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Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Acupuncture painful?
Most patients perceive the penetration of the skin with a (very thin) acupuncture needle as virtually painless, less so than a mosquito bite. After placing the needle, the acupuncturist will “find” the “energy” or Qi by adjusting the depth of the needle. Depending on the point used, this sometimes give momentary sensations like light cramping, heaviness, numbness, tingling or an electric sensation.
Are there any side effects from acupuncture?
Side effects are rare. When they occur they are normally short lived. Side effect can be tiredness, being light headed, bruising, and a temporary (up to 3 days) worsening of symptoms.
I am also treated by another care giver/therapy. Will acupuncture conflict with that?
No, in general acupuncture will make your other therapy more effective.
I am using prescribed pharmaceutical medications. Will Chinese Herbal remedies conflict with these?
In some instances it is known that Chinese Herbs influence the effectiveness of pharmaceutical medications. This is one of the reasons why you need to bring your list of currently used medications, so I can check on possible interference, in case Herbs would be appropriate, and discuss your options with you (see Preparation).
Can I be treated when pregnant?
Yes, but make sure you tell me if you know/suspect this is the case. For the treatment it means that certain points and certain herbs cannot be used or should be used with care.
Will my insurance cover the cost of treatments?
In general, if your health insurance covers acupuncture, they will cover my acupuncture treatments as well, since I am registered. Be aware though, that most insurers don’t cover herbal treatment. Also, most insurers have a limit to what they will cover. Please check your policy on these issues.
What is TCM?
TCM stands for Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is part of TCM, so are Chinese Herbal treatments. And there are a few more.
Do you use “coated” needles?
I prefer to use “uncoated” needles. The coatings on needles, meant to lubricate and make insertion even less painful, are based on silicone. Although they are approved, and thus considered to be safe, I don’t like the idea of leaving a foreign material inside the body of the patient. However, I do have some coated needles as well. A few patients are extremely sensitive and can opt for coated needles to reduce their sensations.
What is Qi?
Fundamental to the theory behind TCM is the presence of “life energy” in a being, called Qi. If the Qi is balanced and flows freely, the being is healthy. The aim of acupuncture is to rebalance and/or unblock the flow of Qi to recover health.
What is Yin and Yang?
Yin and Yang are also fundamental to the theory behind TCM. In TCM everything is seen as energy. Yin and Yang are seen as opposing, but complimentary forms of energy. In other words, they need to be in balance. Yin is the more dense form of energy, Yang the more “ethereal” form. The Yin/Yang concept can be somewhat compared to a burning candle. The Yin part of the candle would be the candle itself. You can touch it and hold on to it. If you hold your hand above the flame, you can feel the heat. This compares more to the Yang energy of the candle. You can not touch or hold on to it. But you can perceive it.
What are Meridians?
The life energy Qi flows through the body. It reaches every cell, since cells need it to be alive. Qi doesn’t flow randomly but through a “network” comparable to roads in a city. The city has main roads (the main meridians) and many b-roads etc. (the branches of the meridians).

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