Frequently Ask Questions

Acupuncture helps relieve symptoms of numerous health problems.  It can also reveal the underlying cause(s) of those symptoms.  The goal of this dynamic and integrated health care system is to activate the natural, self-healing abilities of the body.  An additional goal is to strengthen and support the body in preventing future illness and disease.

Acupuncture is safe, natural, drug-free, and effective.  It is a holistic way to get well and stay healthy.  Acupuncture is one aspect of traditional Chinese medicine.  Basic principles and methods include:

  • Fourteen major energy channels called meridians course through the human body.
  • A subtle energy called Qi (pronounced chee) circulates though the meridians to every part of the body.
  • Any blockage or other imbalance involving the amount, flow, or balance of Qi may result in pain, dysfunction, and ill health.
  • With acupuncture needles or other means such as cupping or moxibustion, the acupuncturist stimulates certain points (acupoints) along the course of the meridians. This stimulation helps restore the normal balance and flow of Qi so the organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony.  When the body is in harmony, it can repair itself and maintain its health.

What is Qi? What does it do?
Inside every human body is an intelligent, energetic system that maintains health and balance.  This subtle form of energy supports, shapes and enlivens our physical body allowing us to lead healthy and active lives.

For thousands of years practitioners of acupuncture have called this intelligent energy Qi.   Qi is the vital energy in all living things, from the largest tree to the smallest cell.  It is a combination of energies, mixed together from our food, air, and inherited constitution.  Qi is necessary for growth, development, movement, maintenance of body temperature, protection against illness and disease, and overall regulation of the body.  Our health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi throughout the meridian network.

How does Qi flow though the body?
Like the rivers that carry water to provide nourishment and sustenance for life on our planet, meridians are the rivers where Qi flows inside of us.  Qi flows through meridians as an invisible current, energizing and nourishing every organ, muscle, tissue and cell.  Every meridian is connected to specific organs and glands.  However, each bodily system and organ interacts with all other systems and organs as they are interrelated and integrated.  Thus when Qi is in balance and able to flow freely, the body’s natural self-healing abilities are activated, enabling internal stability and harmony to occur.  The body will then flourish, and true health and well being can be achieved.

How does the flow of Qi become blocked/unbalanced?
The desired balance in the flow of Qi can be affected by any noxious substance, both external and internal.  Examples of this include poor nutrition, toxic air or water, infectious or contagious diseases, organ malfunction, or any bodily injury.  Excessive dampness, wind, cold, heat, as well as emotional responses to life such as worry, anxiety and stress also affect Qi’s flow through the meridians.

An unbalanced or blocked Qi flow can manifest into various signs and symptoms.  Over time, the body as a whole becomes weakened, and its self-healing abilities become compromised.  Eventually the body becomes susceptible to pain, disease, and overall poor health.

What will my treatment be like?
To treat any Qi imbalances, fine, sterile and disposable needles will be inserted at specific points along the meridian pathways.  We will concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs, based on your unique needs and symptoms.

We may also include other related therapies in your treatment plan such as electro-acupuncture, cupping, Gwa Sha, moxibustion, infared heat lamp, Tuina massage, and/or herbal remedies.  Herbal remedies are another important aspect of acupuncture and TCM, and it is important to follow our directions in order to get the most benefit from these treatments.  Depending on your needs, a combination of multiple therapies may be the most effective treatment plan.

Does acupuncture hurt?
Everyone experiences acupuncture differently.  Some people feel very relaxed during their treatments, and even fall asleep.  Others feel energized.  Some feel a slight pinch when the needle is inserted, others feel nothing at all.  Acupuncture needles are smaller than the needles used in hospital and doctor’s offices.  If you feel any amount of intense or sustained pain during your treatment, you should tell your practitioner immediately.  Going to a licensed, qualified acupuncturist reduces the risk of pain during treatment.

Is acupuncture safe?
Yes.  Pre-sterilized, nontoxic acupuncture needles are manufactured, packaged, and shipped in sterilized containers to ensure compliance with the law.  Needles are used one time only.  Furthermore, because acupuncture is all-natural, there are minimal side effects.

How can I get the most from my treatments?   Acupuncture is a very patient-involved therapy and your actions are a key component of your treatment plan.  Along with coming to every appointment, focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle outside of the office are the best steps you can take toward your well-being.

Your commitment to your health should not end once your treatment plan is complete.  Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture and herbal remedies can assist you in maintaining your health, and possibly prevent future imbalances.  With regular treatments, we may be able to detect and resolve any imbalance or disruptions in the flow of Qi—before you start feeling symptoms.

How much does it cost?
Since every person has unique conditions and needs, fees will vary depending on these conditions and the types of treatment you received.  It’s best to come to the clinic so we can complete an exam and determine what the fee might be.  Be sure to check the Promotions page regularly for special events, discounts and promotions.

Does insurance cover acupuncture treatment?
Conditions and injuries sustained from an automobile accident will be covered by your automobile insurance.  However, all other treatments will be out of pocket expenses.  In addition, ask your accountant or your tax preparer if acupuncture payments can be deducted as a medical expense.

Do I need to make an appointment?
For your convenience, it’s best to make an appointment for your visit.

Parking information
There are meter parkings located in front of the clinic or you can park on the side of the clinic along Piedmont street.

To learn more about acupuncture, you can visit the National Institutes of Health website on acupuncture at

We invite you to contact our office at (508) 770-1077 with any additional questions or concerns you may have.

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