Find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) in the list below.
- Do you treat kids at PCA?
We do! If your child is developmentally able to remain seated quietly for a brief period of time (typically 20 minutes for most children), all of our acupuncturists will be glad to see them in the Community Treatment Room. We find that many children, beginning around 9 years old, are able to be treated in this manner. Of course you know your child best! If you have any questions about whether acupuncture at PCA is appropriate for your child, please feel free to ask us! We do ask that all children who receive acupuncture at our clinic be consenting to the process and informed in advance that there will be (very tiny) needles involved.
In the event that you would like your infant or young child seen at PCA, please schedule them only with Erin Schmitt. Young children require different treatment strategies and Erin will be glad to speak with you about that.
- Are you wheelchair accessible?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs. There are 12 steps leading to our treatment space and no lift. We know this is not an ideal situation for a community clinic and apologize in advance. Please refer to the POCA Locate-a-clinic reference in order to find a clinic close to you that is wheelchair accessible.
- Why did you put that needle there?
robably the most frequently asked question in any acupuncture clinic, anywhere. Our friend and comrade Andy Wegman wrote an entire book with this title! You can listen to him read his book or download it for free from his site.
- Do you treat pregnant people?
Yes! We get lots of referrals from midwives and obstetricians because acupuncture is effective for many pregnancy-related conditions. Also, there’s a rumor that people who get acupuncture throughout their pregnancy tend to have calm babies.
- Do you use disposable needles?
Yes, we use disposable needles. They come to us sterilized, we use them once, then we dispose of them in an approved Sharps container.
- What can I expect after treatment?
In general, you can expect to feel relaxed for several hours following an acupuncture treatment. Some people get immediate relief from pain, allergies, common cold symptoms, etc. Others find their symptoms recede gradually over a few days. Everyone responds slightly different to acupuncture so it is hard to predict. Your acupuncturist will discuss this more with you and what you specifically might expect to feel after your treatment.
- How does it work, and what are the needles doing?
This is the million dollar question. The answer is…there is no one answer, and it depends on who you ask. But, whether seen as a result of particular chemical/hormonal processes, the movement and directing of blood flow, vascular excitement, regulation of the central nervous system, connective tissue communication, ‘placebo’ effect, or the manifestation of qi, we do know that acupuncture works quite well for many ailments. Acupuncture helps your body do more of what it is supposed to do and less of what it is not supposed to do. Acupuncture works, and because of that, it's not so important to us how it works.
In terms of how acupuncture can help with persistent and chronic pain, we have a better answer here, in a blog post about the subject.
- What conditions do you treat?
- Does acupuncture hurt?
Usually you do not feel much at all, and most people are deeply relaxed and/or asleep once all the needles have been placed. Acupuncture needles are actually quite small (about the thickness of a cat whisker), only go a few millimeters under the skin, and are designed specifically to be very smooth and comfortable for patients. Interestingly as well, we DO NOT have to place the needles where the pain or problem is located. For example, we can treat back and hip pain using points on the arms and legs. Your acupuncturist will make sure that all of your needles are 100% comfortable before leaving you to relax in the recliner, and will remove or adjust any needles so that you can relax comfortably while you are here. It is normal to not be able to relax WHILE you are getting needled - your body has reflexes for a reason! But the needling process itself only takes 2-3 minutes, and then you can relax.