What can I expect from acupuncture? How much time will it take to feel better?

Sessions usually last about an hour. Every person and their condition is unique. Some people may respond right away to treatment while others may take longer. Most conditions will respond within 6 treatments, but chronic conditions may need more treatments. It is typically recommended to receive acupuncture on a weekly basis until symptoms begin to change. 2-4 treatments a week are recommended for smoking cessation, addictions, weight-loss, and facial rejuvenation. For prevention, consider a seasonal "tune-up."

Does acupuncture hurt?

When done properly, most people do not even feel the insertion of needles. There are parts of the body which are more sensitive than others, such as the hands and feet, and you may feel a pinch or prick, but the sensation will quickly disappear. After the needles are inserted, you may feel a dull pressure, heaviness, tingling, or mild electrical sensation around the needle or through the effected meridian, all which can be attributed to energy circulation.

How deep do the needles go? How thick are the needles?

Depth and gauge depends on the condition, location of the points, size of the patient, constitution, and acupuncturist's training. Generally, needles are inserted from ¼ to 1 inch. Thickness varies from 30-40 gauge. (About 7 acupuncture needles make up a hypodermic needle.)

What training is required for acupuncture?

In the state of California, a licensed acupuncturist is required to attend a 4-year Masters Degree program at an accredited Chinese medical university. In addition to the extensive training in Oriental Medicine ( which includes acupuncture, herbal medicine and nutrition), there is also a substantial portion of Western medical training. This includes courses in biology, chemistry, physics, Western nutrition, laboratory analysis, pharmacology and one year of training in each of the following subjects: Anatomy & physiology, pathology, pathophysiology and Western clinical medicine. Furthermore, there are a minimum of 900 hours of clinical internship required to be eligible to take the State medical board examination in acupuncture.