Frequently Asked Questions

Is acupuncture safe?

When performed by a trained professional, acupuncture is safe. I only use FDA regulated, single-use, sterilized needles. After using them one time they are safely discarded.

With acupuncture, all the side effects are POSITIVE: relaxation, sense of well-being, stress reduction, improved sleep and energy.

Because it stimulates the body’s ability to heal itself, acupuncture won’t make a problem worse.

Does Acupuncture just make the pain go away?

Acupuncture heals by strengthening overall function rather than by a nerve-blocking or narcotic effect. The body is again able to heal itself, thus restoring physiological balance and allowing normal functioning to resume.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is generally not painful. You will probably feel a sensation when the needle is inserted, (similar to a mosquito bite – you feel it, but it is not really “painful”) but after insertion is quickly over, you may feel warmth or tingling, a heavy or possibly achy sensation, but no pain.

Can Acupuncture be used even if there is no physical illness?

In addition to treating both acute and chronic disorders, Acupuncture is used by someone to help create and maintain a sound state of well-being.  This tuning-up of the body’s energies enables one to better respond to life and its stresses, providing the basis for a healthy and vigorous life.

How can I use acupuncture?

Acupuncture can be a complementary course of treatment along with Western Medicine. It is often used after Western Medicine has not offered any relief, and Acupuncture can often still offer positive results, though if Acupuncture had been used earlier, better results may have been found.

Patients often use it preventively. For example, allergies or joint pain that is worse in a particular season would be best treated during the months before that season starts. Acupuncture helps to prevent illness by addressing and improving the overall function of the body. You don’t need to have a particular complaint to get acupuncture treatment, and acupuncture can be performed on people of all ages: infants to seniors.

In addition, many patients who come with one specific complaint such as hypertension, headache or arthritis, are surprised by the beneficial effect that acupuncture often has on their sleep, digestion, and energy levels.

How many treatments will I need to get better?

Since each person is unique, the number of treatments required will vary. Often, one visit is not enough to complete the healing process. A full series may take anywhere from two to four (for acute problems, or for colds or flu), to sometimes as many as ten or twelve for long-standing problems. Among the determining factors are the type and severity of the condition, whether the condition is chronic or acute, and the vitality of the individual. The sooner Acupuncture treatment begins after onset of a health problem, the more rapidly you will respond. Everyone has his or her own unique history and lifestyle, and must be treated individually. Please discuss your treatment program with Dr. Larson.

The effects of treatment are cumulative, and the point is to improve health and eliminate the problem while improving quality of life. Many people come to appreciate how well they feel after getting acupuncture and consider it part of maintaining their health.

How does acupuncture and Chinese Medicine work?

The time-tested, basic principles of Chinese Medicine are utilized. By improving the free flow of Qi and blood in the body, good health and healing can take place. This is done by using the tools of Chinese Medicine – gathering information from the patient, surveying the body through different observation and palpation techniques, diagnosing and coming up with a treatment plan, and using acupuncture, and other appropriate modalities to help improve or balance this free flow. Acupuncture needles inserted into specific points on the channels work with the flow of blood and qi.

What is Qi?

Pronounced “chee” and often-spelled “Chi”. What is it? Often translated loosely as “energy”, it is the dynamic force that flows throughout our bodies. It warms the body, it moves the body, it transforms – food into energy or waste for example). It provides defense against invasion from the outside – illnesses and weather. It contains –  blood in the vessels, our organs in their rightful place. We get our parents Qi when we are conceived, we start making our own Qi at birth when we begin to breathe and eat. It is an animating force, it is energy.

Why does the acupuncturist treat the whole person (body, mind, emotions)?

We recognize that to truly and fully heal, or maintain optimal health, we need to understand who YOU are. You are not just your symptoms, rather you are a living embodiment of your divine source, and we need to get to know you so we can heal the whole person.

Our medicine is personalized to balance you.

Acupuncturists are general practitioners – we can treat your body, mind, and emotions. Many people know we can relieve your aches and pains, but we can also help you get over colds and flus faster, help you with digestive and bowel problems, anxiety, and much more.

How can I  help the treatment to progress satisfactorily?

A sensible diet and moderate habits will certainly aid recovery and help keep a person in good health.  Clean water and fresh air contribute to healing as well.  Movement and exercise, depending on the situation, will stimulate the body as well as help clear the mind of day-to-day pressures.  The body and the mind affect each other to a strong extent, and both need to relax for complete recovery to occur.

Does it help helps with chronic disease – those that can be managed but not cured?

These folks are often on lots of various medications, with their many side effects; Acupuncture often – not always – helps to reduce dosage (please speak to your doctor).

Is Acupuncture only for adults?

Acupuncture is completely safe for kids and teens and it can treat many of the same conditions that effect adults. Acupuncture has been especially helpful with easing chronic pain in children and teens. Mount Sinai Hospital and the Michener institute recently opened up a clinic in Toronto for treating a wide array of acupuncture patients and the head of the clinical experience says that around 10% of his patients are children. Physicians across many different clinical fields are beginning to use acupuncture as a treatment not only for adults but also for children. For chronic pain treatment and more children can see the same types of results as full adults and because the needles are painless the experience is also fairly easy on children.

Is Acupuncture a recognized form of treatment?

Many healthcare professionals recommend Acupuncture as a course of treatment and even provide referrals. With organizations like the United States military utilizing Acupuncture in their recovery programs as well as top sports medicine facilities doing the same, Acupuncture is a complementary treatment not just an alternative one. Health care professionals around the world are starting to see the benefits of Acupuncture and this means that many doctors are recommending this form of treatment as a means to deal with a wider range of symptoms. More and more studies are being published each year validating treatment claims on Acupuncture and today people are referred to Acupuncture to help them with their allergies, fertility, pain management, nausea, depression and more. Not only do many private physicians see the see the benefits of Acupuncture but also major health authorities like the National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization recognize Acupuncture as a valid treatment. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has funded many different clinical research trials for Acupuncture treatment and this level of research and funding is opening up new discoveries of this medical treatment. Acupuncture is not only a recognized form of treatment, but it’s slowly becoming a more recognized form of treatment for a growing number of conditions.

Is Acupuncture a placebo effect?

There have been many double blind studies performed with Acupuncture that showcase the healing benefits of this medical treatment. Acupuncture has been shown to work in trials with children, animals, adults and more. Not only have we seen kids that have no knowledge of its effectiveness see improvement but in advance studies on animals where full physiology can be examined during treatment, scientists discovered that Acupuncture could reduce nausea, pain and more even in extreme situations.

Is Acupuncture only good for treating pain?   

The World Health Organization has recognized Acupuncture is an effective treatment for a huge number of conditions. While many people associate Acupuncture with pain management and as a solution for dealing with chronic pain it can actually treat conditions like; allergies, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, nausea as a result of chemotherapy, dental pain, depression, facial pain, pain in the knee, painful menstruation, kidney stones, sciatica, stroke recovery, inducing labor, reducing swelling and more. Acupuncture goes far beyond pain treatment and many people even go to see Acupuncture professionals if they are experiencing any sort of 
symptoms. Acupuncture can help us to feel our best as well as keep our body as balanced as possible.

WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION LIST OF CONDITIONS that lend themselves to Acupuncture Treatment

Neurological Disorders
  • Ÿ Cervicobrachial syndrome (Neck pain)
  • Ÿ Disc problems (Spine)
  • Ÿ Facial (Bell’s) palsy (early stage, within 3 to 6 months)
  • Ÿ Headache and migraine
  • Ÿ Intercostal neuralgia (nerve pain running between ribs)
  • Ÿ Meniere’s Disease (vertigo, tinnitus and deafness)
  • Ÿ Neurogenic bladder dysfunction     (poor bladder control)
  • Ÿ Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting)
  • Ÿ Paresis following stroke (Paralysis)
  • Ÿ Peripheral neuropathies (Pain & numbness in hands, feet)
  • Ÿ Trigeminal neuralgia (Face pain)
Musculo-skeletal Disorders
  • Ÿ Arthritis
  • Ÿ Fibromyalgia (Widespread pain and fatigue)
  • Ÿ “Frozen shoulder”, “tennis elbow”
  • Ÿ Localized traumatic injuries, sprains, strains, tendonitis
  • Ÿ Low back pain
  • Ÿ Muscle pain, swelling, stiffness and weakness
  • Ÿ Osteoarthritis
  • Ÿ Sciatica
  • Ÿ Work and sports related injuries
Respiratory System Disorders
  • Acute bronchitis
  • Acute rhinitis (Stuffy, runny nose)
  • Acute sinusitis (Nasal infection – plugged nose, face pain)
  • Acute tonsillitis
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Common cold
Gynecological Disorders
  • Benign amenorrhea (Absence of menstruation)
  • Benign Irregular Menstruation
  • Dysmenorrhea (Painful menstruation)
  • Menopause syndrome
  • PMS
Disorders of the Eye, Ear, Nose & Mouth
  • Acute and chronic pharyngitis (Sore throat)
  • Acute conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Cataract (without complications)
  • Central retinitis (Inflammation of retina of eye)
  • Gingivitis (Inflamed gums)
  • Myopia (in children) (Near-sightedness)
  • Toothaches, post extraction pain
Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Acute and chronic Colitis (Inflammation of colon)
  • Acute and chronic Gastritis (Inflammation of stomach)
  • Acute bacillary Dysentery (Diarrhea with blood)
  • Acute Duodenal Ulcer (without complication)
  • Chronic Duodenal Ulcer (pain relief)
  • Constipation
  • Gastric hyperacidity (Burning in stomach)
  • Gastroptosis (Downward displacement of stomach)
  • Diarrhea
  • Hiccough
  • Irritable Bowel and Colitis
  • Paralytic ileus (Intestinal blockage)
  • Spasms of esophagus and cardia
Psychological Disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hypersomnia (Sleepy through the day)
  • Insomnia
  • OCD
  • PTSD
  • Somatization disorder (Symptoms involving multiple parts of body, with no physical cause)
Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Essential hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Other Disorders
  • Appetite suppression
  • Withdrawal from street and pharmacological drugs

The World Health Organization acknowledges that Acupuncture “regulates the function of the body to increase its resistance by enhancing the immune system.”

While this list is not exhaustive – in my clinical experience I have found many more conditions that respond well to Acupuncture – it does begin to suggest the wide range of application of this ancient healing therapy.

In the meantime, many people are turning to Acupuncture, because they find it to be and much more cost-effective than other types of treatment.