Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture is part of an ancient system of medicine dating back thousands of years. The theories behind acupuncture developed from close observation of the natural world, the human body, and disease processes.

Today, modern research studies show that acupuncture works through a variety of mechanisms, including increase of blood and lymph circulation, release of endorphins, and regulation of both the immune and nervous systems.

At Songbird Acupuncture, I focus on working with women and children, including pregnancy, postpartum recovery, hormonal balance, and pediatric acupuncture for childhood ailments.

If you’re wondering if acupuncture is a good choice for your health concerns, please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to answer your questions.

Acupuncture FAQs

Does acupuncture hurt?

No! Most people find getting acupuncture a relaxing experience that’s not painful at all. Acupuncture needles are flexible and as thin as a human hair – many times people don’t even feel them being inserted, or at most feel a quick pinch. Once needles are placed, you relax on a comfortable treatment table for anywhere from 20-40 minutes. I find that lots of people look forward to their “acupuncture naps”!

What can acupuncture treat?

According to the World Health Organization, acupuncture can be useful in treatment of a wide variety of conditions, including:

  • Acute and chronic pain
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Colds/flu
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Digestive issues
  • Fertility issues
  • Headaches
  • Hormonal issues
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Stress

Many people find that with regular acupuncture treatments, they just feel better overall! They often report “side effects” such as deeper sleep, an easier time handling stress, and smoother digestion, no matter why they initially started treatment.

How long will it take for me to get better?

Just as we’re all different, every person’s response to treatment is different. Acute conditions often resolve within a few visits. Chronic conditions, especially anything you’ve been dealing with for many years, can take longer, although you may start feeling better within a few visits. After your first treatment, we’ll develop a treatment plan and will reassess your progress regularly.

My chiropractor or doctor does acupuncture. It’s the same thing, right?

Not necessarily. A licensed acupuncturist in Texas has received a 4-year master’s degree involving 3,000 hours of classroom and clinical training, and has also passed four rigorous certification exams. While some chiropractors and doctors have received comparable acupuncture education, others have studied for a much shorter period of time – sometimes with no hands-on training. I strongly recommend receiving acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist only.

Can kids really get acupuncture?

Totally! Acupuncture doesn’t hurt! Treatments for children use fewer, thinner needles and don’t last as long. For babies and very young kids, or any child who isn’t sure about “taps” (needles), acupressure and other non-needle healing techniques are also very effective. For more details, please visit our Kids page.

Do the needles have any medicine in them?

No. Unlike hollow hypodermic needles used to give vaccinations, acupuncture needles are solid. They don’t contain any substance, and they aren’t dipped in anything.

Are the needles clean?

Yes. Acupuncture needles are required by law to be single-use only. Each needle (usually made of stainless steel) is contained in sterilized packaging. All used needles are disposed of in a medical waste sharps container.

Are herbal medicines safe?

Yes. Chinese herbal formulas have been developed and tested over thousands of years and are often extremely effective, without uncomfortable side effects. I carefully select my herbal suppliers to ensure that any formula I prescribe is free of pharmaceuticals or adulterants, has been tested for heavy metals and pesticides, and has been manufactured responsibly.

Is there anything I need to know before my first appointment?

Please be sure you eat a meal or healthy snack within a couple of hours of your appointment. You can wear anything you like, but people are most comfortable in loose-fitting clothes that can be rolled up to expose the lower legs, forearms, and sometimes the back or abdomen. I have gowns available if needed.