Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does acupuncture work?

According to TCM theory qi is the vital force behind the body’s many functions and is responsible for maintaining the body’s self-healing abilities.  When it’s flow becomes imbalanced or blocked it can lead to illness, pain, or weakness.  Acupuncture works by activating the body’s qi and promoting an even flow throughout the body.  When an even flow of qi is restored the body is returned to its natural balance. 

From a western medicine point of view acupuncture works by initiating a healing response from the body.  When acupuncture is performed it prompts the body to release certain chemicals and hormones that either regulate or restore normal body function.  Through research acupuncture has been found to stimulate the immune system, promote blood circulation, improve digestion, calm the nervous system, regulate hormones, and reduce the sensation of pain.   

What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions including but not limited to stress, common cold, alcohol & tobacco dependence, depression, anxiety, fatigue, menstrual disorders, hypertension, insomnia, pain, and gastrointestinal disorders.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for several diseases, symptoms, and conditions such as:

  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Headache
  • Induction of Labor
  • Morning Sickness
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Stroke
  • Tennis Elbow

What conditions can be treated with therapeutic massage?

Therapeutic massage can be used to treat a variety of conditions including but not limited to acute and chronic pain, muscle tension, sciatica, repetitive stress injuries such has tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, and stress.  Therapeutic massage has also been found to improve recovery time from injury, improve sleep quality, restore energy, and boost athletic performance.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible; about the size of a human hair, therefore it produces little to no sensation.  Everyone experiences acupuncture differently so while some patients feel nothing at all when the needle is inserted others may have a brief moment of discomfort.  If you experience any pain or discomfort after insertion of the needle that does not disappear quickly you should inform the practitioner so that the needle can be adjusted.

Usually patients experience what practitioners refer to as a qi sensation which can range from a dull ache to a heavy, distending, and or moving sensation along the body.  This is a normal response to treatment however feel free to communicate any sensations you experience with the practitioner.  Most patients find the whole experience to be very relaxing and some even fall asleep during their session.  

Are acupuncture needles safe?

Yes. Hilton Acupuncture only uses pre-sterilized, single-use needles made of surgical stainless steel.  After treatment all needles are discarded as medical waste.  Acupuncture needles are never reused or shared between patients.  In addition, our practitioner is certified in Clean Needle Technique by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) which established guidelines and standards for the clean and safe clinical practice of acupuncture.

What’s inside the needles?

Nothing.  Acupuncture needles are solid needles unlike the hollow, hypodermic needles used to give vaccines.

How deep are the needles inserted?

The depth of insertion depends upon the nature of your condition, the location of the points to be needled, your age, size, and overall constitution.  Generally needles may be inserted from as shallow as 1/16 of an inch to as deep as 3 inches.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed varies from patient to patient and is dependent upon the nature of your condition as well as your current state of health.  Chronic conditions usually require several treatments to see the effects of Acupuncture and Therapeutic Massage, while acute conditions respond fairly quickly.

How often will I need to receive acupuncture or therapeutic massage?

How often you will need to receive treatments is also dependent upon the nature of your condition as well as your current state of health.  Severe, chronic conditions will respond better to multiple treatments per week while mild, acute conditions may only require weekly or biweekly treatments.  In general patients respond best when they receive treatments regularly.

What if I don’t like needles?  Can you still help me?

Yes!  There are other treatment methods such as acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, TCM nutrition, and therapeutic massage that can be used to help you – no needles involved. 

Are Chinese herbs safe?

Yes, when properly prescribed by a licensed health practitioner, Chinese herbs are safe.  Chinese Herbal Medicine, like other systems of medicine, is based on many years of study, observation, and refinement.  Its history of use, clinical application, and benefits are well documented in various TCM texts.  It is important that you inform your practitioner of all prescription drugs and supplements you are currently taking prior to consuming Chinese herbs in order to avoid any possible side effects.  If you experience any discomfort while taking Chinese herbal medicine, contact your practitioner as soon as possible and your formula will be modified.

How is cupping performed?

In a typical cupping session a cotton ball is soaked in alcohol, placed in forceps, and then lit on fire.  The burning cotton ball is then quickly inserted in and out of an inverted glass cup.  Doing so warms the cup and removes all oxygen creating a vacuum that enables the cup to stay in place.  Multiple cups of various sizes may be used and left in place for several minutes at a time or removed quickly depending on the desired effect.  Running or sliding cupping may also be performed by first applying oil to the skin which allows the cups to slide easily.

Does my health insurance cover Acupuncture and Therapeutic Massage?

Several insurance companies provide coverage for acupuncture treatment and therapeutic massage; however, the level of coverage varies with each company.  You should contact your health insurance carrier directly to determine your level of coverage.

Please note: Hilton Acupuncture does not accept health insurance at this time.  If your insurance company provides coverage for Acupuncture and Therapeutic Massage we will be happy to supply you with the appropriate documentation to file for reimbursement.  You are responsible for the full payment of your treatment at the time of service.