What should I wear to my treatment?

Please arrive to your treatment wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing. Clothes are worn at all times in the clinic; you will not undress. We will need your pant legs to roll up to the knees and your shirt sleeves to roll to the elbows.

The majority of points chosen will be located on the arms from the elbows down and on the legs from the knees down, as well as on the head/face, ears, hands and feet. Occasionally for some conditions, abdominal acupuncture is a good treatment option; we will only ever have you expose your abdomen if you are comfortable with doing so in the community setting. Please let us know if this is not a comfortable option for you, and we will find another way.

How should I prepare for my treatment?

In addition to the above recommendations on clothing, please make sure that you do not arrive to your appointment extremely hungry; a light meal or snack 30 to 60 minutes before your treatment is recommended. Large, heavy meals immediately prior to or following your treatment are not recommended.

Please do not come to the clinic after using alcohol or recreational drugs; if we suspect you are under the influence, we will postpone your treatment to a later date.

Why did you choose those points?

Points are selected based on what you’re wanting to focus on. The point locations may seem disjointed and irrelevant to the untrained eye, but we assure you that it’s all connected! The acupuncture channels run all up and down the body, connecting various places that seem not connected – for instance, the gallbladder channel begins near the eye and ends at the corner of the nail on your 4th toe, passing over and through many areas in between! Placing a needle at one point on the channel will affect many different places on the channel.

How often will I need acupuncture?

Treatment frequency will vary from case to case. Each individual responds uniquely to acupuncture, and we will adjust the frequency of your treatments as we go along, depending upon how you respond. If you are responding really well to treatment, you might require less frequency. If you aren’t responding, you might require more frequent treatments.

Acupuncture works in a series of treatments, much like chiropractic and physical therapy. There are three distinct phases to an acupuncture course of treatments. In phase 1, we are assessing how you respond to acupuncture, as well as building the foundation upon which your future acupuncture treatments will build. In phase 2, we are continuing treatment with a more informed idea of how you uniquely respond to acupuncture. In this phase, treatment will continue until your chief health concern is very noticeably helped or resolved. In phase 3, you transition into maintenance mode. This can mean different things for different people. For some, I will recommend future treatments on an as-needed basis. For others, regular acupuncture treatment might be recommended to “hold on” to the progress we’ve made in your condition.

Do you reuse the acupuncture needles?

No. Not ever. The needles we use are very thin filiform (not hollow) needles which are sterile and opened freshly for each new treatment. Upon removal, the needles are discarded in Sharps containers and are eventually sent out as medical waste.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very fine filiform needles, nothing like the hypodermic needle you imagine when you think of getting a shot. Insertion is quick and usually painless. It is possible you might feel a pinching sensation upon insertion, which will quickly dissipate. Following the insertion of the acupuncture needle, you might feel a dull, achy, or distending sensation as the needle is left in place — this is normal, and is a sign of the arrival of Qi to the point. Very rarely, you may feel a sharp or burning sensation at the site of the needle, most commonly the result of pricking a capillary at the surface of the skin — in no way dangerous, but sometimes uncomfortable. If this happens, just let me know and I will adjust the needle

How will I feel after my acupuncture treatment?

Most people describe their experience of acupuncture as extremely relaxing. How you will feel afterwards might change from treatment to treatment — some treatments may leave you feeling energized, others may leave you with a desire to rest.

If you have more questions:

Check out this VERY informative resource:
Why Did You Put That Needle There

A few more notes about Community Acupuncture:

The community acupuncture movement was started in Portland, OR at Working Class Acupuncture. You can learn more about the pioneers of this movement by watching their documentary. They also founded the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA), of which we at Lilac City Acupuncture are proud members.

Please click here to learn more about how you can get involved in the community acupuncture movement, or if you are interested in becoming a member of POCA.