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Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below.
Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.

How should I prepare?

  • Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Do not eat large meals just before or after
    your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

How Does Acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine Work?

Sterilized disposal needles (about the size of a human hair) are inserted into specific points on the body. These points activate many normal biological pathways in the body, including the central and peripheral nervous systems, neurotransmitters, hormones, blood components, immune system and musculo-skeletal system. The needles are solid and polished. The rounded edge of the needle pushes the tissue aside, rather than cutting through it.

Does It Hurt?

Everyone experiences the needling sensation differently. If any sensation is felt, it often is compared to a mosquito bite which dissipates quickly. A mild tingling, known as the “Qi” (pronounced Chee) sensation is obtained. This is how your energy is engaged in order to balance your particular disharmonies. Most people fall asleep during treatment, or become deeply relaxed.

What Is The Number Of Treatments Needed?

Acupuncture is a process. Several treatment studies show a typical treatment plan will usually consist of six to fifteen treatments over a three to five week period, with an evaluation after the 8th treatment.

For example, if treatment frequency is:

Once per week – may take 40 weeks to heal

Twice per week – may take 16-20 treatments

Three per week – may take 10-12 treatments

Every day for 5 days – may be done at the end of the 5th treatment.

It is recommended that you have 2 more treatments after you are 100% better to stabilize.

How Quickly Can I Expect To Feel Better?

Several treatment studies show that more than one treatment is needed to resolve the majority of problems. The number of treatments needed will vary from patient to patient, depending on the problem. Typical protocols can be, for example, three times a week for several weeks, or once a week for many months. Each patient responds to acupuncture in their own way. Some people respond more quickly than others, but generally people begin to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 3 – 6 treatments. The more acute / short lived the problem, the fewer treatments are usually needed (1 or 2, 3-5) chronic more stubborn problems may take many treatments to resolve.

How Often Will I Need Treatment?

Pain or symptoms are a 10 out of 10 -or- you feel that you are at the end of your rope:  Every day until we see a change

Pain or Symptoms are 5 out of 10 or greater:  2-3 times a week

Mild chronic issues: (3 months to 1 year) Once a week 6-8 weeks and than re-evaluate

Really long-term chronic issues:  (1 year to life long) Once per week for 10 weeks, or 2 times a week for 5 weeks, and then re-evaluate

PMS, endometriosis, menstrual cycle-related: (1 year – life long) Weekly until normal cycle is established, then every other week until 2 good cycles, and then once a month during the week before the symptoms take place

Chronic stress: Once a week until stress subsides

Wellness and prevention: Once a week, especially preceding travel, during the change of each season, or at times of higher stress

Most other issues:Once a week until 50% improvement, and then every other week until resolved

Chronic tinnitus (ear ringing): Minimum 20 or more treatments, once a week indefinitely

Our goal is to assist your body’s energy in balancing itself so healing can occur. After your initial visit, we will let you know how often / for how many visits we think you will need to come in. A typical treatment plan will usually consist of six to fifteen treatments over a three to five week period, with a re-evaluation around the 8th treatment. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative – each treatment builds on the one before so you should see gradual changes as you go though a course of treatment.

Do You Accept Insurance?

No. That is why we keep our fees affordable, similar to insurance co-pays.

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Chinese Medicine?

Although Oriental Medicine has been used for centuries to treat every known medical condition, some of the most commonly treated conditions are as follows:

Addictions / Detox

Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking / Eating

Circulatory Disorders

High (or low) Blood Pressure / Anemia / Headaches (Migraine, tension, sinus, cluster) / Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) / Diabetic Neuropathy

Ear, Nose and Throat

Toothaches/Ear-aches & infections / Allergies / Sinusitis / Tonsillitis

Eye Disorders

Dry Eyes / Excessive watering of eyes

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Indigestion / Stomache ache / Ulcers / Constipation / Diarrhea / Crohn’s Disease / Colitis / Nausea / Vomiting / Reflux / Hiatal Hernia / Irritable Bowel / Food Allergies

Gynecological / Endocrine Disorders

PMS / Menopausal complaints / Morning Sickness / Mastitis / Vaginitis / Menstrual Difficulties (painful, irregular, heavy, or absent) / Uterine Fibroids / Fibrocystic Breast Disease / Endometriosis / Infertility / Diabetes

Neurological Disorders

Stroke / Trigeminal Neuralgia / Numbness / Paralysis / Bell’s Palsy / Tingling / Sciatica

Muscle and Joint Pain

Neck and shoulder Pain / Tendinitis / Bursitis / Back Pain / Arthritis / TMJ / Post-Surgical Pain / Sports Injuries / Sprains & Strains


Bed wetting / Hyperactivity / ADD


Bronchitis / Asthma / Colds / Flu / Laryngitis / Emphysema

Immune System

Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Lupus / Multiple Sclerosis / Rheumatoid Arthritis


Depression / Anxiety / Insomnia / Palpitations / Fatigue / Shingles / Compulsive Disorders

Urogenital Disorders

Urinary Tract infections / Incontinence Cystitis / Prostatitis (enlarged or inflamed) Sexual Dysfunction / Infertility

Why Should I Come To Your Clinic, Versus Somewhere Else?

Heidi has 30+ years of experience in acupuncture and has been a licensed physical therapist since 1980. With her unique blend of understanding Western and Eastern medicines, Heidi can explain why your treatment is needed in language that you can understand. Heidi understands that Traditional Chinese Medicine and western medicine compliment each other. Choosing a Licensed Acupuncturist over a Chiropractor or a Medical Doctor for acupuncture is a wise choice: Heidi has completed a 3 year Master’s Degree program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with over 2500 hours of additional training. In Minnesota, a Chiropractor can do acupuncture with 100 hours of training and an MD can do acupuncture with NO training.

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