Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Most people are completely surprised to learn that acupuncture needles are very fine and thin, some no thicker than a human hair, unlike thick and hollow hypodermic needles used in doctors offices to draw blood or for injections. With a high level of skill, the insertion is often barely perceptible. Once inserted, the feeling can be described as a dull achey sensation, or what I like to call like a fish pulling on a pole when it grabs the bait. The
needles are usually inserted only several millimeters in depth—also
very unlike hypodermic injections. As such, patients generally do not
feel the painful piercing or pricking sensation typically associated
with an injection, blood sample, or other medical needle procedure.
Are the needles sterilized?
Yes. Only single use sterile disposable needles are used. Licensed Acupuncturist Tricia L. Corcoran, L. Ac., Dipl OM, is also Clean Needle Technique Certified, which means that she has extra training in providing the utmost care for all of her patients when it comes to needle safety.
Is Chinese Herbal Medicine safe?
Chinese herbal medicines are very safe when prescribed correctly by a
properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled
detailed information about the pharmacopoiea and placed great emphasis
on the protection of the patient. Allergic type reactions are rare, and
will cause no lasting damage if treatment is stopped as soon as
There is a growing body of research which indicates that traditional
uses of plant remedies and the known pharmacological activity of plant
constituents often coincide. However, herbal medicine is distinct from
medicine based on pharmaceutical drugs. Firstly, because of the
complexity of plant materials it is far more balanced than medicine
based on isolated active ingredients and is far less likely to cause
side-effects. Secondly, because herbs are typically prescribed in
combination, the different components of a formula balance each other,
and they undergo a mutual synergy which increases efficacy and enhances
safety. Thirdly, herbal medicine seeks primarily to correct internal
imbalances rather than to treat symptoms alone, and therapeutic
intervention is designed to encourage this self-healing process.
How many treatments will I need?
number of treatments is determined on a case by case basis because
every body is different. It depends on how long you have endured your
current condition and your body's own healing capabilities. In
general, acute issues generally only take a few consecutive visits, however,
chronic problems usually require a longer course of therapy. Unlike
western medicine, where a medication is often used to treat the
symptoms, traditional chinese medicine targets the root of the problem,
and often takes more time to resolve, but in the long run, prevents it
from recurring again
How does Traditional Chinese Medicine used to diagnose my health problems?
variety of questions are asked regarding your chief complaint, past
medical history, general health, including physical and emotional well
being. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses diagnostic methods of radial
pulse reading, and tongue diagnosis to treat specific patterns in
Chinese Medical Theory. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine will
then be applied based on the Chinese Medical Diagnosis. In addition,
Tricia was trained in Western sciences including diagnostic procedures
for physical exam. She will order laboratory testing, and refer out
whenever necessary to your primary care doctor.
Would the same acupuncture treatment be used for two different patients with the same symptom?
A common misconception about acupuncture is
that there are specific acupuncture points that cure specific diseases.
In fact, the treatments and needling points are custom tailored for the
individual. Chinese Medicine approaches each person holistically and sees them as unique, where for example, two
patients with the same illness or
symptom may have totally different imbalances, therefore, are given two
completely different acupuncture treatments. Not only does chinese
medicine attack the root of the problem to relieve your symptoms, but
it prevents the disease from coming back. Disease is like a habit, and
TCM helps to break the habit, treating not only acute problems but
chronic disorders effectively.