Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a healing method, in which fine needles are inserted into certain specific points in the body. The insertion is mainly aimed at relieving the person of pain. Used mainly for therapeutic purposes, the healing technique has been known to offer many health benefits to patients.
What should I expect at my first session?
Your first visit will begin with an in-depth assessment of your condition and an initial treatment. The intake and treatment may take between one to two hours, depending on your condition. Typical follow-up treatments last approximately 50 minutes.
During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Chinese medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. Chinese medicine is unique in that it appreciates that illnesses may seem identical, but each person has their own pathology.
What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
Needles are typically retained for about 20-30 minutes. Soothing music will be played to help you relax during this time – many people even fall asleep during treatment! In addition to acupuncture, treatments may also include heat therapy (Moxabustion), herbal prescriptions, nutritional supplements, and diet and lifestyle advice.
What should I expect after treatment?
Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies. Generally, treatment doesn’t have to occur more than once a week.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long-standing conditions, one treatment a week for several weeks may be needed. For acute problems, fewer visits may be required.
Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Patients typically do not experience any negative side effects, but may have a sense of relaxation and overall well-being.
What are the needles like? Do they hurt?
People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel no pain. Acupuncture needles are very thin and are made from stainless steel.
Because I use disposable needles, there is no risk of infection from the treatments.
We also provide non-insertive acupuncture. This is suitable for everyone, but children, the elderly, and those with a fear of needles do particularly well with it.
Does acupuncture really work?
Yes! In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced widely in Asia, the Soviet Union, and in Europe. It is now being used more and more in America by patients and often recommended by physicians.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No! Acupuncture is used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals. These animal patients do not understand or believe in the process that helps them get better. A positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the effects of the treatment received, just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other treatment. A neutral attitude (“I don’t know if I really believe in this.”) will not block the treatment results.
Are there any "Do's and Dont's" for me on the day of a treatment?
Yes. To enhance the value of a treatment, the following guidelines are important:
Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
Do not over-exercise or consume alcoholic beverages within 6 hours before or after the treatment.
Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?
Some insurance companies currently cover acupuncture costs. Call your health insurance company to determine whether you have acupuncture coverage for your condition. Many healthcare flexible spending accounts (FSA and HSA) provide reimbursement for acupuncture as well.
Which conditions do you treat?
Pain: Acute or chronic, including headaches, neck/back pain, sciatica, joint pain, TMJ, etc.
Allergies and Respiratory Disorders: Seasonal Allergies, post nasal drip, food allergies, asthma, sinus conditions and bronchitis.
Weakness and Fatigue: Lack of energy, poor concentration, shortness of breath, impotence, and sleep disorders.
Sports Medicine: Sprains, chronic dislocation, muscle and joint strain, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis.
Musculo-Skeletal: Numbness, muscle spasms, pinched nerves, gout.
Cardiovascular Disorders: Congestive heart disease, hypertension or hypotension, angina pectoris, poor circulation, phlebitis, palpitations, anemia.
Sleep Disorders: Insomnia, hypersomnia (oversleeping).
Infertility and Gynecology: For both male & female, poor egg quality/implantation or unknown cause, miscarriage, PMS, irregular or painful periods, amenorrhea, endometriosis, premature menopause, menopausal symptoms, hormonal imbalance, PCOS, uterine lining issues, and Low sperm count/activity,
Emotional Disorders: Bad temper, worry, indecisiveness, depression, grief, shock, fears and phobias, stress, anxiety.
Gastrointestinal: Ulcer, gastritis, enteritis, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, malabsorption syndrome, poor digestion, acid reflux (GERD) and crohns.
Neurological: Nerve issues, dizziness, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, and movement disorders.
Skin: Eczema, psoriasis, acne, other skin disorders.
Urogenital: Cystitis, prostatitis, nocturia (urinating at night), sexual dysfunction, kidney disease.
Eating Disorders: Weight problems, bulimia, anorexia.
Substance Abuse: Nicotine, drugs, and alcohol.
Other Disorders: If your particular problem is not listed, no matter how serious or unusual, please call and ask for more information. We often can help where conventional treatments fail.
If your particular problem is not listed, no matter how serious or unusual, please call and ask for more information. We often can help where conventional treatments fail.
By appointment only
Monday & Wednesday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Thursday & Friday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Weekends by appointment.
Enjoy Life Acupuncture
Ellen Leifman, MS, MAOM
Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist
5 Crystal Pond Rd
Southborough, MA 01772