Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture should not hurt. The needles are extremely thin–about the width of a human hair–and nothing like an injection or a shot. When the needle is inserted, you may feel a dull ache, tickle, heaviness sensation, or twinge for a second and then it will immediately dissipate. Many people feel nothing at all.


What is cupping?

Cupping is a Chinese medicine therapy that creates local suction on the skin using glass or plastic cups. The suction/vacuum is created through fire or a pump and creates a massage-like effect. It has been found to affect the body up to four inches into the tissue. Cupping is commonly used on the back, neck and shoulders and increases blood flow to that area. It can be extremely beneficial in alleviating tight muscles, releasing toxins, activating the lymphatic system, treating the common cold and other respiratory disorders. With cupping, it is common to expect some bruising, however the bruising will typically go completely away within the week. This therapy is very safe and most patients derive great benefit and relief with it.


What is Qigong?

Qi means energy while gong means work. Qigong therefore is literally energy work- also translated as life energy cultivation. Qigong incorporates posture, breath, and intention/ mental focus. Qigong practices can be classified as martial, medical or spiritual. There are literally hundreds of different forms of qigong focusing on different aspects- some forms are more movement based, while other forms are more meditative. Within the realm of medical qigong, there are forms or exercises prescribed to patients to address various ailments as well as external qigong healing where the practitioner administers energy work on the patient using Chinese Medical principles and theories.


The benefits of qigong are vast: reducing stress, enhancing the immune system, and improving cardiovascular, respiratory, lymphatic and digestive functions. It also has been proven to reduce hypertension. Incorporating a qigong practice into your daily routine is a wonderful to way to maintain/ improve health as well generate a greater connection between body, mind and spirit. Qigong classes will be offered at Five Element Austin in the near future.


What should I expect on my first treatment?

On your first treatment, expect to be there for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. The initial intake will cover a variety of things about your health, complaints, lifestyle, etc. We need more time on the first visit to get an overall view about you and determine the best way to address your complaints and develop a protocol to restore you to health.


Should I prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

I recommend that the patient wear comfortable clothing with pants that can be drawn up just above the knees. However, if necessary, there will be gowns you can change into. I also recommend that you eat at least a couple hours before your treatment. Receiving acupuncture on an empty stomach is not recommended.


What forms of payment do you accept?

I accept credit cards, as well as cash and checks.


Do you accept insurance?

At this point, I am not accepting insurance. It may be accepted in the future. As of now, however, I am more willing to negotiate my fees if needed than have an insurance company dictate the terms of treatment.


How many treatments do I need?

There is no set rule for how many treatments a patient needs. It is very individualized and contingent upon that person’s condition. Generally speaking, however, the longer and more chronic a problem is the more treatments it will take to cure the ailment. If a patient, for example, has been experiencing severe digestive disorders for 20 years, it is unlikely that the problem will be resolved in a few treatments. Just as many conditions can take years to develop to their current state, it takes time to reverse the symptoms and cure the root of the problem.


With that said, the patient should notice some improvement within the first few treatment sessions for a chronic condition, and within one or two treatments for a more acute condition. Usually, patients in the beginning should come weekly for appointments. As the patient improves, treatments will then be needed less and less often (once every 2 or 3 weeks). Ultimately, once the condition is remedied, I recommend the patient come in purely for maintenance once every few months.


There is nothing really wrong with me. Is it still worth it for me to try acupuncture?

Yes! Acupuncture was initially developed 2,500 years ago as a preventive medicine. Families would pay their Chinese doctor to keep them healthy. If someone in the family got sick, the doctor wouldn’t charge them and treat the patient for free as he did not do an adequate job of keeping his/her patient healthy. By receiving acupuncture (even if there is nothing specifically wrong), you are supporting your health long term by boosting your immune system to prevent sickness in the future. The treatments will also leave you feeling more relaxed with an increased sense of well being. It helps ensure all organs and systems in your body are functioning optimally and your body is continuously in a healthy, balanced state.


What other services do you offer?

In addition to acupuncture and Classical Five Element Acupuncture treatments, I also provide Chinese herbal consultations and prescriptions. At times, if necessary, I supplement with medical qigong (energy work). Cupping is also an option as a treatment or part of a treatment. In addition, I am trained in acupuncture facial rejuvenation.