Frequently Asked Questions


  • What is acupuncture and how does it work?   Acupuncture is the oldest continuously practiced medical system in the world and is used by one third of the world's population as a primary health care system.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed acupuncture treatment for many conditions, including stress, digestive disorders, depression, allergies, sleeping disorders, addictions, headaches, and menstrual disorders.  This highly effective system of medical care is based on natural laws that govern the movement of vital life-giving energy. This energy, called Qi (pronounced Chee), moves through the body in precise channels and supports optimal functioning of the body, mind and spirit. A disruption of this energy flow causes an imbalance that begins to surface in the form of specific symptoms.  These symptoms are viewed in relationship to the totality of a person in order to explore the root cause of a condition or illness.   Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterile and single-use needles placed in specific acupuncture points to assist in rebalancing organ and bio-mechanical disharmonies.   


  • What is Chinese Style Acupuncture? Chinese acupuncture is based in the theoretical framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  The practitioner develops a differential diagnosis and treatment plan for each individual patient based on signs, symptoms and medical history, tongue and pulse diagnosis. Specific acupuncture points are stimulated with thin needles to stimulate and clear imbalances in the flow of qi (energy) within the acupuncture meridians. By restoring balance, acupuncture encourages the body to embark on its own healing process.


  • Japanese Style Acupuncture:  Japanese acupuncture uses fewer and thinner needles and relies more heavily on palpatory technique of the abdomen and wrist pulses. Within this style, non-insertive needle techniques (such as magnets or touching needle) can be used. Japanese acupuncture is beneficial for all types of patients but is especially suited for children and sensitive patients. 


  • Auricular Acupuncture:  Ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy, is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Ear acupuncture is generally incorporated into a regular acupuncture treatment. In addition to using acupuncture points on the rest of the body, I may select a few ear acupuncture points that will be helpful for your particular condition and either needle them using small, thin needles that will be removed at the end of the session, or tape small, gold pressballs and leave them in for a few days for longer stimulation.


  • Is acupuncture safe?  Yes. The acupuncture needle is an extremely fine, disposable (one-use), sterile, FDA approved medical device. This ensures that there is no risk of disease transmission.  A licensed acupuncturist has undergone 4 years of training in its safe implementation. There should be no negative side effects from receiving acupuncture treatment.


  • Is acupuncture painful?  Most people find acupuncture very comforting and relaxing. The hair-thin acupuncture needle bears little resemblance to the hypodermic syringe used for shots and usually provides little to no sensation upon insertion. Most patients experience deep relaxation and many fall asleep during their treatment.
















  • I am afraid of needles, can I still get treatment?  Yes.   Many needle phobic patients actually find that their fear recedes once they experience acupuncture. For those that are still unsure, there are still many treatment options available such as Shakuju (non-insertive needling), acupressure, cupping, moxibustion, Tui Na, Gua Sha and Chinese herbal medicine. 


  • How many treatments will I need?  The course of treatment will vary depending on the nature, severity and duration of the complaint, though most people will experience noticeable relief of their symptoms within a few sessions. Acute complaints tend to show improvement within 2-10 treatments, while chronic conditions may require additional time and effort. In both cases, but especially chronic cases, the speed of progress is assisted by the patient's willingness to follow diet and lifestyle modifications when necessary. During your initial visit, I will discuss an individual treatment plan in detail.


  • As a new patient, what should I bring?  A list of pertinent medical records, medication lists and supplement information. Also, to save time at your initial consultation, please print, fill out and bring your Health History Questionnaire.


  • What should I wear?  Please wear comfortable loose fitting clothing.  Easy access to the arms and legs is essential.


  • What conditions can acupuncture treat?   See the CONDITIONS TREATED section for a list.


  • Moxibustion:  Mugwort is used to warm acupuncture points and accelerates the healing process.


  • Tuina/Acupressure:  Massaging techniques to activate channel and organ systems.


  • Gua sha:  Rubbing of the skin with a jade tool to facilitate the circulation of blood.


  • Cupping:  Glass or plastic cups create suction on the skin to increase circulation and release deep rooted lactic acid.


  • Nutritional Counseling:  Specific foods can be added or avoided to help strengthen the body.


  • Electrical Stimulation:  Acupuncture needles are inserted and then small alligator clips are placed on the needles. The small 9-volt battery operated machine is then turned on and micro-current stimulates the acupuncture point. E-stim reduces inflammation and releases endorphins.  This is similar to the TENS unit that physical therapists use.


Chinese Herbal Medicine



  • Are herbs safe?  Herbal medicine has been used in China for thousands of years, and is an important component of Traditional Chinese medicine as practiced today in China.  In my practice I only use products from reputable sources that have been quality controlled and are free of contaminants.


  • Will herbs affect other drugs and supplements I am presently taking?  I will carefully review all medications and supplements that you are taking to make sure that what I prescribe is compatible and where necessary work closely with your other health professionals to monitor your response.  You should NEVER stop taking your medications without consulting your physician.  


  • How much does a herbal formula cost?  

    • I may prescribe you prepackaged herbal formulas or patented medicines.  These may cost up to $25 for a 2 week supply.  They come in the form of pills or capsules and should be taken as directed.

    • Alternatively, I may prepare a formula tailored to your specific needs.  Formulas are charged based on the weight of the formula and the price each of individual herb. The average cost is approximately $15-$25 for a week’s dosage.  Your herbs will come bottled in powdered form. You will add the prescribed dosage of herbs to 1/2 cup of hot water using the scoop spoon that is included. Mix the herbs thoroughly and drink when the mixture has cooled to a warm temperature. Repeat the prescribed number of times daily.


  • Can I continue taking my medications while taking herbs?  Almost always yes, but there are certain times to be more cautious. It is very important to provide a full list of medications and any changes in medicines or dosages.  Again, you should NEVER stop taking your medications without consulting your physician.  

© Updated 2019. Crossing Point Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine


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