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Frequently Asked Questions

Pain is often the result of your blood not flowing smoothly either due to swelling, tight muscles, poor circulation, or damaged tissue. When blood circulation is impaired old blood collects in the tissues. This stagnant blood can occur from an injury, overstrain, stress, weakness, inherited tendencies or a combination of these factors.

Acupuncture works from the outside to stimulate blood flow and relax the body by releasing tight muscles, calming nerve and tissue inflammation, and stopping spasms. Modalities like cupping and gua sha manually stimulate fresh blood flow while encouraging the body to flush out the old blood which promotes proper healing and pain relief.

Sometimes herbal treatment is necessary to nourish and relax the muscles from the inside to alleviate pain. Traditional herbal formulas to treat back and neck pain are available in capsules or a customized formula tailored to your individual needs can be provided in powder form to take as a tea.

Cupping uses suction to stimulate blood flow, moxibustion (moxa) and the heat lamp use heat to alleviate pain and stimulate blood and qi flow, and electric stimulation uses a pulsing action to stimulate or sedate nerve sensation and muscle tension.
For pain relief the results depend on a variety of factors such as severity and nature of your pain and the condition of your health. After the first treatment you may feel immediate improvement, improvement over a period of days, no change, or a flare-up of symptoms followed by an improvement. The relief of symptoms will last from a few hours to a few days depending on your body but with each consecutive treatment relief should last longer and longer.

Often times the acupuncture points are not directly in the area of pain or dysfunction. The Chinese system of acupuncture points is very complex and adaptable. In classical Chinese Medicine there are around 400 points and Tung and Tan style add a few hundred onto that! But don’t worry, only about 15-20 needles are used in each session.

I will choose the most effective points to address the symptoms that are immediately presenting and then add points that support your health as well. There are acupuncture points all over the body from the top of your head to the tips of your fingers. 

Most of the time there is little to no sensation when the needles are inserted. Occasionally a sensitive spot is found that can sting but the feeling fades quickly. After the needles are inserted they are often stimulated with gentle movements to achieve a “qi sensation.” This is a tingly, warm, sensation that is not painful.

Acupuncture is often less painful than a massage or acupressure for an injury because acupuncture does not exert pressure on the body but the needles go deep into the muscle or “knot” in a way that no massage, shiatsu, or acupressure can.

When people are hesitant to try acupuncture I remind them that acupuncture is not as painful as the pain they are currently suffering with. Which would they rather choose?

UHA, HMAA, HMSA, Kaiser, HMA, workers’ compensation and No fault insurance offer acupuncture coverage to some degree or with some plans. Please check to see if you have an acupuncture benefit.