Q. Is there anything I should know for my first appointment? A. For your first appointment, be sure to wear loose comfortable clothing and eat something at least one hour beforehand. Your first appointment will last an hour and a half, with all other appointments lasting one hour. The first half of the appointment will be a thorough interview process as we discuss the main reasons for your visit and all else relating to your health, past and present. We will end the session with the acupuncture, in which the needles are retained for about 25 minutes. There's aromatherapy, music, and dim lighting. It's very relaxing and most of my patients fall asleep for a restorative power nap. The benefits of acupuncture start immediately. After your first treatment you could experience an excellent night of sleep, higher energy, more focus, less stress and a reduction in pain.
Q. How does acupuncture work? A. Systemic balance is critical to one's health and wellness, in western medicine this is known as homeostasis. Any imbalance can result in disorders such as pain, injury, insomnia, digestive issues, stress, gynecological disorders, allergies, depression, colds and a myriad of other complications. Acupuncture helps restore one's nature balance so organs and bodily systems can work together in harmony. This sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own optimal health. From a Western medicine perspective, research has shown that acupuncture treatment triggers different physiological responses, such as: Stimulating the immune system and increasing white blood cells, which defend the body against infection. Regulating blood sugar metabolism, which helps the body use energy more efficiently. Increasing blood circulation and producing beneficial changes in blood pressure; Decreasing cholesterol and triglycerides. Increasing stomach peristaltic activity and regulating digestive fluids, thereby improving digestion. Regulating and stimulating serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is directly related to sleep, appetite, and moods. Increasing the availability of receptors in the brain that process and weaken pain signals. Affecting both the brain’s short- and long-term ability to reduce pain sensation.
Q. Does acupuncture hurt? A. Acupuncture needles can have a certain sensation after they are inserted, but few would call it pain. Unlike hypodermic needles which are used for the delivery of liquids and have a hollow edge to cut the skin, acupuncture needles are solid and part the tissue rather than cut it. Acupuncture needles are also much finer then hypodermic needles. About 40 acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of one standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle! Due to the acupuncture needles being so fine and the swiftness of the insertion, the pain reflexes on the nerve endings are not even stimulated. There are some areas of the body that will always be more sensitive including the fingers, toes and palms, but it's generally nothing more than a quick little prick. By the time all the needles are inserted, you generally do not feel any of them and are consumed with a sense of calm relaxation. The needles are used once and disposed of.
Q. How often do I need to come in for treatment? A. Typically acupuncture treatments are given 1-3 times per week. The exact duration of treatment varies case to case but generally depends on the condition, your basic level of health and how well you respond to acupuncture. Usually frequent treatments are done for the first few weeks; after that, the frequency of treatment may be reduced as wellness is restored. Average cases take around 6 treatments to resolve, while more challenging chronic cases can take 10+.
Q. Do you treat children? A. Absolutely! I treat children over 8 years old with excellent results.
Q. Do you have to be certified to practice acupuncture? A. Yes. The State of Florida has some of the strictest guidelines in the country in order to practice acupuncture. It requires five years of study in a graduate degree program and then passing the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine board exams (3). The DOM and AP after my name stands for Doctor of Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Physician.
Q. What does acupuncture treat? A. Acupuncture is extremely successful in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified approximately 40 diseases that are effectively treated with acupuncture. However Chinese Medicine is a complete medical system that is capable of diagnosing and effectively treating a wide range of conditions including but certainly not limited to: • Pain anywhere in the body •Arthritis •Stress •Irritable bowel syndrome •Crohn’s disease •High blood pressure •Insomnia •Digestive disorders •Mental health and emotional issues •Addiction and drug dependence •Sinusitis, hay fever, and the common cold •Constipation •Brain fog and attention span issues •Cravings •Menopause symptoms •Smoking •Skin ailments •Bladder and kidney difficulties •Sciatica •Migraines •Tendonitis