Q: What training is required to be an acupuncturist?
A: Nationally certified acupuncturists must complete a Master’s Program in Acupuncture containing a minimum of 1905 hours of instruction, to include 705 hours in Oriental Medicine/Acupuncture Theory, 660 hours of supervised clinical practice, 450 hours in biomedicine and 90 hours in counseling, communication, ethics and practice management. She then must obtain Clean Needle Technique certification, CPR certification and pass three national board exams. To maintain licensure, 60 hours of continuing education is required every four years. By contrast, some other categories of health professionals treat patients with acupuncture needles (called dry needling) after only a weekend course.
Q: How does acupuncture work?
A: In Chinese medicine theory, acupuncture works with the energy of the body (qi) to establish balance or homeostasis to relieve pain and promote wellness. In Western terms, recent studies have shown that acupuncture points, when stimulated, activate related parts of the brain to promote healing, release the body’s natural analgesic response, reduce inflammation, promote blood flow, relax muscles, reduce stress, and promote the release of the body’s own stem cells.
Q: What conditions can acupuncture treat?
A: Most people know that acupuncture is great for treating pain. But did you know that acupuncture can effectively treat many other conditions, including allergies, acid reflux, addiction-related issues, anxiety, chronic fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, IBS, low immunity, menstrual issues, menopausal issues, skin problems, tendonitis, asthma, side effects of chemotherapy, common cold and flu, depression, headaches, low libido, stress, urinary disorders and neuropathy? In addition, Kim has received specialized training in the treatment of eye disorders, including macular degeneration, glaucoma and Coat’s Disease.
Q: What should I expect during an acupuncture treatment?
A: Your first session will last approximately 90 minutes. We will review your new patient paperwork, talk about your health history and treatment goals, and decide on a treatment plan together. I will insert the needles and leave you to relax for 30 to 45 minutes. Follow up treatments will last for 45 minutes to an hour. If you are having an a microneedling facial, plan for a 90-minute appointment. All treatments are in a private room, either in a recliner or on a massage table, and you can choose the music genre you find most relaxing. Be sure to wear loose clothing because many acupuncture points are on the arms and legs.
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: Yes! Acupuncture has been safely used by millions of people for thousands of years. It is completely safe when performed by a properly-trained acupuncturist. Acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use and disposable. As a natural modality, it has no lasting side effects that, unlike pharmaceuticals, can be as severe as the underling condition.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: Generally, no. You will not feel some of the needles at all. Others you will feel going in (they are super thin, so it’s not like getting a shot), but any pain will fade in a matter of seconds. You should not feel any of the needles while resting.
Q: How often do I need acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is cumulative. Each treatment builds upon the prior to provide lasting relief. Accordingly, most people have a series of treatments. More treatments are required for chronic, long-term conditions (in the range of 10-12), and fewer (1-3) are required for more recent conditions. Many patients opt for regular maintenance treatments on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis.