Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been around for at least 2,500 years.  It is a natural form of healing where extremely fine, sterile, single-use needles are placed into specific points on the body to stimulate the body’s own self healing mechanisms. The tiny needles access the nervous system, increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, and allow tight muscles to relax.  Acupuncture has also been proven to stimulate the body’s release of adenosine and other natural pain killers which makes it effective for treating pain.  Most people experience acupuncture to be deeply relaxing which has the added benefit of regulating the autonomic nervous system, allowing us to repair and restore.  Acupuncture is a way to balance the body’s vital energy, allowing patients to heal without the use of drugs or surgery.   


What does acupuncture feel like? Does it hurt?

When a needle is inserted, you may feel a heaviness, dull ache or tingly electric sensation in that area.  Sometimes you will feel nothing at all.  Once all of your needles are inserted, you shouldn't feel any discomfort and you should be able to fully relax.  People often feel so relaxed that they fall asleep.  This is a wonderful way to enjoy your treatment but it is not necessary.  Regardless of what you are being treated for, most people will feel calm, super relaxed or even slightly euphoric after their treatment.  You should be able to return to work or continue with whatever you need to do that day.  


How often do I need to come?

Acupuncture works best when you can receive a series of treatments.  On your first visit, we will give you a treatment plan.  This varies from person to person depending on the condition and desired outcome.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most pain/discomfort...  If you are below a 5, we may recommend once a week.  If you are above a 5, we may recommend 2-3 times a week.  If you are near a 10/10 we may recommend you come every day until the pain/discomfort level is lowered.  Most typically, we recommend coming twice a week for 3 weeks.  In addition, acupuncture can be used for wellness, immunity, health maintenance and prevention. Many of our patients come semi-regularly for stress management or when they feel they need a health tune-up!  


When will I start to feel better?

Healing is a process.  Some patients will notice an improvement after their first treatment.  However, for many people it can take multiple treatments to feel an improvement in symptoms.  This is normal!  The body has miraculous healing abilities but long-term changes can take time.  This is why it is important to follow your recommended treatment plan.      


How can you treat conditions like back pain or digestive upset by inserting needles into the limbs?

Distal acupuncture is extremely effective.  "Nerve endings in the extremities are very sensitive.  They are near the ends of their pathways from the brain for motor nerves or near the beginning of the pathways to the brain for sensory nerves.  The reflex action to the subcortex is very strong when points on the extremities are stimulated.  Whereas, the reflex action to the brain is smaller when stimulation is applied at the location of pain or disease itself.  Research has shown that the further away from the brain and/or from the site of the problem stimulation is given, the stronger the reflex will be." (*From Miriam Lee's book "Insights of a Senior Acupuncturist")


Who should get acupuncture?

Most everyone with a non-emergency health condition is a candidate for acupuncture.  See our "What Conditions We Treat" page for more information.  


Is your clinic only for low-income patients?

No.  We treat people of all income levels.  


Do you take insurance?

In order to keep our prices low, we are unable to bill insurance.  If you need a referral for a provider that will bill insurance, please call our office and we would be happy to assist you. 


Do you reuse needles?

Never!  Acupuncture needles come in sterile packaging and by law, are single-use.  Once a needle is inserted, it is never reused even on the same person.  Every needle we use is disposed of in a sharps container.   


How does the sliding scale work?

We charge a sliding scale of $15-$40 (plus an additional $10 for new patients).  We don’t do income verification or ask any personal financial questions.  That’s none of our business!  We simply ask that you decide what you can afford within our sliding scale.  This may be different each visit as your circumstances change.  We leave it up to you to decide.  We accept cash or check.   


Do I have to be of a certain faith or religion to get acupuncture?

No.  Acupuncture involves placing tiny sterile needles in the body to facilitate healing.  We do not involve any religious practices in our treatments.  We welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds!  


I'm pregnant.  Can I get acupuncture?

Yes, acupuncture is safe during pregnancy.  In fact, it is proven very effective for treating nausea and other symptoms during pregnancy.  There are certain acupuncture points that we do not use during pregnancy so tell your acupuncturist if you are pregnant.  Acupuncture is also helpful to assist the body in preparing for birth and repairing after birth.   


How long is a typical acupuncture treatment at FCA?

How long you rest with the needles is totally up to you.  We typically recommend at least 25 minutes.  This does not include the intake or insertion time.  It’s best to give yourself at least an hour if you are a new patient.  We book patients in 10 minute increments (20 for new) but this has nothing to do with the actual length of your treatment time.   


My privacy is important to me.  Will other patients be able to hear my intake?

Your privacy is important to us.  We speak in low voices, have white noise machines placed all around our treatment space and have soft music playing.  If you ever need to tell your acupuncturist something and are still worried about other’s hearing, just let us know and we will step aside with you to discuss.  Sometimes patients with hearing issues may have difficulty communicating in low voices as well.  Just let us know and we can step outside the treatment space with you.