Here are some general responses to questions I am asked most often. Please feel free to contact me for more details that relate to your specific situation.
Do you take same day appointments or walk-ins? My schedule typically books up a week to 10 days in advance. I rarely have massage appointment times available the same day. However, I can usually do an acupuncture session the same day so don't hesitate to contact me to check availability.
How often should I come in for a session? Both massage and acupuncture are cumulative treatments, meaning each session builds on the previous sessions. Rarely is it a "one time and you are done" situation. You should plan on coming in for treatment more frequently until the situation for which you are seeking improvement has stabilized. That can take 2-3 times per week for a couple of weeks. Once your situation has improved, schedule sessions further apart. For example, try going 10 days or 2 weeks between sessions and monitor your progress. Eventually, you should be on monthly or quarterly maintenance sessions where we work to keep symptoms from returning. Healing responses are unique for each individual based on their specific issue, their general health quality and their willingness to make lifestyle changes to improve their situation.
Can acupuncture help with (insert any health issue here)? The short answer is "Yes." Acupuncture is part of a complete system of medicine. Most often used in the Western World for pain, acupuncture can also treat digestive disorders, infertility, Women's issues, anxiety, depression, allergies, cold and flu symptoms, insomnia, etc. I tell people to expect a minimum of 5-7 treatments to see how they respond. Acupuncture helps the body remember how to heal itself. How well and how quickly a patient responds depends on how long they have been dealing with that condition, their lifestyle and what lifestyle changes they are willing to make to improve their own healing. "Lifestyle" includes diet, sleep habits, exercise/activity, stress level, emotional support, and so on.
I'm afraid of needles! Is there an alternative? While using acupuncture needles is the most effective, other options to stimulate acupuncture points include: acupressure, tuning forks, electical stimulation and cold laser.
Do you work with children? Absolutely! Children respond very well to acupuncture and massage--usually more quickly than adults! I have worked with newborns thru high school aged children.
Do you take insurance for acupuncture or massage treatments? At this time, I do not bill any insurance for treatments. After you pay for your session(s), I can provide paperwork to you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Alternatively, I have many patients who use their health flexible spending accounts to pay for treatments.
Do you do deep tissue massage? That is not a term that I use. See Modalities I page for definitions of different types of massage techniques. I do specific work using specific techniques that people may classify as "deep tissue" work. I also do very general, less specific work when there are no specific complaints. Your session is always yours and I follow your lead on what techniques you feel are helpful and tolerable and when we need to try a different approach.
What length session should I book for my treatment? The first acupuncture appointment should be an hour so we can talk and I can get specific details about your health issue, your medical history, make a proper diagnosis and then do a treatment. Follow up acupuncture treatments are 30-40 mins. Massage varies depending on your needs. General full body work should book 60-90 mins. Just need one area? 30-60 mins is perfect. Combination treatments of acupuncture plus massage should book a minimum of 60 mins. If you aren't sure, book a longer treatment time and I will adjust accordingly. I'd much rather you have more than enough time to address your issues than have your treatment cut short due to time constraints. I charge only for the length of your session.
Should I continue my Western medicine medications? It is important that you continue any medications/treatments that your doctor has prescribed. If you feel that your acupuncture treatments are improving/changing your health situation, you must ALWAYS speak with your doctor before you modify dosages or discontinue any medications. Chinese medicine is an excellent complement to Western medicine and many patients achieve great results from a balance of both.
I was feeling great! Then I did (insert activity here) and I fear I am right back to where I started. What happened? Healing can be a tricky thing. It is rarely without its ups and downs. Understanding lifestyle habits and using the tools you have learned to get you back on your healing path is very helpful. Maintenance and proper self care is the key to preventing a backwards slide in your condition. We don't fully realize the benefits of maintenance until we stray too far away from that balance only to have to fight our way back. I assure you, there is no judgement here.
My friends/family/doctor/spouse don't believe that acupuncture is helpful. Should I stop my treatments? I completely understand that Chinese Medicine is outside of the norm for many westerners. While there is amazing research available and the west, as a whole, is more accepting of Chinese Medicine, there remain some skeptics. I have been fully trained through a 3000 plus hour Master's Degree program with both classroom and hands-on hours. The State Medical Board of Texas requires us to pass 5 board exams before licensing acupuncturists and we must receive a minimum number of continuing education hours yearly to maintain our license. I count many western trained medical professionals among my patients. It is fully regulated and safe. If you feel you are being helped by our sessions, I am happy to address any questions from those who may not fully understand what I do. I welcome anyone approved by the patient to sit in on our sessions to observe and ask questions. I want to educate as much as I can about this valuable healing modality.