Acupuncture FAQ’s
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Acupuncture FAQ’s

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient healing system that was developed based on observations of nature.  Just as nature moves through seasons and storms, our bodies do the same.  Through the insertion of tiny needles at specific points in the body we can guide that movement in a more harmonious way.

Unique in our modern health care world, acupuncture stands out in its ability to treat a wide spectrum of physical and emotional conditions while offering a relaxing moment of self-care.  

Acupuncture truly excels in bringing awareness back into our bodies.  This mind-body connection is invaluable to building the trust in our bodies necessary for an empowering and positive pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period.

What can I expect at the first appointment?

A first time acupuncture appointment begins with a thorough intake conversation. In Chinese medicine, we look at your whole being to help us determine our course of treatment. Physical symptoms, emotions and stress are all things taken into account. Acupuncturists ask questions you have probably not been asked by other health care providers.

The answers to these questions, along with taking your pulse and looking at your tongue, help us create a treatment plan specific to you. After the intake and tongue and pulse, you will receive an acupuncture treatment. Typically on the first visit, this won’t be too long as we want to learn how your responds to the treatment. Most of the time, you will walk out the door with a treatment plan including a few steps for you to do at home to improve your health and wellness.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Generally, no.  The feelings generated in an acupuncture treatment vary greatly from patient to patient and practitioner to practitioner.  An acupuncture needle is extremely small, hardly bigger than a human hair!  People report feelings of warmth, pulsing, waving, and occasionally a mild pinching that dissipates within seconds.  Once the needles are in, the sensations should be pleasant and calming.  It is common to fall into a deeply relaxing state or even doze off. 

If you have a had a unpleasant experience with acupuncture in the past, don’t give up!  Each practitioner is different and sharing your experience with a new practitioner will help them create the right treatment for you. 

Most people leave acupuncture feeling relaxed and restored and looking forward to their next visit!

Does acupuncture work?

Yes, acupuncture works for a variety of conditions from physical to mental-emotional.  For best results, herbal medicine, cupping, gua sha, and/or moxibustion may be used as well.  Check out the research on acupuncture’s efficacy here


I’m afraid of needles, is there anything else you can do?

Absolutely.  Though acupuncture is the most common term people in our field throw around, we are actually trained in a ton of different modalities.  Herbal medicine, cupping, gua sha, moxibustion, and pregnancy and birth support are all things I offer.  We can also stimulate acupuncture sites without the use of needles. 

How many times do I need to get acupuncture?

Acupuncture is highly personalized so there is no magic number of treatments that is the same for every person.  Many folks will begin to see changes after the first treatment while others may need to come in for several treatments before seeing results.  The number of treatments necessary to make progress on a condition is dependent on many factors including the duration and severity of the condition and how much the patient will do to help facilitate healing.  Most people report less stress and better sleep after the first couple treatments.

When you come in we will do an extensive intake and meet you where you are at treatment wise.  Together we will develop a treatment plan and steps we will both take to help you feel your best.  After four to six visits we will review your progress and make whatever changes we both agree are necessary.  We are a team and I want to help you feel empowered through your journey!

Is acupuncture safe in pregnancy?

Yes, acupuncture from a practitioner who is experienced in pregnancy is safe.  Acupuncture in pregnancy can be a wonderful way to connect with your changing body and quiet some of the discomforts that can accompany pregnancy.  Today’s modern maternity system allows little room for a mama to feel in charge of anything relating to her care.  When you come see me for acupuncture in pregnancy, you will feel empowered, respected, and safe.  Read about acupuncture in pregnancy here. 

Do you do acupuncture at births?

There is nothing more humbling and amazing than being at the birth of a child and family.  I am so honored to have been a part of this many times.  Acupuncture can be very helpful in some labors and I will attend births as an acupuncturist or as a doula on a case by case basis.  I have two young children myself so my availability for this is limited and usually reserved for clients who see me regularly in pregnancy.

There are acupuncturists all over Portland, how are you different?

I had the honor of working as a full time doula for three years prior to starting acupuncture school.  During that time, I found my calling to empower women and their families through pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.  I fell in love with this work prior to having my own children so my experience is unique in that way.  When I was pregnant with my second son, I saw various practitioners that claimed to specialize in pregnancy but continued the medical trend of spreading fear that my body didn’t know how to safely carry and birth a child.  Given my background and previous successful pregnancy and birth, I did not let it effect me.  It did, however, highlight that we still desperately need practitioners that truly believe in the abilities of our bodies to safely bring babies into the world.  I believe it this whole heartedly and I am completely devoted to helping share that faith and knowledge with others.