Frequently Asked Questions

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Most people, including children and babies, say no. Many of Amy's patients walk into their first session dreading needles and walk out of their session surprised at how relaxed and rejuvenated they feel.

Acupuncture is a gentle procedure.  Many people are hesitant to try acupuncture because of their fear of needles.  Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are solid and very thin, and they are not designed to cut the skin.  They are also inserted to much more shallow levels than hypodermic needles, generally no more than a half-inch to an inch depending on the type of treatment being delivered.

While each person experiences acupuncture differently, the needles may not be felt at all on insertion, or there might be a mild sensation followed by tingling, heaviness or warmth around the needle.  Most people feel a sense of relaxation and many fall into a relaxing sleep.

If you are "not sure" about needles, Amy will use other Oriental Medical therapies such as acupressure, tui na (Chinese body work), infrared heat therapy, moxabustion, ear seeds, magnet therapy, herbal supplementation, or cupping.

Will I feel the effects after the first treatment?

Although many ailments require multiple treatments, (TCM is amazing, but not magic) some people will feel the effects after the very first treatment.  Some people reportedly feel a sensation of excitement or high energy, while others feel relaxed.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Recently, the scientific community has recognized that human beings are comprised of complex energetic systems.  This understanding has been the foundation of the practice of acupuncture for several thousand years.  Chinese medical theory is based on the concept of "qi" or, as some call it, life force or vital energy.  The qi circulates throughout the body through specific pathways called meridians.  There are twelve principle meridians, each connecting with a major organ system.  Along the meridians are acupuncture points at which the flow of qi is most accessible.  Good Health is achieved by these meridians having free flow of energy.  When the flow of energy is disturbed for any reason (such as a kink in a water hose), there is pain or illness.  Stimulation of acupuncture points influences the flow of qi and brings the body back to a state of balance. 

Scientific research has shown that acupuncture triggers the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.  It has also been shown to positively affect the endocrine, circulatory, and nervous systems, helping the body achieve physical and emotional balance and well being.

How can it help so many different things?

          In a nutshell, acupuncture stimulates the body's innate ability to heal itself.

Acupuncturist or Chiropractor that practices Acupuncture?

Licensed Acupuncturists have over 2500-3500 hours of training, treating thousands of patients, during 3-4 years of careful study of Chinese Medicine. Chiropractors, trained similarly for their licenses, are only required 100 hours of training to practice acupuncture, making Minnesota one of the most lenient states in the country for this dual licensing.  With this in mind, chiropractors cannot legally treat patients only with acupuncture, but "may utilize acupuncture to prepare for or complement a chiropractic adjustment."  Even though acupuncture carries little risk, why risk not getting expert care?

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe.  Only sterile, one-time use, disposable needles are used.

What are the benefits of Acupuncture?

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive system of preventive health care.  Since acupuncture promotes the body's natural healing ability, most conditions can be improved or corrected. 

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

The number and frequency of treatments will vary from patient to patient since everyone is unique in their health care needs.  Some symptoms may be relieved after the first visit, while others may take twenty treatments.  When a specific issue is being addressed, you may be advised to visit the acupuncturist one to three times per week, and then gradually reduce the frequency to once or twice per month until you are feeling well. The goal is to correct the problem so that it does not return and acupuncture is no longer needed. Once feeling great, many people discontinue care. Others ask to continue with preventative sessions to maintain good health vs waiting until they are "out of balance."

Northwoods Acupuncture & Wellness Center / Copyright 2009

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