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Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Are the needles sterile? And do you re-use them?
All needles used at the clinic are sterile, stainless steel, hair-thin needles, used one time only and disposed of properly.

Do the needles hurt?
In general, not much, if at all. You may feel a bit of a pinch when the needles are tapped in, but this should fade within a few seconds. If you continue to feel a pinching or burning sensation, let Rachel know. It will be adjusted or removed. If, however, you feel an ache or heavy or tingling sensation, this is a good sign. The bottom line is, if you can still relax into the treatment, we say let them be.

How does acupuncture work?
This is the big question! Usually when people ask this question, they are looking for an answer in bio-medical terms. As of now, there is no one explanation, but it does appear likely that many reactions are happening in the body, including the activation of the central nervous system. This is one of the reasons that acupuncture has such wide, strong, and lasting effects. There are some wonderful introductory books on the theoretical foundations of Chinese medicine, if you are interested in learning more. Ask us for recommendations, or take a look at one of the ones in the Waiting Room!

How long will I have to come before I see changes?

It depends on what you are getting treated for, and how your body responds. Typically, short-term or acute problems will respond within just a few treatments, while chronic problems may require up to twelve or more treatments before consistent change occurs.

What if I’m sick… should I still come?  **Please see our updated protocols regarding COVID-19**
The rule of thumb is, if you are up to it, come! If you have a high fever or are vomiting, it is best to stay home and rest. But otherwise, acupuncture will help cut down on the length and intensity of a cold or flu by strengthening the immune system. The clinic is here to support your health, while also taking measures to keep other folks from getting exposed to anything contagious, as best we can.

What is the difference between a community acupuncture clinic and a private treatment?

The clinic setup is similar to how acupuncture is traditionally practiced in Asia, which is in a community setting. At NCA, there are both massage-type tables and recliners, and patients remain fully clothed. Most points can be accessed by rolling up shirt sleeves and pant legs, though sometimes it may be helpful for patients to bring a tank top or shorts to wear during the treatment. Many patients find it just as relaxing, if not more, to be around other people! There is a collective energy field that seems to grow in the room, which can actually make the treatment feel more powerful. Also, this type of setting makes it easier to bring a friend or a family member for treatment at the same time, which can be both comforting and convenient.

How come the rates are lower than at many private acupuncture practices?
Research in the US (as well as thousands of years of tradition in Asia) has shown that acupuncture is most effective when it is done frequently and regularly - once a week is usually the minimum required to make progress on any kind of health problem. And often, it is helpful to begin a course of treatment more intensively, two or even three times a week for a couple of weeks, to stimulate the body's healing mechanisms more quickly. You can discuss this with your practitioner at the first or second visit.

The model of community acupuncture was created to provide another way of offering this medicine at more affordable rates. But the way this works best is for treatments to be done in a community setting, treating multiple people per hour in the same room; diagnosis and treatment rely on pulse and tongue diagnosis, and very little talking - just like it was traditionally done in Asia.

We also keep our rates low because we do very little marketing. We rely on word of mouth by our patients and their positive experiences, which is how most of our patients hear about us. We are very grateful for this show of support from our community.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for many disorders, including the following:
* Asthma & Allergies  *TMJ  *Infertility  *Back Pain/Sciatica  *Arthritis  *Sinusitis  *Common Cold   *Whiplash  *Diabetes  *Weight Control  *Endometriosis  *Poor Circulation   *Thyroid Disorders  *Smoking Cessation  *Gastrointestinal Disorders  *PMS & GYN Disorders   *Insomnia  *Headache (migraine/tension)  *Addictions  *Chronic Pain Management  *Morning Sickness/Pregnancy Care  *Menopausal Symptoms  *Blood Pressure Regulation  *Stress-Related Disorders  *Anxiety and Depression   *Side Effects of Chemotherapy    

NUTS & BOLTS – What to Expect, How does the Clinic Operate:

What can I expect to happen at my first appointment?

We will go over the health history together and talk about what you are coming in for, and it’s a good time then to ask any questions you may have. But since this is a clinic setting, we’ll keep it short, five or ten minutes, usually.  So please plan to either come 10-15 minutes early to fill out paperwork, you you may download the forms from the website directly and bring them with you already filled out.

How do I make an appointment?
There are four ways: online scheduling, calling the main number, sending an email to rachel@nohocommunityacupuncture.com, or let us know at the time of your treatment that you would like to re-book.

If you are using the online scheduling option, which is available via the homepage of the website, make sure you complete the scheduling process and get a confirmation email, to ensure that your time has been reserved.

What about payment?
Payment is expected at the time of service. We now offer three forms of payment: credit cards - both online and in person, checks and cash. 
Initial visit - $70
Follow up visits - $45
Package discounts also available. 

How long are the needles left in?
Typically, treatments have been found to be beneficial lasting 20-30 minutes. At the clinic, people are usually left to rest with the needles in for 30-40 minutes, but please let us know if you need to be out by a certain time, or if you think you’ll feel “done” sooner.

What if I have something confidential to ask or share, or want to check in about my treatment progress?
During the clinic, it can get busy and there often isn’t a lot of time for talking, nor is there privacy. But if you have something you want to let us know about, or want to check in, the best way to do that is to send an email before or after your treatment or call the main number.