Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM MY FIRST VISIT?
During the first visit we will thoroughly go over your medical history and concerns, perform diagnosis using Traditional Chinese Methods and formulate a treatment plan to achieve your health goals.
We will also begin treatment using the modality that will yield the best results (acupuncture, moxibustion, auricular therapy, gua sha, cupping, food therapy, herbal formula prescription*). We can use a single modality or a mix depending on Dr Andrea's. recommendation and your level of comfort.
We will go over specific things you should do at home to continue treatment such as food therapy, and if necessary Dr. Andrea will prescribe a personalized herbal formula* which is custom made by our local Chinese medical pharmacy.
Herbal formulas are charged separately*
HOW DOES DR. ANDREA MAKE A DIAGNOSIS?
To make a comprehensive diagnosis, I start by being attentive to the posture, gait, energy level, and sound of my patient’s voice. I listen to their concerns and description of his or her symptoms, lifestyle, diet, occupation, medical history, and emotional state.
I also carefully measure the strength, rhythm, depth and quality of the pulse at different locations on both of the wrist, and examine the color, shape, movement, and coating of the tongue.
My goal is to find a pattern of symptoms from which I can create an overall picture of the patient’s imbalances. Only by considering all of this information I can understand the severity and progression of the patient’s condition and recommend a specific course of treatment.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS DOES IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
Results depend on a few variables: the constitution of the patient, the type of condition, and how long it has been going on, how often treatment is done, etc. In general, acute conditions often resolve within 6-8 treatments while chronic pain and complicated illness may take more treatments more often.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO COME FOR TREATMENT?
This also depends on the condition. Acute conditions respond well to 2-3 treatments per week for a short period of time. Chronic conditions and more intense situations often require weekly treatments for a longer period of time. After the chief complaint is resolved many patients opt to come once or twice a month for wellness and prevention.
SHOULD I EAT BEFORE TREATMENT?
Yes please! make sure you have something to eat in the last few hours. It is important that the body has enough energy to activates its own healing mechanisms. Although you should not have treatment on an empty stomach, you should not have a heavy meal right before your treatment either.
~Remember, to achieve balance, moderation is key.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
When performed by a licensed acupuncturist acupuncture is very safe. All needles are sterile and single use only and made out of high quality surgical stainless steel.
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
The sensation differs from person to person and depends on the condition of the patient and the anatomical location of the point. Sometimes patients experience a slight tingling, warmth, or sore sensation where the needles are placed and manipulated. When this sensation is felt by the patient, Qi is said to be ‘obtained’; and the likelihood of favorable results are increased. However this feeling is usually brief and should go away shortly after the insertion of the needles.
As a general rule, though, acupuncture should not be painful.
HOW BIG ARE ACUPUNCTURE NEEDLES?
The size depends on the location that they are inserted on. For example, very short needles are used for auricular therapy or longer ones for large muscles.
Acupuncture needles are solid and extremely fine, like a stand of hair or two; nothing at all like the large hollow needles which most people remember from their childhood injections!
WHAT IF I AM AFRAID OF NEEDLES?
The beauty of Tradicional Chinese Medicine is that there are different ways to get treatment. Modalities that we can use are Chinese herbal formulas, moxibustion, cupping, auricular therapy, therapeutic massage (tui na). And if you are curious about acupuncture, I will show you how thin the needle is, go over the sensation, and what to expect during treatment.
~Usually after going through what to expect and answering any other questions you may have, you will be more relaxed and more willing to give it a try.