The first thing I often hear when I tell someone that I practice acupuncture is "I’m terrified of needles." People typically don’t have a positive association with needles. It reminds them of getting blood drawn, allergy testing, getting an I.V., etc. While hypodermic needles are thick, rigid and hollow, acupuncture needles are hair thin and flexible. Acupuncture should not be painful or feel sharp. We are accustomed to only be able to identify if something feels good or if something feels painful. There are a wide variety of sensations in between pleasure and pain that we don't always have the vocabulary for. Some common sensations that you may experience during treatment are heaviness, mild soreness, numbness, tingling, itchiness, or the sensation of Qi traveling from one area of the body to another.
Acupuncture is extremely safe when administered by a licensed professional. I use only sterilized, disposable, single use needles and have been certified in CNT (Clean Needle Technique) by the CCAOM (Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).
The laws vary according to each individual state. In New York State, acupuncturists are registered independent health care providers. The minimum requirements to become a licensed acupuncturist in the state of New York are completion of 4,050 hours of course work, 650 hours of clinical training and treatment of at least 250 patients. In addition and upon completion of this course of study, it is required to pass three separate board exams as issued by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
An initial visit usually lasts about 1 1/2 -2 hours while follow-up treatments are an hour. During the initial consultation, we discuss your comprehensive health history and address your primary reasons for seeking treatment in detail. I will look at your tongue and feel your pulse as part of my diagnosis.
After the initial consultation and assessment, you will lie on a massage table while I insert the needles at specific points on the body. The needles will be left in the body for 15-30 minutes and then removed. I may then prescribe you with Chinese herbs and give you suggestions for home care. I will provide you with a suggested care plan and answer any questions you may have about your treatment.
Please make sure that you have eaten something at least 4 hours prior to your treatment. Do not brush your tongue before your treatment as we gain key diagnostic information from your tongue. If you are a new patient, make sure to print, fill out and sign both the New Patient Intake form and the Informed Consent form.
The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative. Therefore, we typically suggest that a patient has six treatments before we reassess. However, in the case of an acute condition such as a cold or short-term pain, results can be seen more quickly. However, if you have had a chronic issue, it may take a longer course of treatment to see significant changes. The beauty of acupuncture as a holistic medicine is that you may see changes in areas such as your digestion, mood, or sleep cycles even if this is something that we aren't focusing on with our treatments.
Please see the 'Acupuncture' tab for a list of conditions that the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized to be effectively treated by acupuncture. This is by no means an exhaustive list of conditions that can be treated with acupuncture. Please contact me if you would like a phone consultation to discuss how acupuncture can benefit your individual needs.
Yes! Acupuncture can be useful to couples that are trying to conceive naturally as well as those who are utilizing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as IVF or IUI. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can strongly influence the reproductive and endocrine systems, addressing a wide variety of issues that may be hindering fertility. Our approach combines acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, lifestyle modifications, visualization and stress relief to assist you with conception. Chinese medicine can have the following benefits for fertility:
Improve ovarian functions and the quality and quantity of follicles
Increase blood flow to the uterus and thicken uterine lining for implantation
Reduce side-effects of western drugs and intervention
Increase sperm count, mobility and quality
Reduce chances of miscarriages
Strengthen the immune system
Decrease stress and anxiety
Relax the uterus
Chinese herbal medicine is very safe when prescribed by a licensed professional. I make sure to only use known, reputable sources and organic whenever possible. Chinese herbs are usually administered within the context of a "formula" which can treat multiple imbalances at once. They have much lower toxicity levels than Western pharmaceuticals and are very gentle on the body while having strong therapeutic effects.
If you are currently taking western pharmaceuticals, it is very important that you provide a complete list to your practitioner. This insures that we can safely avoid any potential negative interactions between herbal therapy and medication.