You have questions, we have answers.

Our mission is to provide integrative medicine with the intention of keeping you happy and healthy. Here at Atlas Acupuncture, we understand that acupuncture is still an emerging medicine in our culture. We are happy to answer any questions you have about our medicine, how it works, and what it can treat. We want all of our patients to be well informed and to feel safe. Below are a few of the most commonly asked questions. If you have more questions or would like a free consultation, feel free to call or email us.

Does it hurt?

No. Needles are hair thin and filiform – not hollow like hypodermic needles from hospitals or doctor’s offices. After insertion of these needles in specific points on the body a heavy, dull sensation may be felt or even no sensation at all. Every now and then a brief pinch or twinge can occur. We will absolutely use your feedback to determine an appropriate treatment plan based on your specific level of comfort.

Is it safe?

Yes, acupuncture is very safe when practiced by an acupuncturist. Each needle is pre-packaged, sterile stainless steel and used only one time to ensure a safe and hygienic environment. I use extremely thin needles and clean needling technique. When practiced with expertise and safely, acupuncture does not have any serious side effects. Acupuncture is suitable for almost everyone, including children and the elderly. However, you should not receive treatment on a empty stomach or when intoxicated.

How should I prepare for a treatment?

Please dress in loose, comfortable clothing so that sleeves and pants can be rolled up to above the elbows and knees.

Also, please eat something beforehand—even if it is just a light snack. Acupuncture can be very sedative on an empty stomach.

What should I expect at my first treatment?

On your first visit we will review your complete health history. For fertility treatments please feel free to bring your spouse or partner to your first meeting. An initial treatment is 75-90 minutes long, with each follow up appointment lasting 60 minutes. After a full evaluation of your health, we will discuss a treatment plan. This plan will outline recommendations for acupuncture, herbs, diet, and lifestyle that will help you achieve your health goals.

Please bring any medical tests that you have had done recently, and a list of your medications and supplements.  For fertility patients a basal body temperature chart, hormone and blood panels are very helpful in determining your course of treatment.

To help us serve you most efficiently, please arrive 5-10 minutes before your first appointment to fill out your intake forms. This will leave us with ample time for your first consultation and treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

It depends on your condition. The more stubborn and chronic the condition is, the longer the treatments may continue. Initially, 4 to 6 weekly treatments are recommended to see lasting results. More acute conditions or injuries tend to resolve faster. If you are looking for general wellbeing and preventative care, seasonal or monthly treatments are ideal.

What type of training does an acupuncturist receive?

Acupuncture takes many years of practice and study to master. To be a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) & herbalist you must complete a 4 year – 3,200 hour graduate level Masters of Science program (or 3 year accelerated program), spend hundreds of hours in clinical internship, be certified by the CCAOM in Clean Needle Technique and pass the stringent NCCAOM national board exams. The graduate studies for acupuncturists are quite rigorous with regards to safety and Clean Needle Technique. In school, we are taught extensive gross human anatomy along with the exact angle, depth and direction a needle should be placed in each of the hundreds of points all over the body.

Physical therapists, chiropractors, podiatrists— “Western” medical practitioners— are permitted by Vermont state law to practice acupuncture, which is also called “dry needling,” with zero hours of the training needed to become a licensed acupuncturist. Often they opt to take a weekend seminar course of 27 hours. Dry needling has been outlawed by many states including New York and California as a public safety concern. Even medical doctors in Vermont are required to do a more comprehensive 300 hour acupuncture training. I would strongly recommend seeking acupuncture from only licensed acupuncturists (look for the credentials “L.Ac.” after the practitioner’s name).

What is electroacupuncture?

Electroacupuncture is used in acupuncture protocols for acute/chronic pain, muscle tightness and inducing labor. A machine with electrodes is attached to specific needles on the body with electrical leads. A small pulse of electricity is then sent through these points to stimulate blood flow and movement into these specific areas.

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