I’m afraid of needles?

We would say that means you’re normal! But don’t worry, the needles used are hair thin and totally unlike those used for medicine injections. Most people don’t even feel the insertion, and those who do, describe it as a kind of pressure. There is no need to be afraid of needles.

If you are worried, however, mention this when you make your appointment or at your first appointment so Dr. Anne can take it into account and make things easier for you.

Can I get advice about my Western medical treatment?

No, that is outside the field of TCM. If you need advice about medications prescribed to you by your MD or another pracitioner, you need to discuss that with them.

How many treatments do I need?

It is impossible to say how many treatments somebody will need, especially without a proper consultation and diagnostic process. What can be said is that generally, more recent complaints are quicker to respond than chronic, long-standing illnesses.

How often do I need to have a treatment?

Usually, treatments are scheduled weekly, sometimes bi-weekly, until the symptoms have completely resolved. Once the problem has been successfully treated, many patients attend treatment bi-weekly or monthly to ensure they stay healthy and because they feel their best when getting regular acupuncture treatments.

How much does it cost?

The cost varies for each type of treatment (Acupuncture First Visit or Recurring, or Herbal Medicine Visit), and you can find those on our appointment booking site.

What happens on my first visit?

Your first visit is for a diagnostic consultation, and if you have made an appointment for acupuncture, your first treatment will be included.

Dr. Anne will find out medically relevant information about your condition and examine your tongue and pulse. A brief physical examination will be conducted if necessary.

If you seek treatment for a physical injury or ailment, please wear something that will allow the problem area to be examined easily. If you take any medication including vitamins and supplements, bring a list of these to your first appointment.

Do I need to prepare for my appointment?

There is no need for special preparation. It is good to arrive early so you can settle down and relax in our calming waiting room. Try not to drink caffeine within 2 hours of your appointment time. It’s also a good idea not to do any strenuous physical activity on the day after your appointment.

If you are taking any medication, including vitamins, minerals and other supplements, you should bring these with you.

It can be good to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing that can be easily removed, especially if you seek treatment for a physical problem the practitioner will want to examine. For each visit, it’s best to wear clothing that can be moved above your elbows and knees.

Is it ok to go to the gym after / How long before I can exercise?

It is ok to do the usual things you do afterward. We recommend avoiding strenuous exercise after your treatment – just for that day.

What if I need to cancel or reschedule my appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule, please do so at the earliest opportunity – somebody else can use that time slot.

It is best to call or text, as emails may not be read during the clinic's hours. If you don’t receive a confirmation of your text, please be so kind as to call.

Please note that cancellations made with less than 24 hours notice need to be paid in full.

How does acupuncture work?

There is no simple answer to how acupuncture works. The systematic knowledge and understanding of human functioning that TCM has is very different from modern Western medicine and not directly translatable. There are many suggestions of the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture, but none come forth with a clear and definite answer.

We know from our experience that acupuncture works. But understanding how it does it, in Western scientific terms, may have to wait for any further advancements in the field of modern medicine as well as in science. Recent research into quantum theory has produced results that are somewhat consistent with TCM theory, but understanding this field of study is mainly out of the reach of most people.

How does Dr. Anne decide what to do or where to put the needles:

TCM acupuncture treatment is based on a thorough diagnosis and examination of the problem. Only once Dr. Anne is satisfied that they have all the information she needs to understand what’s wrong will she start healing you and treating you.

Selecting the right points for your particular condition requires a good diagnosis combined with Dr. Anne’s extensive experience. Each acupuncture point does a different thing.

Do I need to believe in acupuncture for it to work?

No, you don’t. Infants can be treated, as can unconscious people. It works on horses and dogs, too.

What can it do that going to the doctor can’t?

TCM views the human being very differently from Western medicine. It does not separate the body from the mind or the inside from the outside but takes a comprehensive holistic view of the person, the complaint, and its context. TCM can often diagnose and treat ‘odd complaints,’ problems that Western medicine can’t put a label on or solve without taking drugs for the rest of your life. That said, some things are best treated with Western Medicine and Dr. Anne will tell you right away if that’s the case. TCM also gets to the root cause of your issue to solve things at the deepest level; we don’t just treat symptoms.

Can acupuncture improve my health even if I’m not ill?

To go to your MD, you generally need to be ill. Not so with TCM – you can use acupuncture and TCM even when you are not sick, just ‘not feeling 100%’, or you don’t want to wait until you get ill.

TCM has always been used to improve health, to be so well that you don’t get unwell, and be able to live your happiest, healthiest life.

In olden times in China, the patient used to see their practitioner regularly with the understanding that it was the practitioner’s job to help them stay healthy. If they did fall ill, they wouldn’t pay for the treatment.

Do I need to believe in acupuncture for it to work?

No, you don’t. The effectiveness of acupuncture isn’t based on faith. It’s been successful for thousands of years.

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