Frequently Asked Questions
Does acupuncture hurt?
If you have a fear of needles acupuncture is still definitely for you! Here’s why… Acupuncture needles are leaps and bounds different than hypodermic needles used for shots or to draw blood. Acupuncture needles are filiform, which means they are solid and not hollow. Acupuncture needles aren’t meant to put anything into or draw anything out of the body. In fact the tips of acupuncture needles aren’t actually sharp to cut the skin, they are rounded so they push the tissue apart instead!
Sometimes people feel different things when acupuncture needles are inserted. Patients may experience sensations such as pressure, heaviness, twitching, achiness, a quick pinchy feeling that goes away in about 3 seconds, or even nothing at all. If you feel anything sharp or shooting let me know and we will adjust the needle to your comfort.
In all honesty, most often people don’t feel the needles going in. You are more likely to be more sensitive if you are on your menstrual cycle or if your muscles are very tight and not relaxed. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get your needles in and after that you get to rest and relax. It’s an amazing experience! Don’t let fear hold you back from feeling wonderful! I will work with you to make it a positive treatment.
What can I expect at my first visit?
As a new patient, your initial visit will consist of a comprehensive overview of your new patient paperwork. Please have this filled out before your appointment time begins. This ensures I will have adequate time to diagnose and treat you! I will ask you questions about your main complaint to confirm that I have all the information I need to offer the best treatment plan for you.
Next I will assess your pulses. I will feel your pulses on both of your wrists. I will also look at your tongue! I observe the color, shape, and coat on your tongue so please DO NOT brush your tongue before your visit. Your tongue tells me a lot about what is going on inside your body. Next I will treat you with acupuncture or whichever modality I see best fit for you that day. I will take things slowly, especially if this is your first time ever receiving acupuncture. I welcome an open dialog to how you’re feeling on the table. I always remind my patients that they are in control of their treatment at all times.
After the needling portion of your treatment is complete, I will leave the room and let you rest with the needles in for 20-30 minutes. I call this the “needle naptime”. You will be able to fully relax on a warm table, with the lights dimmed and soft, calm music playing. It’s truly tranquil! This is when the magic happens! It takes the energy in your body about 25 minutes to make a complete cycle from start to finish so this is the reasoning behind the allotted time. After your relaxation time, the needles will be removed and I will leave the room again so you can take your time to get up and get dressed after your treatment!
Do you do dry needling?
Yes is do! Because “dry needling” is actually acupuncture!
In some states, non-acupuncture practitioners have lobbied to add dry needling to their scope of practice stating that it is a unique modality different from acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. However, this is untrue as trigger point therapy has been described in written Chinese medicine theory and has been in use by Chinese Medicine practitioners for over 3,000 years. Trigger points are often in the location of muscle motor points and their stimulation can cause a muscle to have an involuntary contraction. Dry needling uses acupuncture needles to access trigger points deep in muscle tissue to release tension and pain. Acupuncture uses acupuncture needles to access trigger points, traditional points along meridians and “ashi” points to help release tight and painful muscles.
Chinese Medicine practitioners earn a 3-4 year degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine with over 2,000 hours of clinical experience before graduating. This entails extensive training and testing in needling, needling technique, point location, TCM diagnosis, anatomy, biomedicine and safety. Chinese medicine practitioners have to be nationally board certified and accredited by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Whereas, practitioners who practice dry needling receive a 300 hour certificate to be able to administer this service to their patients. Since dry needling is relatively new, there is little regulation put in place for this therapy.
What payment methods do you accept?
Acupuncture treatments and therapies can be paid for by cash, check, credit card, and most HSA, FSA. At this time Serene Acupuncture is not accepting insurance for acupuncture procedures, however if you would like to submit a superbill to your insurance company, one can be provided or you upon request.
What should I wear to my appointment?
Wearing comfortable, loose clothing is recommended! I often needle the legs, feet, belly, head and ears during each treatment! Remember that acupuncture treats the body as a WHOLE. It's most helpful to wear clothing that gives me better access to all of the points I need to give you the best treatment! I do also have sheets to drape you if needed. I've got you covered! (See what I did there?)
What should I do if I have more questions?
I am happy to answer any questions you may have before your appointment! Texting the number listed at the bottom of the page will get you the fastest response. You can also fill out the form at the bottom of the home page and I will be happy to get back to you by email. I look forward to chatting with you! Thank you for being here!