1. Is acupuncture painful?
Acupuncture needles are solid and quite slender, not at all like the larger, hollow hypodermic needles typically used in a western medical office. Some people feel a slight discomfort with needle insertion, and others find the treatment relatively painless. Once the needles are in place, any sensations experienced are usually quite pleasant. Most people feel very relaxed during a treatment.
2. What conditions respond well to acupuncture?
Many digestive, musculo-skeletal, respiratory, gynecological, pediatric, cardiovascular, urogenital, immune-related, pain, psychological, stress-related, and neurological conditions can be treated or improved by acupuncture and East Asian medical treatment. See a more extensive list here. The World Health Organization has identified numerous health conditions that respond well to acupuncture treatment.
Feel free to call the office to schedule a free phone or in-person consultation to see if acupuncture therapy might be helpful for your health concern.
3. Is it safe?
All acupuncturists practicing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have extensive training, pass a rigorous licensing exam, are licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, and must meet ongoing continuing-education requirements. This office adheres to the latest standards for Clean Needle Technique and uses only pre-sterilized, single-use needles. Side-effects from acupuncture treatment are rare and, in general, very mild (such as slight bruising at an insertion site or occasional lightheadedness immediately after treatment), if and when they do occur. I follow the strictest infection-control guidelines to guard against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
4. What if I am afraid of needles?
You are not alone! But many people who were previously afraid of needles are pleasantly surprised to find how soothing and relaxing the treatments are.
5. Do I have to continue treatment for years for the results to last?
It depends. If your main health condition is severe and long-standing, you may need occasional maintenance visits or even on-going care to get the most from acupuncture therapy. A less-severe or more recent concern (onset within the last several months or years) often can be treated effectively during the initial course of treatment, typically between five and fifteen visits. (For a very acute problem such as a recent sprained ankle, only two treatments might be needed.) After completing an initial treatment course, a number of patients elect to come in for preventive care on a monthly or seasonal basis.
6. Are there research findings on the effectiveness of acupuncture?
More and more research being done in the West shows the usefulness of acupuncture in the treatment of many common health concerns. The National Institutes of Health has funded some of these studies.
7. Does health insurance cover acupuncture?
Yes, in some instances and for some conditions. Please see the Insurance page for more information.
8. How do I know if it will help me?
I can help you decide if acupuncture treatment is right for you. You are welcome to schedule a free, initial 15-minute phone consultation, with absolutely no further obligation.