Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Back Acupuncture

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about acupuncture treatments:

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of qi/energy in the body. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used traditionally to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to maintain good health. Acupuncture is the simplest, most natural way of healing. The Taoist system of Acupuncture was developed through observation of the natural flows and cycles of nature. Acupuncture is based on the view that each of us possess an innate capacity to heal, our bodies simply need to be rebalanced at times.

According to traditional acupuncture theory, our health is dependent on the body’s motivating energy, known as qi, moving in a smooth and balanced way through a series of channels beneath the skin. By inserting fine needles into acupuncture points found along the channels, an acupuncturist can stimulate the body’s own healing response and help restore its natural balance. The practitioner’s focus is on improving the overall well-being and health of the patient, rather than just the isolated treatment of specific symptoms.

The flow of qi can be disturbed by a number of factors including: stress, poor nutrition, climatic conditions, infections, trauma, hereditary factors and emotional states such as anxiety, anger and grief. The principal aim of acupuncture in treating an individual is to restore the equilibrium between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the whole person.

What can acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization produced a list of 43 diseases and disorders that lend themselves to acupuncture treatment. Included on this list are conditions such as:

  • Alcohol & Tobacco Addiction
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • Eye Diseases
  • Facial Paralysis
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Gastro-Intestinal Disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Low Back Pain
  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neurological & Musculo-Skeletal
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Stroke
  • Tennis Elbow
  • TMJ

What happens in a typical acupuncture session?

Initial Acupuncture Consultation and Treatments

In your first consultation, I will start by asking about your main complaint, which is probably the reason you came in for acupuncture. I will ask questions about other symptoms that you may be experiencing.

During this initial intake, I will also take a detailed case history and ask about your medical background including medications, operations etc. I might also enquire about diet and lifestyle.

Tongue and Pulse Examination

Every treatment will include tongue and pulse examination. I will feel your pulses in three different positions on each of your wrists. I am feeling the quality of your pulses, rather than simply the speed. This will enable me to gauge how well each of your major organs are functioning and whether there are any imbalances between them.

I will also ask you stick out your tongue so I can take a good look at it – rude, I know! In Traditional Chinese Medicine, tongue reading is an important diagnostic tool. Please avoid tongue scraping on the day of your treatment. This process, together with my observations about your complexion, voice, general manner and appearance, will enable me to start forming my diagnosis and treatment plan.

Acupuncture Treatment

For your acupuncture treatment you will lie on the massage table, face up or down depending on the treatment. Please wear loose comfortable clothing. If clothing needs to be removed you will be covered with a sheet, exposing only the areas to be needled.

An acupuncture needle is about the thickness of a hair, and quite often you will not even know that I have inserted them. When your energy connects with the needle, you will feel a sensation of some sort. The type and strength of the sensation varies from person to person, and also varies depending on the location on your body that I am needling in. The sensation might be a mild tingling, an aching, a feeling of heaviness, or sometimes a stronger sensation.

The needles stay in the body for about 20 minutes. During this time, it is an opportunity for you to completely relax. Many people fall asleep, as the needles activate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Does acupuncture hurt?

This is the big question! The answer is that acupuncture should not ‘hurt’ but there should be a ‘sensation’ often described as a dull ache or a tingling. Most people actually experience deep relaxation and usually fall asleep during their acupuncture treatment!

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes acupuncture is safe. Ensure you are receiving acupuncture from a fully licensed acupuncturist, with liability insurance and a Clean Needle Certification.

Soraya is a fully licensed and insured acupuncturist.

Soraya’s Qualifications, Certifications & Specialist Training

  • Licensed Acupuncturist NCCAOM
  • Clean Needle Technique CCAOM
  • National Acupuncture Detoxification Association NADA
  • Acupuncturists Without Borders AWB

How many treatments should I have?

The number of treatments I recommend is dependent on a case-by-case basis with each client. However, I always start with an Initial Intake Session 90mins – which includes a treatment. This extra time is to enable me to take your detailed case history and form my initial diagnosis and treatment plan.

After I’ve formed my initial diagnosis, I will recommend a Follow-Up Session(s). The Follow-Up Sessions will be either 60 mins or 90 mins depending on the treatments required.
It is usually recommended to have at least 5 treatments and in the case of chronic conditions 10 treatments in close succession is recommended. (Think about how long it took you to get the condition you are being treated for… it might not disappear in one or two treatments!)

Auricular acupuncture (see NADA) for stress relief, PTSD, detox, weightloss and stop smoking I recommend 3 sessions a week for a few weeks. These sessions require less treatment time, can be done in a group setting and/or sitting in a chair and are therefore less expensive.
Please see Auricular Acupuncture information for more details.

Regular Tune -Up Sessions: Once conditions have resolved, 1 or 2 acupuncture treatments a month is recommended to help keep you feeling your best.

*For this reason I offer reduced rates for a series of treatments.

How long are acupuncture treatments?

The length of treatment depends on the type of acupuncture being performed.

  • Initial session with treatment: 90 mins
  • Follow up sessions: 60 mins or 90 mins (depending on variation of therapies required or desired)
  • Auricular acupuncture for detox: 45 mins

What should I expect after an acupuncture treatment?

After each treatment, most people feel a sense of calmness and relaxation. Many people also experience positive results after their first treatment. With many conditions, particularly where you are feeling pain or discomfort, you may experience an immediate easing of your symptoms. In some cases, there may be no immediate relief, but instead you may notice your pain diminish over the next few days.

Ready to book your appointment?

Book your appointment with Soraya and feel the fabulous benefits of Acupuncture for yourself! Contact Soraya to get more information or schedule your appointment.

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Soulistic Holistics Hawaii
Acupuncture & Biofeedback Therapy

Kaneohe Pain Relief Center
45-696 Kamehameha Hwy
Kaneohe, HI 96744

Acupuncture & Biofeedback Therapy