Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. Acupuncture needles are sterilized, single use, and disposable. After use they are placed in medical waste receptacles and sent to be incinerated. Needles generally do not cause bleeding or pain. Acupuncturists are trained in exact location and depth of needle insertion to avoid any injuries. There are no recorded cases of fatal injuries resulting from acupuncture applied by a trained and licensed practitioner. Other than an occasional bruise, there are no side effects resulting from acupuncture.
Do acupuncture needles hurt?
Acupuncture needles are extremely fine and flexible. Unlike hypodermic needles, they are thin and solid because no fluids need to travel through them. In fact, 4-7 acupuncture needles can fit into the opening of a typical 17 gauge hypodermic needle.
The nominal diameter of acupuncture needles result in virtually painless insertion. You may experience an initial sensation as the needle goes through the skin surface much like a small hair being pulled, but that should go away instantly. Once the needle has been adjusted to the correct depth you may feel a sensation that varies from tingling, to heaviness, to warmth, or you may feel nothing at all. Each person’s experience is different. Should you experience any discomfort, the practitioner can adjust the needles accordingly. Most find acupuncture to be a pleasurable and relaxing experience.
Where are the needles inserted?
This depends on the condition being treated. Acupuncture points are located throughout the entire body, but the needles are placed most often on the extremities from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Other common areas include the abdomen, back, and ears.
What can I expect during a typical visit?
During your first consultation, Dr. Stier will collect a complete history and detailed evaluation of your condition. She will ask questions relating to many different aspects of your life, not only the condition for which you are seeking treatment. She will then analyze our your pulse, examine your tongue, and sometimes look for tender areas along the meridians. The initial visit usually lasts 1 1/2 hours including the treatment. Subsequent visits usually last about 1 hour.
How often do I have to come in for treatment?
Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually twice a week for the first two weeks, and once a week thereafter. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently. Eventually, Dr. Stier hopes to see you only once every three months for a seasonal tune-up. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session.
How can I prepare for my session?
It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions. It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant?
Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
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