Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism
Read answers to the most frequently asked questions about acupuncture and Chinese herbalism from patients of the Yi Guan Clinic. If the answer to your question is not below, please contact us so we can provide additional answers.
How does acupuncture work?
The body communicates with itself in two main ways, with electrical signals through the nerves or with endocrine or immunological factors circulating in the blood. Acupuncture, by inserting a metallic implement into tissue, works by utilizing both of those pathways. Through astute observation and experimentation, ancient Chinese physicians worked out a reliable map and method to use these miniscule needles to send and receive messages directly to their patients’ physiology. See the Acupuncture section on the Services page for more information.
Does acupuncture hurt?
How does herbalism work?
Over the numerous generations stretching from ancient times to the modern era, Chinese herbalists have been honing the perfect blend of herbal substances to approach a full spectrum of ailments with undeniably favorable outcomes, and in some instances in alleviating issues modern therapies have yet to adequately tackle. See the Herbalism section of our Services page for more information.
When will you use needles versus herbal remedies?
Most cases will utilize a balanced mixture of needles, herbs, and mind-body practices linked together into one tailor-made protocol. After a comprehensive consultation, the clinician determines which approach is most effective and suitable for the patient.
How do I take the herbal remedies?
The common ways in which Chinese herbs are dispensed today are as:
- decoctions made from bulk (fresh) herbs
- powder of ground up bulk herbs ingested directly or dissolved in hot water
- powder granules encapsulated or formed as pills or dissolved in hot water
- alcohol-based tinctures.
There are other methods to prepare topical remedies such as ointments, liniments, and pastes. Many formulas are available in several formats. Our theory is that the most effective format is the one the patient will most likely take as prescribed.
What can I expect at my first treatment?
Your first appointment will take 90 minutes and consists of the initial 30-minute consultation and 60-minute treatment. After the medical interview and focused physical assessment, including an examination of your pulse and tongue, your acupuncture treatment will begin. These will occur on either a massage table or a zero-gravity chair. The most frequently used acupuncture points are on the forearms and lower legs, followed by the back and abdomen. Any mind-body practices prescribed will be demonstrated at the end of the treatment. Please remember to wear lose fitting clothes. Gowns are also available.
What is a decoction?
To prepare a decoction, herbs from the prescribed bag are soaked in water and then simmered for a period of time depending on the protocol. This water is separated, and the herbs are again simmered in additional water. After that, both volumes of water are added and this volume is divided into separate doses. One bag typically makes 2-3 days worth of fluid doses.
What are powder granules?
How soon will I see benefits?
Most commonly patients report a change in symptoms at the time of needling, or do not perceive the difference until after the treatment when they stand up and move around. Sometimes it takes a few hours of them going about their day before they gradually notice things are better. And sometimes people do not notice it until the next morning, after a night’s sleep.
The expectation for results with herbal treatments can range from within minutes after ingesting the first dose to several weeks of continued use depending on the condition and the formula used (sometimes a slow response is what is needed). The average reported length of time before something is noticed is 3-4 days
How long will the benefits last?
How frequently do I need to come for treatment?
Once the benefit of the acupuncture treatment begins to wane, the patient should return for additional treatments. Studies have shown that it may take up to 10-12 treatments before a long-sustained positive effect on symptoms is noted. The most common time frame reported by patients is that positive effect is noted within 2-3 treatments.
Herbal prescriptions are generally dispensed for two weeks, at which time the patient should be reassessed.
What are the rules and restrictions of mini treatments?
Do need to be a patient to take the Taijiquan/qigong/meditation classes?
Do I need to go to the Taijiquan/qigong/meditation classes if I am a patient?
What are the most common ailments that Eastern medicine can help with?
As it has been, for all intents and purposes, the sole medical system in use for the entirety of China’s lengthy dynastic era, acupuncture, herbalism, and mind-body exercises can treat a full spectrum of diseases. Our practice philosophy at Yi Guan Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism is not that one picks East over West, but one uses East and West in proper balance to more optimally manage your issues. Common issues addressed:
- Acute and chronic pain
- Emotional dysregulation
- Endocrine imbalances
- Poor digestion
- Stabilizing cravings for weight control, smoking cessation, or substance abuse cessation