How should I prepare?
  1. Come with any questions you have, we’re here to help you.
  2. Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  3. Don’t eat large meals just before or after your visit.
  4. Refrain from overexertion, drugs, or alcohol for up to 6 hours after the visit.
  5. Avoid stressful situation. Make time to relax and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  6. Between visits, take notes of any changes that you may have experienced.
How does an Acupuncturist know which points to use?

Acupuncture points reside on meridians, or channels, which are energetic pathways that run throughout the entire body. These meridians are linked to each other as well as to different organs. Using his knowledge of the interrelationship between the meridians and organs, an Acupuncturist will choose points to effect changes in them that will influence the symptoms you report. According to the Acupuncturist’s assessment and treatment plan, he chooses individual points or combinations of points to stimulate this change. An Acupuncturist uses Traditional Oriental Medical theory of how the body functions, the Acupuncturist’s clinical experience, and modern research to develop the best treatment for you.

Are There Any Side Effects to Acupuncture?

After an acupuncture treatment you will be advised to rest and drink extra water. Most people feel very relaxed and energized after an acupuncture treatment. On occasion you may experience a small bruise where a needle was inserted. If you experience any pain, large bruises, swelling, difficulty breathing, or dizziness after an acupuncture treatment, advise your practitioner or doctor immediately.

As previously mentioned, acupuncture is an extremely safe method of treatment, and as such, side effects and complications are extremely rare when treated by an experienced, licensed practitioner. However, a small number of patients do have reactions to the procedure which may include nausea, lightheadedness and fainting. As in any matter pertaining to health, any concerns should be discussed with the practitioner prior to treatment and following treatment to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

The acupuncture treatments themselves typically do not hurt. Occasionally you will feel a pinching sensation as the needles are inserted. With the needles in place, you may feel pressure, tingling, or aching. This is the Qi in the body and is a desired response. It is not expected to be uncomfortable or painful. The sensation of receiving an acupuncture treatment can rarely be described as painful. Now that is not to say that it is devoid of sensation. But, generally the feeling is more of a tingling. Acupuncture needles have a doweled end and therefore do not cut the skin as regular injection needles do. If you do experience any pain or discomfort, advice your practitioner immediately, as your needles may need to be adjusted.

What should I expect on my first visit?

Acupuncture is no different than any other form of medical treatment. Upon the patient’s first visit, the practitioner will record basic biographical information about the patient, and will then proceed with the diagnostic framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine, described as the four examinations. These include: observation, listening and smelling, questioning, and touching. Once the diagnosis is complete, the practitioner will discuss the treatment with the patient, and the patient will have an opportunity to ask questions – i.e. how many needles will be used, at which acupoints, possible duration of treatment, complimentary treatments such as herbal medicine, etc.

How does it work?

Although many theories have been presented, there is still no easy answer as to exactly how acupuncture works. The “Gate Control” theory suggests that pain impulses are blocked from reaching the spinal cord or brain at various “gates” to these areas. Since a majority of acupuncture points are either located near, or connected to neural structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system to “shut the gate” to the sensation of pain. Other theories suggest that acupuncture stimulates the body to produce narcotic like substances such as endorphins and opioids which, when released into the body, relieve pain. One thing is certain, although we may not know precisely how it works, studies have shown that it does work for a large majority of people and conditions.

What is Acupuncture? What does it treat?

Acupuncture is an ancient method of medicine that uses the body’s energy or Qi to treat conditions such as pain, dizziness, nausea, chronic conditions, post-stroke paralysis, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. Acupuncture uses very fine, sterile, single-use needles placed in specific locations around the body to manipulate that energy. There are acupuncture points all over the body, including the face and scalp. Where you will have needles placed will depend on your signs and symptoms.

The needles, which have a rounded end rather than a sharp cutting one, are inserted into the points and are then manipulated with a gentle pumping action, by twirling or leaving in place for a few minutes. These motions stimulate the flow of energy and remove blockages so that the qi can be dispersed and regulated. When the qi is flowing properly throughout the body, the balance is restored and improved health results. Other modalities used in treatment can include electro-stimulation, cupping.

How often do I need to go, and how long will I have to keep going for massage?

It really depends on the individual and their particular condition. If you are suffering from a serious pain, you may need more therapy in the beginning and less therapy as the pain level decreases. If you are just going for relaxation, you may only need once per month. After treating you, your therapist can give you a guideline as to how often they think you should come.

What should I do after a massage?

It is advisable to drink lots of water following the massage to help the body remove the released acids and metabolic waste. In general, most clients find they have increased mobility, a reduction of soreness and a general feeling of relaxation.

How will I feel after the massage or acupuncture session? 

Most people feel very relaxed. Some experience freedom from long-term aches and pains developed from tension or repetitive activity. After an initial period of feeling slowed down, people often experience increased energy, heightened awareness, and greater productivity which can last for days. Since toxins are released from your soft tissues during a massage, it is recommended you drink plenty of water following your massage.

What should I do during the massage or bodywork session?

Prior to the massage, feel free to ask the therapist any questions about the technique or the upcoming session. During the massage, make yourself comfortable. The therapist will either gently move you or tell you what is needed throughout the session (such as lifting your arm). If you have any questions regarding the session or about the particular technique you are receiving, feel free to ask.

Will the practitioner be present when I disrobe? 

The practitioner will leave the room while you undress, relax onto the table, and cover yourself with a towel.

Should I eat before I come for a massage?

It is best to not eat for at least 90 minutes before your massage treatment and only a light meal at that time.

The body needs time to digest your food. This is the same caution you would take when you go swimming or exercising. The digestion process directs the blood flow away from your peripheral tissues and concentrates it on digestive tract. Massage draws the blood flow to the area tissues being worked on therefore draws the blood away from the digestive tract causing poor digestion and possible discomfort.

What Will The Massage Feel Like?


In general a massage session may start with broad, flowing strokes which will help to calm your nervous system and relax exterior muscle tension. As your body becomes relaxed, pressure will gradually be increased to relax specific areas and relieve areas of muscular tension. You should communicate immediately if you feel any discomfort so that another approach may be taken.