FAQ About Acupuncture

What is the difference between acupuncture and acupressure?

Acupuncture involves the use of hair-thin needles inserted to a specific depth into specific points.  Acupressure is the use of pressure or massage to stimulate the points selected.  Acupressure is a good alternative for patients who are afraid of or sensitive to needles, children and infants. You can also stimulate the points on your own at home by applying pressure.

Do I take my clothes off to get an acupuncture treatment?

Depending on the treatment plan, specific parts of your body may need to be accessed by the practitioner.  Most commonly, we needle from the knees down, the elbows down, the head, abdomen, and back.  Needles on your back may require you to remove your shirt but blankets are provided for privacy and warmth.  We recommend wearing loose comfortable clothes to treatments. 

Does acupuncture hurt?

It can hurt, but often you don’t even feel the insertion of the needle.  It also varies a great deal person to person.  Some people are more sensitive than others.  Common sensations reported by patients are feeling a dull ache, tingling, or pricking following needle insertion.  These sensations are completely normal and they often dissipate quite quickly.  If a needle ever feels unbearable, it is important to let your practitioner know so they can adjust or remove it.  We want you to be comfortable and able to relax during the treatment.

What certification and requirements does one need to complete to become a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbologist?

Currently, to obtain a California State Board license to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine, one must complete 2,050 hours in the classroom and 950 hours of clinical training.  The degree earned is a Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the program is 4 years or 8 semesters long. 

All About Cupping

Cupping  Cupping has gotten a lot of press lately, especially after the Olympics.  Many athletes were pictured with large, unsightly round bruises on various parts of their bodies and the benefits of cupping were widely discussed.  So here are the basics.  What is cupping?  Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice used to relieve many ailments.  Today it is most commonly used for muscle aches and pains, though it can also be used for chest colds, skin conditions, arthritis and more. Cups are placed in specific areas on the body and suctioned tightly to the skin.  What does cupping do?  In Traditional Chinese Medicine most cases of pain are diagnosed as qi and blood stagnation.  The reason for the stagnation depends on the patient but common causes are repetitive use of muscles, scar tissue, and inflammation/injury. A healthy body is one in which the qi and blood moves freely and without obstruction.  When muscles knot or enflame or when scar tissue blocks one or more channels, the qi and blood cannot move as it should and this causes pain.  By cupping the afflicted area, the stagnation of blood and qi rises to the surface of the skin and out of the damaged tissues helping to release tension and promote blood flow.   Does it hurt?  You might feel a tightness or a pulling sensation during the treatment and the circles that result may be a little tender for a day or two.  Generally, people feel much better following a treatment.  How long do the circles last?  It depends on the patient.  It is like a bruise.  So, expect it to take as long as a bruise would take to heal.   Is it safe?  Are there side effects?  Cupping is very safe. It is important to have the treatment performed by a licensed practitioner so that proper application is used. Side effects include mild discomfort and bruising.  Blistering can occur if the cups are too tight or are left for too long. This is uncommon though.     Thank you to all the athletes who wear the (temporary) brand of our medicine!   Article written by Iris Martin, L.Ac, taken from Light & Joy Acupuncture newsletter 10/01/2016   

Cupping

Cupping has gotten a lot of press lately, especially after the Olympics.  Many athletes were pictured with large, unsightly round bruises on various parts of their bodies and the benefits of cupping were widely discussed.  So here are the basics.

What is cupping?

Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice used to relieve many ailments.  Today it is most commonly used for muscle aches and pains, though it can also be used for chest colds, skin conditions, arthritis and more. Cups are placed in specific areas on the body and suctioned tightly to the skin.

What does cupping do?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine most cases of pain are diagnosed as qi and blood stagnation.  The reason for the stagnation depends on the patient but common causes are repetitive use of muscles, scar tissue, and inflammation/injury. A healthy body is one in which the qi and blood moves freely and without obstruction.  When muscles knot or enflame or when scar tissue blocks one or more channels, the qi and blood cannot move as it should and this causes pain.  By cupping the afflicted area, the stagnation of blood and qi rises to the surface of the skin and out of the damaged tissues helping to release tension and promote blood flow. 

Does it hurt?

You might feel a tightness or a pulling sensation during the treatment and the circles that result may be a little tender for a day or two.  Generally, people feel much better following a treatment.

How long do the circles last?

It depends on the patient.  It is like a bruise.  So, expect it to take as long as a bruise would take to heal. 

Is it safe?  Are there side effects?

Cupping is very safe. It is important to have the treatment performed by a licensed practitioner so that proper application is used. Side effects include mild discomfort and bruising.  Blistering can occur if the cups are too tight or are left for too long. This is uncommon though.   

Thank you to all the athletes who wear the (temporary) brand of our medicine! 

Article written by Iris Martin, L.Ac, taken from Light & Joy Acupuncture newsletter 10/01/2016