How does acupuncture work?

Within the body and on its surface are currents or streams of vital energies that flow along specific pathways in an orderly pattern.  A disruption in the flow of energy in these streams, creating an obstruction, causes imbalances and eventual disorders.  Along these pathways, called meridians, are precise acupuncture points that have varying functions.  By needling appropriate and carefully chosen points, a skilled TCM practitioner is able to encourage the smooth flow of energy that is vital for the body to heal itself, thereby reestablishing and maintaining good health.

Does acupuncture hurt?

What one feels depends on a person’s sensitivity and condition.  Some people feel nothing, while others experience sensations that have been described as tingling, thickness, heaviness or a slight electric sensation around the needle or traveling along the meridian.  Acupuncture needles are very thin and spread tissue upon insertion thus avoiding damage.  Occasionally slight bruising can appear.  Hypodermic needles are much thicker and hollow, and have a chisel tip that cuts the skin, often causing pain.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will depend on the complexity and duration of your condition coupled with your physical constitution and life style.  Some acute disorders are treated with immediate relief while more complicated or chronic problems require more time, possibly six months or longer.  Intervention through surgery or western medical drugs can complicate the healing process possibly creating more problems, thus a more extensive treatment plan is required. Many people find that getting regular weekly or monthly acupuncture treatments, as a preventative measure, help them maintain inner balance to provide continuous good health and a sense of well being.

Is there a chance of getting an infection or disease from acupuncture needles?

No. We use pre-sterilized, pre-packaged disposable acupuncture needles, which are used only once and then discarded into approved Sharps containers that are picked up by an approved hazardous waste service.  Our clinic complies with all of the rules and regulations set by the Colorado Department of Health, including the proper sterilization of needles and the sanitation of our clinic.

What should I do to prepare for my treatment?

It is best not to eat a heavy meal, drink alcoholic or caffeinated beverages and not to engage in heavy exercise for at least four hours before a treatment.  It is better not to be fasting or extremely hungry.  Allow adequate time to get to your appointment so you are not stressed when you arrive.  Please do not wear perfume, cologne or heavy makeup to your appointments.

What should I expect after an acupuncture treatment?

This will depend on the treatment.  Many people feel immediate results after their first treatment, while others may take more time.  It is common to feel a sense of deep relaxation and in some cases spacey immediately following a treatment.  Acupuncture works on the subtle energies of your body.  Therefore, after a treatment, we suggest avoiding extremes in heat or cold, sexual activity, strenuous exercise and stressful situations for at least four to six hours.  Resting, if possible, is ideal.

Will I need herbs as well as acupuncture?

Depending upon one’s constitution and disorder, herbal formulas may be either prescribed in conjunction with acupuncture or used alone.  Herbs are often used to support or enhance the effects of acupuncture.  Because acupuncture moves and works with the subtle energies of the body, there are some instances, such as in extreme energy depletion, when acupuncture should not be administered.  At these times we advise the use of herbs in order to build up a person’s vital energy before receiving acupuncture.