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General Acupuncture FAQ

Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. Acupuncture is extremely safe when it is being performed by a skilled practitioner, and one of the great advantages of acupuncture is the absence of any serious side effects. All needles are hair-thin, sterile, disposable and discarded after one use. It generally causes no bleeding upon entry or removal of the needles, and is practically painless.

Does acupuncture hurt?
No. Acupuncture should not hurt. Many first-time patients are concerned that acupuncture needles will feel like hypodermic injections at the doctor’s office. They won't. The hair-thin needles typically cannot be felt as they are being inserted. Occasionally, one may feel a momentary slight prick.

What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture can create a variety of sensations, ranging from warmth, numbness, spreading, tingling, or a dull pressure around the needles. These sensations indicate the arrival of qi. Once the needles are in place, many people describe a feeling of deep calm, while others may experience a pleasant rush of physical energy.

How long does a treatment last?
After the needles are inserted, you rest comfortably for a period of 25-30 minutes. Most people feel very relaxed during this period and many fall asleep.

In some cases, your treatment may consist of points on both the front and back of your body.  In this case, Erika will insert needles on the front, let you rest for 5-10 minutes, remove the needles, have you turn over, and then continue the treatment on your back. Additionally, Erika may choose to utilize various adjunctive techniques, depending on your condition.

How many treatments will I need?
Acupuncture works cumulatively, meaning one treatment builds on the next, and the healing process differs for each individual and their specific condition. Similar to how medications are ineffective unless you take the prescribed dose, if you don’t get acupuncture frequently enough—consistently, and within an appropriate time frame—it is unlikely to yield the desired result.

Once I have reviewed your health history and evaluated your condition, I will create a treatment plan that fits your needs and your health goals. I will also regularly review your progress with each treatment.

A course of treatment is typically 8 to 10 sessions, once weekly, depending on the severity, chronicity and urgency of the problem. Most patients commonly experience some level of improvement, or even complete recovery, depending on the nature of their condition.

Acute conditions generally resolve faster than chronic ones, with some relief after just the first few sessions. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Preventative treatments and treatments for general well-being may also be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

What other techniques may be part of my treatment?
Acupuncture is simply one facet of oriental medicine and is often supported by a range of adjunctive techniques, which are part of an acupuncturists’ rigorous training and under our scope of practice. Within a treatment session, I may use electroacupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, tui na massage, or Qi Gong, in order to obtain optimal results.

What should I expect during my first treatment?
When you arrive for your first acupuncture appointment Erika will ask you to complete a comprehensive intake form, if you haven't filled it out already. The acupuncture intake form asks detailed questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, medications you are taking, etc. These questions are important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes everything into account. Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.

After reviewing your intake form, Erika will ask you a series of questions about your condition and overall health. She will also examine your pulse and tongue, two of the basic diagnostic methods of Oriental medicine. I will also palpate various points or areas of you body, depending on your primary condition.

The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition, but you can expect approximately 8-15 needles. Once the needles are inserted, I will leave you to lie comfortably for 15-20 minutes with the needles in place. Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time. Once I remove the needles, I may opt to use additional techniques such as moxibustion, cupping or tui na massage. After your session (acupuncture & any additional modalities), we will discuss lifestyle reccomendations, assess the results of the treatment, discuss your treatment plan and answer any questions you may have.

What type of education and training is required of acupuncturists?
Acupuncturists are required to undergo extensive post-graduate education, which includes the study of Western biomedical theory (pathology, orthopedic assessment, neurology, pharmacology, etc.), in addition to acupuncture practice and theory.  They are also required to pass a series of rigorous board examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and gain certification in Clean Needle Technique, via a detailed national needle safety course and exam. Erika earned a Masters of Science in Acupuncture, which entailed more than 3,000 hours of training, including countless hours of hands-on practice, and 150+ hours interning in the school's community clinic, where she treated a wide variety of patients presenting an array of complex conditions. Erika is nationally certified and is licensed by New York state.



Latest News: Read Erika's exclusive article for AcuTake, where she is a contributing writer. "Why All Athletes Should Use Acupuncture" is available here.

FAQ - Prinz Acupuncture in New York, NYC

Prinz Acupuncture NYC

146 W. 29th St. Suite 6RW-3
New York, NY 10001

- Closest trains are the 23rd St. C/E, the 28th St. 1, the 28th St. N/R or Penn Station