- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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).