Ann Mongeau, L.Ac., RN
What to Expect
Frequently Asked Questions
How old is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese medicine goes back over 3,000 years
How does it work?
What are the needles like?
Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. I use a needle once, then dispose of it.
Acupuncture needles are small and hair-thin. They are solid, not hollow like needles used by doctors. The end of an acupuncture needle is smooth and rounded. Acupuncture needles are not designed to cut the skin. Instead, when an acupuncture needle is inserted, the round edge pushes the tissue aside without cutting it. Acupuncture needles are so thin it's as if they can glide through the spaces between the individual cells of the body.
US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles
In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on acupuncture needles. The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.
Does it hurt?
People experience needling differently. There are different styles of needling. I needle in more of a Japanese style which says to gently insert the needle under the skin, and the qi will rise to the needle. Acupuncture needles I insert are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly adjusted if you do feel discomfort. If any sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy in your body in order to help balance it. Often people describe their sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take care to make my clients comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment.
Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.
Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?
No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Acupuncture is even used successfully on animals and children. They do not understand or believe in the process yet they get better anyway. A positive attitude helps with any type of therapy but it is not necessary to believe in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.
Since positive expectations and belief in a particular therapy help to increase therapeutic results, I encourage you to raise any concerns or doubts you may have about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I'd like to help you to better understand acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible. You are invited to contact me today, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.
Do you use herbs?
I am certified in Oriental Medicine, which includes herbs and acupuncture. I find that frequent acupuncture often means that herbs aren't necessary. Limited herbs are available.
How do herbs differ from western medicine?
Chinese herbal formulas tend to be much gentler than western medicines, and work to not only help relieve symptoms, but to help return the body to balance and equilibrium, so that herbs will not be needed further. That is why I sometimes change the herbs as treatment continues, since the body starts to shift towards being healthier, and therefore the herbs are changed to meet the changing needs of the body.
Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?
It depends on the medications you are taking. This would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis.
How quickly can I expect to feel better?
If your condition is painful, you can expect a decrease in pain during the first treatment. It can come and go during an acupuncture session and during the course of treatment. For other problems, most people feel better after the first or second treatment and continue to improve.
How often should I be treated?
Since acupuncture works best if done frequently. I recommend 1-2 treatments weekly for 1-2 weeks initially. Conditions that aren't long standing should respond within 5-20 treatments. After the initial few weeks the plan can be modified. The time between treatments can lengthen when you are symptom free between treatments. You should have two more treatments to "solidify the constitution" or "consolidate" the results. After that, it's up to you. You will know by then how acupuncture affects you. Some people return periodically for a "tune up." Some come periodically for stress management. Some wait until they have another problem to address.
Does acupuncture always help?
No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 5-6 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.
What should I wear for the treatment?
Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily pulled up above your elbows and knees.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurance does. You need to check with your insurance plan. I do not accept insurance, but will give you a receipt you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. I do not fill out forms for insurance companies beyond the receipt provided. Your investment with me is in the range of most insurance co-pays for acupuncture.
Unity North Spiritual Center, 11499 Martin St. NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433, 763-300-9811, firstname.lastname@example.org
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