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13720 Clackamas River Drive
Oregon City, OR 97045
Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese medicine has been used for more than 3,000 years.
How does it work?
Chinese medicine uses thin needles and herbs to help nurture the body back to health by resolving energy imbalances. (See history of Chinese medicine for more information).
What are the needles like?
Acupuncture needles are small, hair-thin and are made from surgical stainless steel. They are solid, not hollow like needles used by doctors. Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it. The end of an acupuncture needle is smooth and rounded. Acupuncture needles are not designed to cut the skin. Instead, when an acupuncture needle is inserted, the round edge pushes the tissue aside without cutting it. The needles seem to glide through the spaces between the individual cells of the body.
US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles
In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on acupuncture needles. The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.
Does it hurt?
People experience needling differently. There are different styles of needling. I needle in Japanese style which gently inserts the needle under the skin, and the qi will rise to the needle. The acupuncture needles I insert are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly adjusted if the patients does feel discomfort. If any sensation is experienced during insertion, it disappears quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy in your body in order to help balance it. Often people describe their sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. The needles remain in place for 15-30 minutes depending on the type of treatment. I take great care to make my clients very comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment.
Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.
Do I have to believe in it for it to work?
No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Acupuncture is even used successfully on animals and children. They do not understand or believe in the process, yet they get better anyway. A positive attitude helps with any type of therapy, but it is not necessary to believe in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.
Since positive expectations and belief in a particular therapy help to increase therapeutic results, I encourage you to raise any concerns or doubts you may have about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I'd like to help you better understand acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible. You are invited to contact me today, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.
Do you use herbs?
Yes, although my primary training is as an acupuncturist, I have also been trained in herbal medicine, both Chinese and Western and sometimes use herbal formulas to support the acupuncture treatment.
How do herbs differ from western medicine?Chinese herbal formulas tend to be much gentler than western medicines. They work not only to help relieve symptoms, but return the body to balance and equilibrium so that herbs will not be needed on an ongoing basis. For that reason, we often modify the herbs as treatment continues. As the body starts to shift towards being healthier, the herbs are modified to meet the changing needs of the body.
Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?
It depends on the medications you are taking. This would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
How quickly can I expect to feel better?
In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 2-3 treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment, and may only need 3-5 treatments to resolve. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take many treatments to resolve it.
How often should I be treated?
Typically I treat patients once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may do treatments 2-3 times per week for the first couple of weeks. The benefits of acupuncture treatments tend to hold longer as you receive treatments. Typically as patients begin to feel better, the need to come to treatment diminishes to once every week or two or once per month. After the imbalance in corrected, patients come only periodically for maintenance.
Does acupuncture always help?
No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 3-5 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.
What should I wear for the treatment?
Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees. I ask men to wear or bring shorts with them.
I also have gowns available.
Please do not wear perfumes nor colognes.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance does. You need to check with your insurance plan. I do not accept insurance except no-fault for motor vehicle accidents and workers' compensation. I will give you a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
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13720 Clackamas River Dr., Oregon City, OR 97045, 503-656-1956, firstname.lastname@example.org
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