Does it hurt?
Believe it or not, it does not hurt. Acupuncture needles are incredibly thin and flexible. In fact, they are so thin that you can put 40 acupuncture needles inside one hypodermic needle (the ones commonly used for blood draws and injections).
What does acupuncture feel like?
While acupuncture is not considered painful, it does illicit a very unique sensation. Most people describe this as a dull, heavy or achy sensation. Many people come to really enjoy this feeling as it often indicates that we are in the “right spot.”
How does it work?
This is one of our favorite questions to answer and there are multiple ways of explaining how acupuncture works. The simplest explanation is that acupuncture kick starts the body’s natural healing ability. Acupuncture stimulates the autonomic nervous system to produce chemicals that reduce inflammation, encourage blood flow, release endorphins and calm the brain.
what do i wear?
Whatever you are wearing for the day is just fine. If your treatment involves the removal of clothing, you will be covered with sheets and blankets to remain covered and comfortable. Some treatments only require that you roll up your pant legs or sleeves in which case wearing loose fitting clothing would allow you to not have to undress at all.
how are acupuncturists trained?
In order to become a licensed acupuncturist, you must attend a 3-4 year Masters Degree program. While our training is heavily focused on Eastern medicine, we also have a strong foundation in Western medicine as well.
Here in Minnesota, we are licensed the Minnesota Medical Board and have to adhere to strict standards in order to remain in accordance with the Medical Board. Even though we have knowledge of many Western conditions, we are not a replacement for seeing your primary care provider.
are there side effects to acupuncture?
The most likely side effect of acupuncture is bruising at the site of needling but even that is not common. Depending on what we are treating, you may experience some soreness after your treatment, but that usually is an indication that we are improving your condition. In general, there are very few risks associated with seeing a reputable, licensed acupuncturist.
What is Qi?
While the concept of Qi is the foundation of Chinese Medicine, you wont find that we talk about it much in our clinic. We prefer to discuss your condition in terms that are familiar to you and your Western medical providers.
If you have an interest in discussing how Chinese Medicine views your condition we can always discuss that in detail during your session but please don’t feel that you have to “believe” in Qi or Chinese Medicine Theory for it to be effective.
can i get acupuncture if i am pregnant?
Of course! In fact, acupuncture can help reduce many of the common complaints that pregnancy can cause, i.e. nausea, insomnia, swelling, sciatic pain, etc.. While acupuncture is considered safe to do while pregnant we do operate under some restrictions during pregnancy so please inform your practitioner that you are pregnant even if you don’t think it is applicable to your treatment.
My chiropractor/physical therapist does dry needling, is that the same as acupuncture?
This question is the cause for much debate between our industries. Here’s our take on it: dry needling is the insertion of needles into areas often referred to trigger points or motor points. Acupuncture is also the insertion of needles into these same areas. The biggest difference is in our training — 3000+ hours for licensed acupuncturists and a couple hundred hours for dry needling or an acupuncture “certification.” We feel that the only professionals that should be inserting needles into your body should be the ones with the utmost training to do so.
What does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture treats a long list of conditions. Click here for a list of conditions we commonly see. Don’t see your condition? Send us an email or phone call to see if we can help you.