Frequently Asked Questions


Acupuncture FAQ's


What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of fine needles into the body through the skin and muscles. They are inserted into acupuncture points that have shown great effectiveness in healing the body. The points have been used for over two thousand years with continued success.

How big are the needles?

The acupuncture needles come in different diameters and lengths. The diameters range from .12mm to .30mm. The length range from .5inch to 3 inches. The average size or most commonly used needles are .20mm in diameter and 1 inch in length.

Does it hurt?

The sensation received from correct needle technique is not painful. You may feel heaviness, pressure, cramping, electricity, tingling running up in down around the needle, or distention. If there is pain it is usually due to improper point location or the practitioner has found a capillary. The pain is slight and will go away immediately once the needle is removed and reinserted.

Are the needles reused?

No. Emphatically, no. The needles are only used once and then placed in a sharps (biohazard) container. The same type of container used in a medical doctor's office or hospital. By law each point on the body is cleaned by alcohol before the needle is inserted.

How deep do the needles go?

The depths of the needles vary depending upon where the acupuncture point is located. Needles used on hands, feet, chest, and upper back are all inserted superficially, meaning less than .25 of an inch. The abdomen, gluteal region, and the legs are needled slightly deeper depending upon the size of the patient, meaning between .25 to 1.0 inch.

Is there a chance of puncturing an organ?

To say 'no' is incorrect. Anytime someone is inserting anything into the body there is that risk. However, there is very little risk when seeing a competent licensed acupuncturist. Any needling technique applied to the regions of the body where the patient is at the greatest risk, the needle insertion is superficial and never perpendicular.   

Are there any side effects?

Acupuncture is one of the few medicinal arts that does not have any known side effects. There are, however, some precautions. For example, there are some acupuncture points that are contraindicated during pregnancy. Once again, a competent licensed acupuncturist knows which is safe to do and which is not.

How many treatments will I need?

That depends on the severity, length or duration, and nature of your complaint. Sometimes it may take only one treatment. Other times it may take six to twelve treatments. For chronic illness it may take a year or two of treatment.

How often will I have to come?

It depends on the complaint. You may need to come three times per week for two weeks for acute pain. However, you may need to come once per week for three months to relieve menstrual cramps. It also, depends upon the age and strength of the patient. Children usually respond faster than anyone. Of course, the slower your body gets with age the slower the healing time.  

How does acupuncture work?

Modern Western Medicine does not have a definitive answer to how acupuncture works. There are theories that its success is based in the nervous system. In terms of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture works on regulating the flow of Qi (Chi) and Blood. It is through the acupuncture points that the Qi and Blood are stimulated and regulated. The theories are many; if you would like to learn more on the theory then I recommend reading ' The Web That Has No Weaver ' by Ted Kaptchuk.



Chinese Herbal Medicine FAQ's


What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese Herbal Medicine is the prescribing of plant, insect, and animal based formulas to heal patients. These formulas or remedies are based on the diagnosis given by the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner. The diagnosis is derived from using the patient's history, symptoms, physical appearance, tongue appearance, pulse, age, and weight. After the symptoms and signs are gathered, the practitioner diagnoses the disease pattern. The formula is then chosen based on all of the material presented to and by the practitioners experience with that particular disease pattern. There are many formulas that can work for one disease pattern; however, getting the right one for the patient comes from understanding the patient, the formulas, and from years of clinical experience.

Will I have to take an herbal formula to get better?

Sometimes you will have to take an herbal remedy to improve your condition. Some disease patterns call for a formula while others do not. It is up to the Chinese Medical Practitioner to decide whether you will need a formula, acupuncture, or both. Sometimes you may just need nutritional counseling to correct your disease.

How are the formulas given?

Herbal formulas come in a variety of forms. There are decoctions, which are derived from boiling the raw herbs for anywhere between twenty to forty minutes and then taken as tea. Decoctions were the main method of herbal formulas fifty years ago. They are still vary popular today in Asia. Capsules or pill form is another method with which the formulas are dispensed. You may be taking from one to ten capsules or pills three times per day. Granules are the final way that herbal formulas are given. The patient would be given a bottle of a particular formula and would be required to take one to four scoops per day in water or juice. At the Goodman Wellness Center we dispense pill, capsule, or granule formulas.

Will I be able to research what I am taking?

Yes. If you ask for a list of ingredients in a particular formula, which I recommend, I will be happy to supply them, along with their uses. The practitioner should be happy and willing to sit down and explain the formula itself and why it is given. If you research the formula, understand that Chinese Herbal Medicine is based on different theories than Western Medicine. So studying the nutrients or chemical constituents of each herb in the formula may not help you.

Are there any side effects?

There are side effects with any medicine, food, or drink that you ingest into your body. The good thing about the Chinese herbal medicine is that it is plant and animal based and the side effects are minimal and usually out of your system within twenty four hours.

I am a vegetarian; will I be able to get formulas without animal products?

Yes. There are over 2000 individual herbs used in the Traditional Chinese Herbal system. Therefore, we will be able to substitute any animal product with a plant based product.

Will I be able to continue my Western Medicine or prescription medicine?

Yes, as practitioners of Chinese Medicine we cannot recommend discontinuing any medication given to you by your physician. If you are prescribed an herbal remedy, then your medication is always taken into account. Always inform your practitioner of any medicines you are taking.

Is it safe for children?

Yes, formulas are safe for children. In fact, children respond very well to the formulas, which are prescribed according to the age and weight of the patient.



Goodman Wellness Center  ~  22691 Lambert Street Suite 512  ~  Lake Forest, Ca 92630