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Bellevue Acupuncture Clinic 
Proudly serving Seattle and Greater Eastside since 1993

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on each underlined questions for answers.

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a comprehensive system of health care with a continuous clinical tradition of over 3000 years. Acupuncture and TCM are based on an energetic model in comparison to the biochemical model of Western medicine. The ancient physicians discovered a system of cyclic energy called Qi (pronounced chee) flowing in the human body along specific pathways. Each pathway, called meridian, is associated with a particular physiological system and an internal organ, and communicates with surface of the body at specific locations called acupuncture points. Each point has a specific predictable effect upon the Qi passing through it. Modern science has been able to measure the electrical charge at these points, confirming the locations of the meridians mapped by the ancients. Disease arises when state of imbalance occurs or flow of Qi is blocked within the cyclic system. The functionality of acupuncture is to help remove the blockage and restore the balance by stimulating specific points.
I'm afraid of needles. Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of receiving an injection. Acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a thick hair. In most cases, needle insertion only cause minimal discomfort, which is no worse than a mosquito bite. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during the treatment.
Are the needles clean?
Our practitioners are certified in the use of "clean-needle technique" in acupuncture and we only use individually packaged disposable and sterilized steel needles. There is no risk of transmitting a communicable disease using such needles.
How is acupuncture done?
Acupuncture uses extremely thin, flexible sterile needles made of stainless steel. There is nothing special in the needle- it is a tool to balance body energy. There is often brief pain like a mosquito bite as the needle passes through the skin. As the needle begins to work and the energy changes, there may be numbness, heat, dull aching or tingling.
How long does a treatment session take?
For first time visit, our practitioners will conduct a comprehensive initial examination, diagnosis and treatment, which takes one and an half hours. Subsequent treatments are scheduled for one hour.
How many treatment sessions do I need and how often?
The nature, severity and history of each individual's complaint, as well as the individual himself or herself, determine the number of treatments necessary. From five to fifteen treatments are generally adequate for the majority of chronic complaints. Many acute conditions may only require a single treatment and some degenerative conditions may require scores of treatments. The primary focus of Chinese medicine is on correcting the underlying cause of illness and thus produce a lasting cure. Symptoms can often be relieved in a relatively small number of treatments; however, the curing of illness itself is a much longer process. Typically, treatments are given once per week for the first six to eight weeks. As the patient improves, visits are reduced to once every ten days, two weeks, once a month, and so on.
What do I expect to happen at each treatment?
Prior to each treatment, patients have ample time to talk about how they've been, how they feel, and what's happening in their lives, which is essential information for practitioners to determine exactly the treatment that is called for at that time. The pulses are read and moxa and/or needles are applied. The response to the treatment will be assessed by reading the pulses. Often, after treatment, the patient will spend a few minutes simply relaxing, lying on the treatment table, to allow the energetic changes to settle in. Dietary and other lifestyle recommendations will be discussed at appropriate times throughout treatment.
What conditions does acupuncture treat?
See this page for answer, or
Click here for a list of disorders that can effectively treated according to World Health Organization (WHO).


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