Is Acupuncture safe? - When performed by a professionally trained NCCAOM-certified, state Licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy that has minimal side effects except for feelings of relaxation and well-being. Juliet Kim Acupuncture PLLC employs Clean Needle Technique, nationally certified by Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM,) which ensures clean needle safety and patient safety. Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection nor disease transmission. All acupuncture needles are used only once before they are disposed properly into standard sharps containers.
What are the credentials of an acupuncturist? - Each state independently regulates acupuncture licensure, and while most states require a license to practice acupuncture, the standards vary from state to state. New York State Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac.) are required to complete a 4-year graduate program in Acupuncture (MSAC: Master’s Degree in Acupuncture) or Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM: Master’s Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine; a double focus in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology) from an accredited acupuncture school. These programs encompass a rigorous course of study involving 4,050 hours of classroom instruction, supervised clinical experience, and out of classroom or out of clinic study assignments. Academic and clinical training include all aspects of Western medicine as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition to completing a Master’s degree in Acupuncture or Traditional Oriental Medicine, acupuncturists must successfully complete a series of board exams by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM.) There is a sharp contrast betweenother healthcare professionals who use acupuncture and Licensed Acupuncturists who are better trained in the philosophy and techniques of Traditional Chinese medicine. Medical doctors are permitted to perform acupuncture after completing 200 hours of study and 100 hours of supervised clinical experience. Once their training is completed, they are designated as Certified Acupuncturists (C.Ac) which indicates a lesser degree of training in Traditional Chinese Medicine despite their Medical Degree.
What are the needles like? - Acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use only, FDA-approved medical devices. Each needle is used only once and are safely discarded immediately after treatment. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin (as thick as 2 strands of hair,) solid, and flexible, unlike the typical needles/syringes used for injections/shots which are thick, hollow, and rigid.
Does acupuncture hurt? - Most patients do not find acupuncture painful. Upon the insertion of a needle, you may feel a slight prick, followed by a sensation of tingling, heaviness, or warmth. This is normal and relates to your body responding to the treatment. These sensations usually dissipate quickly and most people feel deeply relaxed during the treatment and often fall asleep.
Are there any side effects? - Unlike most drugs and medications, acupuncture has almost no side effects. Many patients feel more relaxed and less stressed. Very rarely a patient may have some slight bruising around the area where the needle was placed, but these effects are temporary and do not deter the effectiveness of the treatment.
How many treatments do I need and how often should I be treated - Because each person’s health issues are different and response to treatment is unique, the number and frequency of treatments will vary. As a general guideline, conditions that are acute will respond faster than chronic conditions. The initial phase of the treatment plan is usually between 6-8 visits, and then re-evaluate your progress from there. The length of treatment depends on how long the condition has been present and how quickly the patient responds to treatment. Some patients may respond favorably after one visit, where as others may require several months of treatments for maximum results. Remember, healing is a process which takes place over time.
How long does each treatment last? - The first treatment session consists of a full health history and will therefore be about 1 and 1/2 hourlong. Subsequent follow-ups are typically 1 hour. How should I prepare for the treatment? - Wear comfortable and loose clothing that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees. Make sure to eat a light meal or snack 1-2 hours prior to your visit, and refrain from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol before treatment. We also recommend that you avoid strenuous exercise shortly before and after treatment. Remember to tell your practitioner all of your medications and any physical or mental conditions. If possible, bring a list of all medications to your treatment session.