Frequently asked questions

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an umbrella term for a highly effective health care system developed and refined in China over the last 5,000 years. It is the oldest continually practiced form of medicine in the world. This gentle, non-invasive system has helped millions to get well on a physical and emotional level. Today, more than a million Americans enjoy acupuncture each year. The National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization both acknowledge the efficacy and effectiveness of acupuncture in a variety of chronic health conditions.

Acupuncture is used as both to prevent and to treat pain and illness.  The methods of treatment may include acupuncture, which is the insertion of very thin sterile needles at specific points in the body. This is done to help harmonize your body’s vital energy systems, which have just been ‘discovered’ by researchers who used infrared thermal imaging.

Your acupuncturist may also use nutritional therapies, herbal medicine, cupping, gua sha, chi kung (qigong) therapy, and other techniques.

Does it hurt?

First of all, I don’t even use needles on every patient, or during every session.  Second of all, my style of acupuncture is virtually painless and feels absolutely nothing like the insertion of hypodermic needles for an injection. The needles I use are hair thin, and 100% sterile. Most needles barely penetrate the skin’s surface, and the sensations vary from person to person.  If you notice a sensation at all, it will likely feel no more than a mild pinch at the site of insertion.

After insertion, I  may gently manipulate the needle in order to call your body’s energy to that area. As a result, you may feel what is known as ‘energy sensations’, which may or may not include tingling, itching, a feeling of fullness or a slight dull ache. These sensations are desirable and normal.

Some individuals are more sensitive than others, and those who are very stressed and ‘on edge’ may have stronger sensations. Communicating with your acupuncture physician is very important, and they will modify treatment based on how you feel.

The location of acupuncture points vary greatly, and have nothing to do with where your area of complaint is. This is because acupuncture uses the body’s innate energy systems to treat your condition, and to treat the underlying cause of the health imbalance.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is an extremely safe method of treatment. I have thousands of hours of training, hold a Masters Degree, and I am nationally licensed.  I also have hundreds of hours of post-graduate training.

What can acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization has listed the following symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture.

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Sciatica
  • Tennis elbow
  • Knee pain
  • Periarthritis of the shoulder
  • Sprains
  • Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
  • Headaches
  • Dental pain
  • Tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Induction of labor
  • Correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Postoperative pain
  • Essential hypertension
  • Primary hypotension
  • Renal colic
  • Leukopenia
  • Adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
  • Biliary colic
  • Depression
  • Acute bacillary dysentery
  • Primary dysmenorrhea
  • Acute epigastralgia
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Acute and chronic gastritis

I don’t like needles!

No problem!   I don’t always use needles anyway.  There are many other powerful techniques that can be used for treatment. Remember that acupuncture is an umbrella term for several healing modalities, including Herbal Medicine, Chinese Massage, Cupping, Moxibustion, Gua Sha, and Nutritional Therapy.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments depend your specific condition. After your initial exam, I will give you an estimate. A typical course of treatment is about 12 visits, which can be once or twice a week. You should start to see results after 4 weeks. Once a course of treatment is finished, I may later suggest monthly visits for health maintenance or seasonal check-ups and tune-ups.

What is Cupping?

Cupping is a safe, non-invasive technique that involves placing glass cups on specific areas to drain excess fluids and toxins, loosen adhesions, break up scar tissue, lift connective tissue, and bring blood flow to stagnant muscles and skin. A vacuum is created inside the cup, either using the traditional fire technique, or using modern pump cups. This ancient technique is appearing in the news more and more often because of its amazing effectiveness.

What is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the burning of a therapeutic herb above or on acupuncture points. It brings a soothing warmth that penetrates into the body. Scientific studies have recently shown that moxibustion is far more effective than heat generated from a machine.

What is Cosmetic Acupuncture?

The Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture system is used in our clinic because it is one of the most complete and effective cosmetic systems available today. Ms. Borjas and Ms. Canner both have advanced training in this system. The system incorporates acupuncture, nutrition, supplements, herbal formulae and skin care. A study in The Journal of Clinical Acupuncture states that with cosmetic acupuncture, 90% of clients have marked improvement in their faces and experience an overall rejuvenation that is not confined to the face or abdomen. These anti-aging treatments affect overall health in a positive way. You will look and feel younger. In some ways, you will actually be younger because your meridians will be working better, thus making your body’s systems more efficient. Please click here for more information on Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture.

Can Acupuncture be combined with other medical care?

Yes, of course. Today, the phrase “Alternative Medicine” is quite popular. However, the term “Complementary Medicine” is usually more appropriate. Because acupuncture can help your body to perform all of its natural functions better, it can be a powerful complement to orthodox Western medicine. Acupuncture is a non-invasive, holistic medicine that can operate smoothly alongside Western medicine. For example, studies have established that acupuncture can help manage the side effects of chemotherapy. It has also shown to decrease recovery times in post-operative patients. This is why acupuncture has become a common treatment modality in many specialty hospitals, including the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic.

Is acupuncture effective on children?

Children often respond more quickly to Acupuncture than adults. They typically respond very well to moxa alone, or the contact of needles without insertion. We also typically use acupressure on children, or special pediatric tools that are quite painless. Parents will often be taught acupressure points that will benefit their children, as well as lifestyle and diet strategies to address their individual needs and prevent future ailments.

What if I’m skeptical?

Acupuncture does not rely on the placebo effect, and will therefore benefit the skeptic, who will quickly be able to discern the benefit they receive from Acupuncture.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call our office to schedule an appointment. Contact information can be found HERE.