Since acupuncture used in combination with herbs and other naturopathic therapies is new to many people, this page will describe the nature of typical initial and follow-up office visits, and answer a few frequently asked questions.

The initial visit lasts a full hour and includes instructions in what the patient is to do at home. Depending on the time remaining after completing a history and relevant physical exam, treatment may be initiated. This can include acupuncture, FSM or hands-on physical medicine. You can be prepared for this session by filling out the New Patient Intake Form found on the Patient Resources page and in thinking about what you would like to achieve during your visit. Please bring any relevant lab tests or reports which have been ordered by other physicians.

Follow-up visits are approximately 40-45 minutes and include treatment, updates on your condition and plans for your future treatment. If lab work was ordered, this will be reviewed when received.


Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: A sensation does occur when the thin needle is inserted and makes contact with the actual point and meridian. This sensation is different for different people and different points on the body. Some people feel it as a buzzing, electrical sensation or a heaviness; for some it is like a bite, a quick irritation. Because the sensation is not long-lasting and represents the needle connecting to the energy pathway, it is a validation. It may be helpful to realize that acupuncture needles are very thin, solid needles. They are nothing like the hollow needles used to draw blood or in giving an injection. They are inserted quickly to avoid eliciting pain.

Q: Are the needles safe?
A: Yes. Sterile, disposable needles are used. They are used once and then disposed of immediately in appropriate containers.

Q: Can acupuncture be done in conjunction with other kinds of therapies or treatments?
A: Yes. Acupuncture, and often Chinese herbs, can even enhance the effectiveness of other treatments or protect against the negative effects of some medications. There are exceptions, so if you have a specific question, please call our office to inquire about the appropriateness of using Chinese medicine in your particular case.

Q: How do I get the most out of each treatment?
A: Drink water before and after treatment! Try to avoid coffee, tea and sodas the day of the treatment, as they can skew the pulse diagnosis and can cause dehydration. If you are getting FSM as part of your treatment, you must drink a full quart of water in the two (2) hours before your treatment in order to optimize results. Finally, avoid intense physical activity directly after your treatment.