located in Salt Lake City

Frequently Ask Questions

Does acupuncture hurt?
acupuncture in salt lake UT

If you' ve never had acupuncture its an obvious question to ask. It feels like a mosquito bite when the needles are inserted. I use ultrathin needles (many of which are silicone coated to be especially unnoticeable). After their first treatment, most patients lose any concerns and actually look forward to the next treatment as a time that allows them to relax, center, meditate deeply, or just deeply rest (many fall asleep). Acupuncture needles are not hollow tubes like hypodermic needles.

What do the needles do?

The needles unblock blockages in the channels (also called meridians, and invisible, complex web of energy) that carry qi throughout the body. They can also do this in locations, called Ashi points, that are not the standard acupoints of the body, but merely painful spots. As a metaphor, think of trying to water your flowers with a watering hose, but nothing comes out You walk around the corner of the house to find the hose with a kink in it. You straighten out the kink, walk back to the flowers and water is coming out of the nozzle. Now you can water your plants.

What is qi?

The word that matches most closely, in English, is "energy". Qi is an invisible, flowing force---the life force. In sanskrit it is called "prana". Qi has various manifestations and forms in chinese medicine, such as "channel qi" or "organ qi" or "jing qi", but they are all forms of energy constituted in different forms in different parts or energetic structures of the body. Qi is also found in the air and the natural weather elements around us. Qi energy flows smoothly everywhere in a healthy person,. When qi ceases to flow by becoming stagnant because it is blocked or depleted, or when it is stirred up because it is afflicted with excesses, disease occurs.

What does qi feel like when it starts to "unblock"?

Differently to different people, and sometimes differently to the same person. But generally, an area or the body can just feel "better" or "good", whereas others report a tingling, or a moving or awakening sensation, after a long period of imbalance or when never having been treated before. This usually subsides within hours or less and is a good sign.

Are the needles sterile?

Most definitely yes. Legal requirements in the US prescribe only single use, pre-sterilized, disposable needles. Acupuncture is a very safe proceedure.

How often will I need acupuncture?

In China treatments are often administered in courses of once a day for 7-10 days, then a break of a week, and then another course. In this country that in not convenient or practical for patients. I recommend a schedule of 1-3 times a week. This is effective, but takes longer to obtain results.

How long will I need acupuncture?

This can vary depending on how often you can be seem, the nature, duration and severity of your illness, your age, constitution, adherence to lifestyle, herbal, and other recommendations . For example, your doctor may recommend abstaining from deep fried or fatty foods, or cold beverages---but will you take his advice? Everyone responds to acupuncture differently.

What does a treatment involve?

Initially, the doctor will spend an hour or more doing a thorough intake, noting your appearance, voice, and other things about you, and then asking questions related to your overall health. There may be a physical examination. Then the tongue and pulse are checked. You may also asked for your health history.

Why does the doctor look at my tongue and pulse?

The tongue is an organ and shows clearly the internal health of many other organs of the body. It can show how superficial or deep an illness is in the body, excesses of heat or cold, dryness or depletion or stagnation. Although other body signs and symptoms may be contrdictory or mask each other, the tongue never lies. The tongue projects a vivid image of the internal environment.


The practioner is trained to also read the conditions of the organs in the radial pulse, near the wrist. HIstoricaly, there were 26 different pulse qualities in the pulse acupuncturists have been trained to look for. As has been said by someone, when you treat Qi energy you need tools to look at and explore live Qi energy.

Can I take herbs and prescription medication?

Often yes. Consult your practioner on your specific issue. Althought there can be outright contraindications, many times taking them at different times of the day can avoid problems.

Can acupuncture help with emotional issues?

Yes, it most definitely can. Many treatments will bring an emotional release, and there is an emotional component to each of the viscera, or internal organs (see my blog on Your Emotions and Chinese Medicine). Examples of emotional states that are amenable often to acupuncture are, depression, anxiety, stress, worry, grief, fear, excitabliity, PTSD, and the emotional states that underly and accompany addictions and block their resolution.

How long do treaments last?

Your initial appointment may last an hour or longer. Subsequent appointments are much quicker and may be as short as 1/2 hour.

What are the goals of acupuncture?
1. Immediate relief from symtoms.
2. Corrective care to strengthening the organ systems of the body so they are working harmoniously. To restore the harmonious flow of qi and blood throughout the body.
3. Maintenance care: to maintian a healthy and balanced state from month to month. This is LONG TERM PREVENTATIVE CARE DESIGNED TO KEEP YOU WELL.
Why herbs?

Herbs allow you to continue treatment on days when you are not getting acupuncture, and so can multiply the gains you get from the needling.

Are herbs safe?

Although herbs should only be prescribed by a trained herbalist, the herbs we carry are GMP certified to be free of heavy metals, pesticides and microorganims and every batch is tested. Every effort is made to obtain organic herbs whenever possible.

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Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are thin metal filaments approximately the width of several hairs. The sensations...