Questions, Both Frequently Asked and Otherwise

Posted on Mar 9, 2012

These are a selection of questions that we get from pretty much everybody. If you’re considering acupuncture, chances are you’ve got one or two of these questions floating around in your head. Hit the read more button below and see if we can’t put your mind at ease. If you have a question we haven’t answered yet, let us know!

What can acupuncture help with?

Here is a list of things we find acupuncture to be particularly helpful with:
Stress    Anxiety/Depression    Acute and chronic pain    Strains/Sprains   Swelling/ Inflammation
Fatigue    Allergies/Asthma/Respiratory problems     Digestive problems    Menstrual problems    PMS
Peri-menopausal symptoms   Insomnia    Bell’s palsy    Jaw pain     Headaches     Fertility issues
Stimulating labor   Addictions/Cravings    Medication side effects    Side effects of chemo and radiation
This list is certainly not all-inclusive. If you’re curious about a specific condition, let us know!


How many treatments will I need?

This can vary quite a bit from person to person, but more often than not, you will need some kind of course of treatments for best results.
For example, for an acute problem you might get a few treatments scheduled closer together for a short time. Whereas for a chronic problem, you might get treatments weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly over a longer period.


Does acupuncture hurt?

40 acupuncture needles in an 18 gauge hypodermic

Photo used courtesy of

No. Acupuncture needles are tiny, much smaller than anything you’ll see in a Western medical office. The needles we use 98% of the time are 0.18mm in diameter, 0.02mm smaller than the needles in the amazing picture on the right.

Most of the time our patients feel very little or nothing at all. Occasionally you may feel a dull ache or a mild pressure at the point, but acupuncture should never be painful, and it is certainly not a no-pain-no-gain therapy.


Are the needles sterile?

Yes. We use sterile one time use only needles, and then discard them.

One-time use needles are required by law in Florida, though some other states allow acupuncturists to autoclave (re-sterilize) needles for re-use on the same patient. Re-usable needles may appeal to the more environmentally-minded, and we certainly understand that. The problem with re-usable needles is that each use dulls them greatly, and if you were to look at them under a microscope, they develop all sorts of barbs and hooks over time. Dull needles hurt, period.


How does acupuncture work?

This is a big question. On the one hand you have the explanations of traditional Chinese medical theory, and on the other, evolving scientific understanding. In short, acupuncture works on multiple systems of the body to stimulate the body’s innate healing response.


You treat in recliners. How do you treat back or neck pain?

Simply because we don’t need to put a needle in the back to help it feel better! By utilizing key acupuncture points for the back and neck that are located on the extremities, we are able to treat back and neck pain from all sorts of causes without ever touching your back.


What about my privacy? How do you handle this in a group setting?

For the most part, we don’t need to do much talking to formulate an individual treatment plan to address what’s bothering you. Most interviews take place in under a minute or two, and can be done in quiet voices chairside. If you like, we are more than happy to do interviews privately in our office, and we certainly understand. For follow-up visits, we usually don’t ask any revealing questions about your case, just “How’re you doing since last time?”



  1. Can you comment on Sciatic pain that is long term?

    • Yes, we can help with that. For most patients we will recommend treatments twice a week to start with, tapering off as symptoms improve. If your pain level is higher, we may recommend treatment every other day or daily until it is more bearable, though that is of course up to you.

      Sciatic pain is usually from one of two causes: 1) Spinal compression of the nerve, from disc degeneration, spinal stenosis, etc, or 2) Tight gluteal muscles (usually the piriformis) putting pressure on the nerve, which is also referred to as pirioformis syndrome or pseudo sciatica.

      If you have any imaging done of the lumbar spine in the last few years, we would love for you to bring the report in so we have an accurate idea as to where the problem is. If not, no big deal. We would use similar points if it was from a spinal or muscular cause, but our recommendations for activity/lifestyle changes may be different depending on the cause and severity.

      Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, let us know!

  2. Korea is believed to be the second country that acupuncture spread to outside of China. Within Korea there is a legend that acupuncture was developed by the legendary emperor Dangun though it is more likely to have been brought into Korea from a Chinese colonial prefecture.

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