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F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

F.A.Q.

What can I expect on my first visit?

Please have all of your forms filled out and be prepared to come 15 minutes early for us to review them (30 min early if you are filling them out in the office).
Every patient gets a 10-minute appointment “window” during which time you are not considered late if you are a bit behind schedule. Likewise you may expect at times to have to wait a few minutes. Please do not make it a habit to be 10 minutes late each time. We strive to be a low-wait clinic. Please note that all appointments are set to one hour unless otherwise requested.
We will be setting up your information with us, and you will be able to receive any brochures/information that you need.
Your vitals will be taken, including observations about the tongue and pulse. Following some questions regarding your concerns you will likely receive acupuncture, moxa, or gua sha.
You most likely will not receive herbs, massage, cupping, Qi Gong, or weight loss advice on your first visit… but you might receive some basic homework.
We view ourselves as your health consultants. You are your best healthcare provider, we are here to teach, augment, and guide the process. But some work may be required of you in order to achieve the best results.

It is important that you arrive for your appointment neither hungry nor “stuffed.” Please plan your meals/snacks accordingly. If you usually brush your tongue we ask that you not do it on the day of your treatment as observation of tongue coating is a diagnostic tool in Chinese Medicine.

Where will I be needled?

The hands, feet, abdomen, and back, neck, and shoulders are the most typical. Care is taken with needle angle and insertion depth. If you have questions or concerns at the time of your appointment, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Do I have to take my clothes off?

Usually, no. We suggest wearing clothing that can be rolled up past the knees and elbows and find that this is often sufficient for point location. In the event that you do need to remove clothing so we can access a point, you will be provided with a drape to ensure your comfort and modesty.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

It may pinch a little, be surprising or ‘sharp’ (less than a tattoo or shot), dull and achy, or not be felt at all. Every body is different and every condition is different.Our needles are only about 1/20th the diameter of a hypodermic needle, and some are thinner. They range from 1/2″ to 3″ long depending on the location used.

What will I feel/ what is Qi (chi)?

Qi is a way to describe roving or achy sensations during acupuncture. If you don’t feel Qi, don’t be disappointed. That just means you need more time to get in tune with your body. Sometimes Qi movement can be profound; lights, emotions, sounds even can be seen, felt, and heard.
The hope is that most of the time you feel more relaxed, more ‘normal,’ have an elevated mood, or feel healthier. We try not to ‘wipe you out’ because that makes you weak. Sometimes though you may be more tired afterwards because when the Qi is flowing, you will stop having any manic stages and that false energy drop can be tiring. At the same time, it’s better to burn your fire slowly and not too hot and fast; as nice as it feels to be able to handle a lot of stress all at at once. Our goal is to help improve your health and awareness, not give you boundless energy. If you are especially low in energy, please consider herbal treatment which can be discussed with your practitioner.

Are there any drug-Chinese herb interactions?

We have the most comprehensive text as reference for such cases. It is your responsibility to provide us with an accurate list of all meds and supplements. In only a few cases is there ANY documented evidence of drug-herb interactions The effect of some pharmaceuticals may actually be enhanced through synergistic use of herbs. We will carefully co-manage your herbal case with your doctor if you are on several prescriptions.

How do Chinese herbs taste?

It’s no secret that most herbs do not appeal to the general American palette. However, if one cannot stomach the most effective “raw” form of herbs, we have also tinctures, pills, granules, plasters, wines, and liniments with which to administer herbs. The most important thing is that you take them, if you cannot abide the taste, tell us. We’ll go to a more convenient form of herbal infusion.

Are Chinese herbs expensive?

Most herbs are very cheap, especially considering the long term benefit. $10 of herbs might prevent up to 3 or 4 common colds and flus and possibly following bronchitis attacks from those diseases. That’s very cost effective. Long term “tonification” (supplementation) will be more of an investment. Generally speaking, herbal formulas are not intended as lifelong prescriptions. They are taken until they’ve served their purpose and then modified appropriately or discontinued.

What is moxabustion (Fire treatment)?

Moxa smells familiar and iffy, but it is just artemesia vulgaris or “mugwort.”
It is burned in poles to hover over the body, or applied “directly” with a medium between the cone and the skin to prevent burning.
Moxa is used for weakness, fatigue, arthritic, or sensations of cold (among other) conditions.

What about cupping and gua sha?

We often use gua sha and cupping to break up stagnation associated with emotional upset, back or neck pain, and headaches. These techniques can also prevent many cases of cold and flu if performed in the early stages when you’re just starting to “feel funny”.
Both techniques leave a form of mild ecchymosis (bruising) that does not hurt and resembles red dots on the back. In some severe cases patients have purple or darker stagnation indicating how severe the condition was. Severity of the condition as well as your aftercare will determine how long these painless marks remain: days or weeks. If you have an event that requires back exposure, such as formal or beauty contests, it is YOUR responsibility to let us know at treatment time.
These techniques may make you more tired (and relaxed) the first time you get them so we ask patients to avoid partying, swimming, or eating fatty, spicy, or oily foods and alcoholic beverages for 24 hours after treatment.
These techniques may regular repeating, perhaps as much as once a month or as little as every six months.
Flash cupping requires the use of fire; but it does not burn. Gua Sha is a “sand-scraping” technique and can best be described as ‘sensational.’ In most cases you will notice a difference right away. Gua sha and cupping often require the use of oils. If you are allergic to any oils please inform us in your chart so that it is known beforehand. We also often employ liniments which contain herbs from China, if you are averse to this, you must say so explicitly at the time of treatment or in your chart. These include Po Sum On, Zheng Gu Shui, and Woodlock oil, as well as any other common western oil like lavender. These oils can stain on occasion, for which we cannot be held responsible, although care is taken to prevent stains from happening.

What is Tui Na massage (pushing and grasping)?

This ancient form of massage is unique and involves a harmonization, dispersion, and balancing portion of treatment.
It is more deep than shiatsu, but less deep than swedish style (in most case).
It is performed with clothes REMAINING ON; you will not be asked to disrobe, though if you have already removed an article of clothing for acupuncture, tui na may be performed using an oil or you will be provided a drape.
It is a very calming massage, but the emphasis is on dispersion of knots and tightness, and in many cases will be ‘sensational.’

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If you have any other questions or concerns which were not addressed in the FAQs, then please contact us!  We welcome and appreciate your questions. You may access our contact information using the link below. Thank you from Blue Lotus Health and Acupuncture.

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