Frequently Asked Questions

Does an acupuncture treatment hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin in general and WCA uses particularly fine-gauge needles designed for comfort. Most people are deeply relaxed and/or asleep once all points are placed.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?

Not at all – animals get good results from acupuncture just like people, and we’re pretty sure that they don’t believe in it. We like skeptics. You just need to have enough of an open mind to want to find out if acupuncture will work for you, and you will only know that for sure by experience. We suggest you try it and see what you think.

Should I wear special clothing so you can put needles in my shoulder/back/hip?

Nope, just wear loose, comfortable clothes that roll up to your elbows and knees. We are able to treat all kinds of conditions (even your shoulder/back/hip pain) by using a style of acupuncture that uses points primarily below the knees and elbows and above the neck. While some acupuncturists tend to favor lots of points on the torso this is usually a matter of personal preference and style, not a necessity to get effective results from acupuncture. There are literally thousands of different ways to do acupuncture, and all of them seem to work, and as far as we can tell, no one way seems to work substantially better than any other. There are no studies that we know of that prove that acupuncturists who specialize in a particular area get better results than acupuncturists who don’t specialize; there are, however, studies out of Germany that suggest that even when you do acupuncture “wrong”, it still works.

Can I address more than one health issue at a time with acupuncture?

Absolutely. Though we don’t know exactly how acupuncture works, we do know that it often acts like a reset button for the entire body. Often, patients who come in for one issue will notice an improvement in something apparently unrelated. This can happen even when the patient doesn’t tell the acupuncturist about the apparently unrelated problem. Acupuncture also seems to have the “side effects” of reducing stress and promoting better sleep and more energy.

How many treatments will it take to get results?

Traditionally a course of acupuncture treatment in China is treatment daily, 10 days in a row. WCA realizes that most people can’t come get treatment almost every day, so we have designed our clinic systems and pricing to help people come as frequently as possible for each person’s unique situation. Do what works for you. If you can only come once a week or once every 2 weeks, then that’s great, please do that. You will still see results, just maybe a bit slower.

Most commonly we start people off with a recommended 2 times a week for 3 weeks. After completing 6 treatments we will reassess how things are going with you and either suggest that you continue to come at about this same frequency for a bit longer, or at that time you might decrease frequency to maintain the benefits you’ve received. At your first visit we will give you an overall treatment plan for your main complaint. Any time you come in for treatment feel free to check in about your treatment plan with one of the acupuncturists. In some cases, like with very acute pain, labor induction, unrelenting migraines, nausea, etc. we recommend daily treatments until things change more significantly.

Which of your acupuncturists specialize in fertility/sports medicine/pain management/etc?

For philosophical reasons, none of our acupuncturists specialize in anything. All of us have lots of experience treating lots of different conditions, because an acupuncturist who works full time at WCA generally treats between 90-120 people each week. We believe that acupuncture is helpful for most problems based on patients being able to get enough treatments, not on being able to see an acupuncturist with a particular area of interest. We think you should see whichever acupuncturist you like best. And don’t worry, we’re not competitive, and we won’t be offended if you like one of us better than the others. All of us get good results and all of us have people who like one of us better than the others. If you’re not sure who you like best, feel free to try all of us until you find a good fit. Also, it’s OK to see more than one of us; our styles are slightly different, but our clinical approaches are essentially the same.

Can I combine acupuncture with massage/chiropractic/osteopathic treatment/medication /exercise/etc?

You can combine acupuncture with almost anything; that’s one of the lovely things about it. Nothing is going to make it less effective, and it doesn’t interfere with anything else. It’s one of the reasons that so many doctors refer their patients to acupuncture.

Do you treat pregnant people?

Yes. We get lots of referrals from midwives and obstetricians because acupuncture is effective for many pregnancy-related conditions. Also, there’s a rumor that people who get acupuncture throughout their pregnancy tend to have calm babies.

Do you treat children?

Yes. Acupuncture is often very effective for children and teens, and many of them love it. We ask only that the child in question is willing to try acupuncture; we don’t want to treat unwilling patients of any age.

I love what you do! How can I help?

Thank you for asking! You can become a donor, or volunteer at our front desk. Learn more.

Must I wear a mask during my treatment??

No, you are not required to wear a mask.