Contact Us

Phone:

859-475-6841

Fax:

888-975-7618

Address:

1795 Alysheba Way Ste 1102
Lexington, KY 40509

Hours:

Monday 1pm - 7pm
Tuesday 1pm - 7pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm

Forms:

New Patient Forms
New Pediatric Patient Forms
Blank BBT Chart

F.A.Q.

We want our patients to be actively involved in all aspects of their healthcare.  Understanding your treatment is an integral part of getting well again.  This page answers the most common questions people ask about acupuncture.  If you don’t find your question here, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or e-mail.

So, how exactly does acupuncture work?

 This is one of the most common questions we hear from patients.  There are two ways to explain acupuncture: from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint or from a western medical view.  Let’s start with the TCM explanation.  In TCM, there are several pathways, called meridians, running throughout your body.  Circulating in these pathways is qi (pronounced “chee”), a non-visible energy that gives you life and keeps you healthy.

Think of qi as that “extra something” that makes you feel like more than just a bunch of bones and organs walking around.  When you are healthy, qi moves freely throughout the meridians and your body is in balance.  However, when qi gets “stuck”, or stagnated, the natural balance of your body is disrupted and illness can result.  Many things can cause stagnated qi, including: over or under-sleeping, injury, strong emotion, inactivity, poor nutrition, etc.  This is where acupuncture comes in.  Small needles are inserted at specific points along these qi pathways.  The needles act as flagpoles, telling your body where problems are so you can heal yourself.

This is a very important concept!  Your body is doing the healing with the assistance of the needles, not the other way around!  There is no “magic needle” that can miraculously cure any illness.  Like every living thing in nature, your body is continually working to achieve balance; the needles are simply a helping hand in getting there.

The effects of acupuncture can also be explained from a more “western” perspective.  In western medical terminology, these effects are called the “mechanism of action.”  Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture has several mechanisms of action, including: promoting circulation, reducing inflammation, releasing pain-inhibiting endorphins, regulating endocrine function and increasing immune function.  For more information, please visit the NIH’s published Acupuncture Consensus at  http://consensus.nih.gov/1997/1997acupuncture107html.htm  or   http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/501973_2 .

Does acupuncture hurt?

While everyone is different, the vast majority of patients will experience no pain during an acupuncture treatment.  If any discomfort is felt, it should be instantaneous and mild- nothing like getting a shot or a bee sting.

What does acupuncture feel like?

Most patients find that acupuncture is a very relaxing experience.  When the needles are inserted, you may feel an energetic sensation, such as a slight dragging, heaviness or numbness of the area.  This is called “de qi” or “the arrival of qi,” and is an important part of the treatment.

How big are the needles?

The needles used for acupuncture vary in length and width, but most are no thicker than a human hair.  They are also very flexible, almost like a cat’s whisker.  Longer needles may be used for thicker parts of the body, such as the abdomen, while shorter needles are used for areas like the face and hands.

Are acupuncture needles safe?

Yes!  All acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use disposables approved by the FDA. Acupuncturists spend several years in school studying the exact location of all the points and the body’s structural anatomy.  Our acupuncturist is also certified in Clean Needle Technique by the CCAOM (Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).

OK, but I’m really afraid of needles!  Can you still help me?

Absolutely!  There are many needle-free options available to patients: acupressure, Chinese massage (tui na), heat therapy, cupping and gua sha.

Are there any negative side effects to acupuncture?

One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that there are very few, if any, negative side effects after a treatment.  Rarely, a patient may experience slight bruising around the insertion site so it is important that anyone on aspirin or other blood-thinning medications inform their acupuncturist before beginning treatment.  Some patients may feel dizzy or slightly nauseous after a treatment.  This is generally due to receiving acupuncture on an empty stomach.  Please read “What to do before an appointment” to adequately prepare for your treatment.

Will acupuncture interfere with the medications I am taking?

Acupuncture does not interact or interfere with any type of medication.  However, patients may find that, as their acupuncture treatments progress, they no longer require the same medication dose.  It is important that you work with your doctor to adjust your prescriptions accordingly.  Additionally, patients taking any blood-thinning medications should notify the acupuncturist before beginning treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

Everyone is different and it depends on several factors. After your initial intake appointment, the acupuncturist will develop an individualized treatment plan that will include the recommended number and frequency of appointments.  As a rule of thumb, acute (recent) disorders require fewer treatments, while chronic (longer term) disorders require more. Many patients have noticed results in as little as one or two treatments.