Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture Treatment in Portland

Questions about Acupuncture Treatment

How does it work?

The Chinese have developed, over thousands of years, a working theory of acupuncture. They discovered pathways, called meridians, along the body that relate to the organs and systems of the body through which qi travels. When the flow of qi is disturbed for any reason, there is disruption in health, resulting in pain, persistent symptoms, or illness. Qi can be deficient, in excess or blocked. By stimulating appropriate acupuncture points along the meridians, the energy is regulated, and health can be restored. Acupuncture works to restore the flow of qi within the body and bring it back to a place of balance. This in turn can alleviate pain, resolve symptoms, and eliminate disease.

How do we know it really does work?

Well, there are several answers to this. First, the Chinese have been practicing acupuncture for 1000’s of years, and it remains an important part of their healthcare system. Its staying power must be attributed in some measure to its effectiveness.

Second, there is the increasing use of acupuncture as a complement to Western medicine; and the growing success of colleges of Chinese medicine, such as Portland’s Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM). One result of the increase in understanding of Chinese medicine is the more mainstream use of its methodologies, and its inclusion in many health insurance plans.

Finally, there are my own observations. I have seen patients overcome an incredible range of maladies, from simple body pain to chronic medical conditions that they had become resigned to. These patients validate my confidence in this medicine. Another source of affirmation is the fact that virtually all of my patients seek subsequent appointments with me.

What should you expect during treatment?

Most patients find the treatment very relaxing. People are surprised at how comfortable they are during an acupuncture treatment and how easily and painlessly the needles are inserted. Patients often go to sleep during their treatment. You may feel a sensation upon insertion, which can be described as pressure or a dull sensation as the needle accesses the qi of the point. You will relax with the needles for 20 to 30 minutes and throughout that time we will check on you to make sure that you are comfortable.

Is acupuncture safe?

One of the great advantages of acupuncture is the absence of side effects. Needles generally cause no bleeding or pain. All needles are disposable, sterile, FDA approved, medical devices. Licensed acupuncturists have undergone years of training in safe implementation. Acupuncturists are trained in exact location, angle, as well as depth of insertion of the acupuncture needle to avoid any injuries.

How many treatments are necessary?

No two conditions or people respond to acupuncture exactly the same. The length of treatment depends on the condition, the severity, and the duration of the condition. The physical and emotional state of the patient is important, as well as the patient’s willingness to comply with diet and lifestyle recommendations. The treatments build on each other and the effect is cumulative.

Is acupuncture painful?

Acupuncture needles are as thin as human hair and bear no resemblance to hypodermic needles. You may feel a tiny sensation upon insertion of the needle like a little tug on a body hair. The process is not painful, and you and I are in constant communication as to what is being felt. You will feel a qi sensation which can be described as a dull ache, pressure sensation, warmth, or tingling.

Do you treat children?

Yes. Depending on the child and the condition being treated, we will either use especially thin needles, or dispense with needles altogether and use gentle hand pressure to accomplish the same ends.

Chinese Herbs, Nutrition, Cupping, Guasha, Moxabustion

In addition to acupuncture, these other therapies may be appropriate and included in your treatments. Please contact us directly for more information.