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.