Frequently Asked Questions:
Do you reuse acupuncture needles?
No, every acupuncture needle comes in sterile packaging and is disposed of into a biohazard after use. They are single use only.
How big are the acupuncture needles? What does an acupuncture needle look like?
As you can see acupuncture needles are barely the width of a cat whisker. They are not hallowed like a hypodermic needle (the middle one), and there for do not pack as much punch. They are filiform needles (solid, extremely fine, stainless steel needles, primarily used in acupuncture).
I’m afraid of needles, does acupuncture hurt?
Depending on the location most people do not feel anything. Depending on the location you may feel a “bug bite” type sensation. It is encouraged that if you feel something that is burning or a constant pain that you relay that information to your practitioner. It could mean that they hit a hair follicle or a small capillary beneath the skin that couldn’t be seen. The needle can be adjusted so that you are comfortable.
What is the most common side effects of acupuncture?
The most common side effects of acupuncture are possible bruising or bleeding. We are inserting a needle into the skin. Although, we are not needling directly into a vein or artery there are capillaries (small blood vessels) that run deep to the skin that we cannot see. When one is hit, it can cause a small drop of blood or a bruise to appear. Calandra Center for Health and Wellness recommends Arnica gel, as long as you are not allergic to it, if you know that you have a tendency to bruise easily.
How long do I sit with needles in?
Each subsequent session is around 60 minutes in length. The first part of the session will be designated to an intake, any remaining time will be designated to the treatment itself. In order to achieve a therapeutic effect, the needles will be left in for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Why does acupuncturist take your pulse?
Acupuncturists use pulse diagnosis as another tool to give us insight into your pattern, and how you are presenting for the day. We look at the depth, rate, and quality of the pulse on both hands. Each side and finger position represents a different organ system. Sometimes when we ask you a question like “Are you having vivid dreams”, it is because we are feeling something in your pulse that might indicate that type of symptom. This does not in any way make us mind readers. Please be completely honest with your practitioner about the symptoms that you are experiencing. This tool is used as a way to determine how best to treat you.
Why do acupuncturists look at your tongue?
An acupuncturist will ask to see your tongue because like with pulse diagnosis it gives us more information pertaining to your pattern.
Why do you put that lamp over me?
In some situations, an acupuncturist may decide to put a heat lamp over your abdomen or feet.
This is a specialized lamp that helps to increase blood flow to a specific area and penetrates deeper then a regular lamp. It may be used to “warm the abdomen” or placed above an injured area for this reason. Truth be told sometimes we use it to just keep your toes warm.
What is Moxibustion (moxa)?
An herb called mugwort dried and used to create “moxa”. It comes in many forms and can be used in many ways. Please reference https://calandraacupuncture.com/2017/03/moxibustion-therapy-and-how-it-works/. It can be burned on or very near to the surface of the skin. Moxa is used to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi and blood in the body and dispel cold.
Cupping/ Gua sha
Both cupping and gua sha are considered to be fascial releases that remove “stasis” from within the muscle. Cupping is able to reach a deeper layer of muscle, while gua sha is more superficial. Gua sha is also frequently used to “release the exterior” for beginning symptoms of the common cold.
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What is Estim?
Estim is a device that is hooked up to the needles in order to cause constant stimulation. It works much like a Tens unit does. However, because it is hooked up to the needle it is able to reach a slightly deeper muscle layer. It feels like a buzzy massage and does not hurt. It can be used in a treatment for pain, menstrual disorders, or fertility treatments. It can help to increase blood flow to a specific area and break up stasis.