FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT CONDITIONS DOES ACUPUNCTURE AND CHINESE MEDICINE TREAT?
Just about anything you can think of! According to Evidence Based Acupuncture, there is evidence of acupuncture having a positive affect on:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Chronic low back pain
- Chronic or tension headaches
- Osteoarthritis of the knees
- Prevention of migraines
- Postoperative pain and nasuea and vomiting
It is also recommended for:
- Acute and chronic low back pain
- Pain of the neck, elbow, ankles, or other major joints
- Acute stroke and post stroke conditions
- Plantar heel pain
- Stress reduction
- Anxiety and depression
- Perimenopausal and postmenopausal conditions such as nightsweats, hot flashes
- Asthma in adults
- Sequelae of cancer such as fatigue, low blood counts, nausea, vomiting
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Hypertension (with medication)
- Smoking cessation
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Irritable bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn's and Colitis
- Urogenital conditions including overactive bladder, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs)
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Generally, no. The needles we use are significantly smaller than the needles used when getting a shot or your blood drawn. In fact, they can be about as thin as a strand of hair! Acupuncture should never be a painful experience. There are times, however, when deep orthopedic needling is necessary to get to the desired tissues in the body. Some patients experience a particular sensation that can be uncomfortable when the practitioner manipulates the needle in such a way to access what we call "Da Qi" in order for optimal healing of the body. If you are ever in pain or feeling uncomfortable, let your doctor know. There are different styles of needling that can be utilized or even changing the size of the needle can make a big difference in any discomfort experienced!
At LWA we use single-use, sterile, disposable needles.
WHAT IF I'M INTERESTED IN TAKING CHINESE HERBS?
Chinese herbs can be a great supplement to acupuncture. In ancient Chinese medicine, herbs were seen as the primary modality of treatment and acupuncture only became preferred over herbs when the medicine was being used in the West. Herbs can be very beneficial for internal medicine issues dealing with the GI system, mental emotional conditions, and the prevention of or to get over sickness.
If we feel that herbs will be a good fit for you or you are interested in a custom herbal formula, you will be referred to a doctor who Dr. Chang works closely with and who specializes in Chinese clinical medicine. After a free consultation it will be determined if Chinese herbs are right for your condition. Herbs come in various forms (bulk, granules, tinctures, pills). While some formulas are for acute conditions, many are taken long term for more chronic, constitutional conditions and some patients find it hard to commit to taking them regularly for an extended period of time.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST TREATMENT?
Stay well hydrated and, if possible, avoid caffeine before your treatment as this can increase needle sensitivity.
It's important that your insurance information is given to LWA ahead of time so that your benefits can be verified. There are also a few questionairre forms that will need to be filled out online ahead of time. We prefer you do all paperwork online rather than printing out paper. Help us to go green and save some trees!
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY INITIAL CONSULT?
Initial consults are 70 minutes and during this time we will conduct an extensive interview of your past medical history. This may also include orthopedic exams, neurological testing, and palpation of the body. Once we have established a baseline, follow up appointments are shorter with more time spent on the table with needles in.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS CAN I EXPECT TO NEED BEFORE MY CONDITION IS HEALED?
This varies per patient depending on the severity of the condition. After the first visit, Dr. Chang will be better able to assess how many treatments a patient can expect to have before the patient can be released or referred to other modalities that may be more beneficial. Keep in mind that acupuncture has a cumulative affect. You can expect to be put on a treatment plan of 6 visits in the beginning in order to access if acupuncture treatments are trending in the right direction for your condition.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO FEEL AFTER MY ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT?
It is normal to feel slightly tired after receiving an acupuncture treatment, however some people don't feel this. You can expect to feel sore the day after getting a treatment but this is all a part of the healing process as you will generally begin to feel better in a few days. It's important to drink a lot of water and take it easy after your treatments and make sure you get a good night's rest to help the body restore balance.
I RECEIVED CUPPING AND NOW I HAVE DARK PURPLE MARKS ON MY BODY! IS THIS NORMAL?
It is! Cupping is used to break up stagnation that occurs in tense muscles or even due to injuries years earlier. The petichiae (red marks) seen after a treatment are considered to be therapeutic and occur when blood is brought up from the capillary beds. An enzyme called heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is activated which is anti-inflammatory and also protects the body from harmful agents. This can also increase the body's immune system.
It's important to keep your marks covered (even though they can be cool to show off) for at least 24-48 hours after the treatment as pores are more dialated thus increasing your chances of getting sick. Avoid wind and soaking in water for this time period as well.
WILL MOXIBUSTION BURN MY SKIN?
No. Moxa is a great tool to help circulate what we call "Qi" throughout the body. This may be applied indirectly to specific areas of the body by hovering a moxa pole about an inch above the skin. Moxa can also be applied directly to specific areas but a burn cream is used and the piece of moxa placed on the burn cream is about the size of a grain of rice. You should expect to feel warmth from moxa but never burning.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE ANY MAJOR CONDITIONS TO TREAT?
Acupuncture is still a great way to maintain your overall health. Plus, who doesn't like a little me time spent relaxing?
CAN I EXPECT ANY CHANGES DUE TO COVID-19?
During this time of pandemic, all patients are required to wear a mask during the entirety of the treatment. We also expect patients to take social distancing seriously and may refuse to see patients who are not following guidelines recommended by Washington State and the CDC. Failure to follow LWA clinic guidelines may result in patient dismissal.
Observing the tongue and taking the pulse is a typical part of Chinese medicine diagnosis but will not be done during this time. Your practitioner will also limit the time spent in the room during treatments in order to reduce contact and keep both patients and practioner safe and healthy.