Q. What should I know about my first appointment?
A. For your first appointment, please wear loose comfortable clothing and eat something within an hour beforehand. Your first appointment will be about an hour and a half long, whereas your subsequent appointments will be about an hour. When we first meet, we will go over your medical history and discuss the main reasons for your visit. I will feel your pulse, palpate your abdomen, and look at your tongue, which provide diagnostic information. You will receive acupuncture during your first appointment. It is very relaxing, and many patients fall asleep! The benefits of acupuncture begin immediately as we kickstart your body's healing.
Q. Where is your office?
A. North Shore Acupuncture & Wellness is located at 65 Newburyport Turnpike, Newbury MA 01951. See below for more detailed notes on how to find me:
- Driving South on Route 1 from Newburyport: the commuter rail will be on your right, take the FIRST left after the traffic light. If you pass by Harmony Natural Learning Center (on your left) or Roots to Wings (on your right), you have gone too far.
- Driving North on Route 1 towards Newburyport: you will pass two entrances to Harmony Natural Learning Center (on your right), take the NEXT right. If you go through the traffic light, you have gone too far.
- You will see a large TekDoc sign at the entrance, as well as a black mailbox. The entrance leads to a large parking lot, as well as up the hill to our building. There are a few parking spots (including two designated handicap spots) available at the top of the hill.
- Please enter the main entrance, and make yourself comfortable. I will come out to bring you into the office for your appointment as soon as I can!
Q. How does acupuncture work?
A. Acupuncture helps restore balance in the body. It is when there is systemic imbalance that symptoms and illness arise, including pain, stress, injury, disturbed sleep, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, gynecological disorders, allergies, and many other complications. Acupuncture is able to kickstart the body to repair itself, thereby restoring balance and optimal health. Western medical research has shown that acupuncture does this by way of many different biological mechanisms. Locally, acupuncture increases blood flow to an area, loosens and softens the connective tissue, and triggers an immune response. Systemically, acupuncture adjusts how the nervous system interprets pain, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, and releases endorphins into the bloodstream. Research has also demonstrated that acupuncture regulates pituitary and pineal gland output, blood sugar metabolism, blood pressure, serotonin, digestive fluids, and stomach peristaltic activity.
Q. Does acupuncture hurt?
A. Acupuncture needles are probably unlike any other needle you have experienced. They are very thin- about the diameter of a strand of hair! Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are not hollow. In fact, about 40 thin, filiform acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of a standard gauge hypodermic needle! Some needles will cause a sensation (few would describe it as pain), but you likely won’t feel many of the needles inserted. Generally, not more than a quick prick is felt, even at areas of the body that are the most sensitive (fingers, palms, toes). Once all of the needles are inserted, you usually do not feel any of them and are, rather, overcome with peaceful relaxation.
Q. What does acupuncture treat?
A. Acupuncture is a component of Chinese Medicine, a complete system of medicine that has treated many common health complaints for at least 2,500 years. Acupuncture is best known for pain control, but has a much broader range of therapeutic benefits. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for the following conditions: - Women's health: irregular periods, painful cramping, PMS symptoms, hot flashes, PCOS, amenorrhea, fertility, morning sickness - Digestive disorders: constipation, diarrhea, IBS, spastic colon, indigestion, heartburn, nausea & vomiting - Mental-Emotional health: anxiety, depression, stress Neurological disorders: headaches, migraines, Bell's Palsy, sciatica Musculoskeletal conditions: frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis For more information and a more comprehensive list of conditions, visit the World Health Organization's report here.
Q. What training is required to become an acupuncturist?
A. Acupuncture training is a four year graduate degree program, involving over 2400 hours of coursework and 630 clinical training hours. In Massachusetts, candidates must pass a minimum of three national board exams (administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) before being considered for professional licensure by the Board of Registration in Medicine. The L.Ac. Dipl.Ac. after my name stands for Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomat of Acupuncture (NCCAOM).