+ What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most common and dependable medical therapies used in the world. It is by nature simple, safe and effective health care. Acupuncture practitioners use thin, sterile disposable needles inserted superficially into specific areas of the body in order to help the body's ability to heal itself.
Over the three decades or so in which acupuncture has gained popularity in the United States, it has been proven by an increasing body of scientific evidence to be not only exceptionally safe, but statistically effective as well.
+ Why would I get Acupuncture?
People get acupuncture for many different reasons. For our purposes, we'll offer two main answers to this question:
A) Here is a list of conditions the World Health Organization has deemed appropriate for treatment with acupuncture.
B) In addition, we'll offer up a list of 'no-brainer' conditions – that is, situations that should absolutely be treated with acupuncture without hesitation:
Athletic sprain/strain, acute back and/or neck strain, temporal mandibular disorder (TMJ), Bell's palsy, headaches (including migraines), palpitations, early stages of cold/flu, asthma, tendinitis, arthritis, insomnia (poor sleep), Raynaud's, anxiety, high levels of stress, addictions, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, hemorrhoids, many gynecological issues (including PMS), herpes zoster (shingles) and pre-/post-surgery for accelerated healing.
+ Do I have to believe for this to work?
Absolutely not. You only have to believe enough to show up a few times in order to give yourself the chance to see positive changes.
+ Does it Hurt?
Not really much at all. However, getting an acupuncture treatment isn't always painless. More than anything a treatment should be a deeply relaxing and sleepy slice of time for you.
Here's what we'd like our patients to know: You may feel a bit of a pinch when the needles are tapped in, but this should ease right away. If you continue to feel a pinching or a burning sensation at the needle site any longer than this, let us know. It's not that anything is wrong, but we can easily adjust the needle to make the burning or pinching sensation go away. On the other hand if you are feeling a slight ache or heavy feeling near the needle, this is usually a good sign – a clue that the body is reacting in a productive way.
The bottom line is that as long as the feelings around the needled areas don't keep you from closing your eyes and napping for a little while, we say let them be.
+ What is Community Acupuncture?
We define Community Acupuncture as the practice of offering acupuncture:
1) in a setting where multiple patients receive treatments at the same time;
2) by financially sustainable and accountable means, whereby community acupuncture clinics depend directly on the support of the people who receive acupuncture in them, rather than on grants, donations, or other funding;
3) within a context of accessibility, which we create by providing consistent hours, by making frequent treatments readily available, by offering affordable services, and by lowering all the barriers to treatment that we possibly can, for as many people as we possibly can, while continuing to be financially self-sustaining.
+ Something's fishy here...Why is it so cheap?
Because we treat lots of people. What's most important to a community acupuncturist is simply to give many people the chance to receive treatments. Likewise, the business needs to see many people in order to make ends meet.
Plainly said, we want acupuncture to be readily available as a means to help take care of the health of our neighbors and communities.
+ Do I have to take my clothes off for the treatment?
Absolutely not. Occasionally, we may need to have access to areas just above the knee or up to the shoulder joint, in which case we'd ask you to wear shorts or a tee shirt.
But by and large all it takes to get ready for treatment is to roll up pant legs and shirt sleeves, as points on the lower arms and legs are the most commonly used in community clinics. No need to take any other clothes off.
+ Will I have to continue acupuncture forever to keep feeling this good?
Likely not, but this also depends on the reason(s) you're getting treated in the first place.
For short-term issues, a handful of acupuncture treatments should do the job. For chronic or long-standing issues, a maintenance schedule of some sort would be in order to keep systems running smoothly and steadily after the initial period of relief and change.
For example, patient Melissa comes in for help with pain and swelling from a new ankle sprain less than 24 hours old. This type of injury responds best with acupuncture treatments two out of three days, which would probably be plenty to help Melissa's body sort out her injury completely.
On the other hand, David gets acupuncture treatments to work toward better management of long-term anxiety and insomnia that he's struggled with for five years. Chances are good he'll start to see clear changes in the pattern and intensity of his symptoms with steady treatments over four weeks or so. After this time, his acupuncturist will likely recommend regular but less frequent treatments for another stretch of time to help make sure the process of change continues moving forward. Once David finds himself in a place where he's consistently happy with his sleep and anxiety levels, we'll know it's time to dial back the frequency of his treatments even further. The aim here is to provide as few acupuncture treatments as possible while maintaining gains made.
+ How long is a session?
Most acupuncture sessions will take anywhere from 30-40 minutes.
+Do I need an appointment?
It's not necessary. Zen Den is designed to handle walk-in traffic, and we kinda love the surprise factor of it! We never know who we are going to treat, it keeps our work days exciting! That being said, it is important to remember that by making an appointment, you are assuring your spot. If you have a tight schedule, we recommend planning ahead and making an appointment, to minimize your wait time. Michelle Hamilton L.Ac.