Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a treatment?
Initial treatment is 90 minutes. Follow up treatments are 60 minutes. Auricular acupuncture, herb consults, or tui na treatments are generally 30 minutes.
What should I wear to a treatment?
Loose clothing is best so that we can access various locations of the body easily and comfortably. Cloth gowns and shorts are available if necessary
Does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by influencing the body by inserting a needle. The needles can stimulate the body's natural healing resources, such as the immune system and sympathetic nervous system. Research shows that the needle insertion triggers signals to the brain. These signals have potential to relieve pain or reroute the wiring that suggests pain. These signals promote balance of hormones and other chemical balances influenced by internal organs and the brain. More research and studies need to be done for scientific purposes. However, there are millions of documented case studies of relief from the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Is TCM a Cure?
Unfortunately, there is no magic potion to instant wellness. In order to maximize treatments, diet and lifestyle changes are necessary for a potential “cure.” In most instances, TCM can help a condition. However, with proper lifestyle changes, the word "cure" may not be so out of reach.
Do I need referral from a doctor?
In the state of Pennsylvania, you do not need a referral. However, by law, we do not take the place of your medical doctor and we advise that you seek a medical doctor for the conditions for which you are seeking us.
Does acupuncture hurt?
First of all, acupuncture needles are tiny! They are nothing like the hypodermic needles that most people think of. Up to 5 acupuncture needles can fit inside the hole of a hypodermic needle. Not only are acupuncture needles much smaller than hypodermic needles, they are solid and have a rounded tip unlike the the sharp angled tip of a hypodermic needle. What this all means is that the insertion of an acupuncture needle is virtually pain free. You may find that you get a heavy, deep, dull ache around the needles after they are inserted, this SHOULD NOT be a painful sensation, but can seem unusual to those who have never had acupuncture before. Most people actually find their acupuncture visits to be very relaxing and enjoyable.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments vary from person to person. Each condition presents itself differently. We will discuss how many treatments may be right for you at the initial consult.
Is acupuncture safe for me? What are the risks?
Acupuncture is considered a minimally invasive procedure. While there are some risks, typically for most people, the benefits outweigh the risks. Minimal risks of acupuncture include: bruising, numbness, tingling, pin point bleeding at the site of insertion, dizziness or fainting. More severe and unusual risks of acupuncture include nerve damage, organ puncture, or infection. Single use, sterile needles are used in order to prevent infection and your acupuncturist is well trained to needle properly over the chest and abdomen to avoid organ puncture. It is important to tell your acupuncturist if you suspect you're pregnant because this will change which points are selected for acupuncture treatments. The risks and benefits of other modalities such as cupping, gua sha, and herbal medicine will be discussed before administration of these techniques. Your acupuncturist encourages questions and your comfort is our utmost priority.
Can children get acupuncture?
Children can get acupuncture and it is usually very effecitve for them. However, if they may not sit still, or the needle situation is too scary for them, we can provide magnet therapy or acupressure with tui na massage. Children respond surprisingly well to these gentle techniques in Chinese medicine.
Do i have to be ill to get treatment?
Nope! We do treatments for wellness and general prevention of disease. It is especially useful to protect the body during season changes. It is also a great way to reduce stress for before or after an event that may be stressful.
What is the difference between "dry needling" and TCM Acupuncture?
Dry needling, also known as "trigger point therapy", and only focuses on points of tenderness. It involves the insertion and manipulation of an acupuncture needles into painful or tender points for a therapeutic purpose, similar to what we do in the Chinese medicine model. Some healthcare professionals believe that acupuncture is different from dry needling, because it does not use the paradigm of Chinese Medicine to select indicated acupuncture points. Therefore, it may not be addressing the "root" of the problem, only the branch symptoms.
Do you take insurance?
I currently do not take insurance. Many PA insurance companies do not yet take insurance for acupuncture. However, check with your insurance company and see if they do accept insurance. You may be able to submit an invoice to your company for a full or partial coverage of treatment from your insurance company. Also, see the next question for how to afford acupuncture.
If you dont take insurance, how can I afford acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an accumulative treatment process. Each session builds upon the other. In most cases, we begin with 3-5 weekly treatments in a row (one treatment per week for 3-5 weeks). Then, if we are seeing the proper results, we may be able to reduce the number of treatments to 2x per month, and eventually 1x per month. Your body responds to each treatment in a way that the 1-2x/month is a 'tune up' to get your body to stay in balance! This method helps acupuncture to be affordable and still remain effective. For further financial help, please ask Mara for financial assistance options that may be best for you.
What are your credentials?
I attended Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to receive a Masters of Science in Acupuncture, and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I am a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Pennsylvania with a for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.