Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you will find answers to many frequently asked questions about acupuncture in San Luis Obispo. If you do not see your question answered, or you would like to speak with Therese directly, please call (805) 748-8885, or email our San Luis Obispo acupuncture practice.

1. What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a complex form of ancient Chinese medicine that is used to restore balance to the body and promote healing. Acupuncture is based on the principle of a life force or “Chi” and how this energy is circulated throughout different channels called “meridians.” By stimulating certain points of the body using very thin needles, acupuncturists are able to redirect the flow of energy through these specific pathways.

2. How does acupuncture help with illness?

This is a difficult question to answer, since the science of acupuncture is not fully understood. The traditional Chinese medicine explanation is that acupuncture normalizes the flow and distribution of energy and balances circulation. Western research, on the other hand, has shown that stimulating the acupuncture points triggers the release of chemicals and hormones which regulate the body’s internal systems. No matter which theory you identify with, the therapeutic effects of acupuncture have been documented in many scientific and clinical research studies.

3. Is acupuncture painful?

For most patients, acupuncture is a very comfortable treatment. Unlike standard hypodermic needles, the needles used at SLO Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine are extremely fine, comparable to the thinness of a human hair. Over 20 acupuncture needles are able to fit into a hypodermic needle.

Although the needles should not hurt, you may experience sensation at the insertion point. Tingling or a feeling of warmth or heaviness is common during acupuncture treatments. By working with a skilled practitioner that you can trust, you should expect to receive a level of sensation that is suitable for you. Therese tailors every treatment to accommodate her patient’s individual comfort level.

4. What kind of needles do you use?

SLO Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine uses only sterile Seirin needles for smooth insertion. Needles are disposed of immediately after treatment; acupuncture needles are never reused.

5. What are the risks or side effects?

Acupuncture is an extremely safe, natural method of therapy that very rarely produces any significant adverse effects. Typically, most people experience improved sleeping patterns, more regular bowel movements, a sense of relaxation, and better energy.

6. What will I feel after treatment?

The most common response to acupuncture is relaxation. However, personal reactions will vary, as will the individual treatment sessions. Some individuals may feel energized and invigorated after their procedure, while others feel calmed and soothed. No two treatments are exactly the same, and your body will react differently with each acupuncture treatment. Therese encourages her patients to communicate with her about their body’s response to acupuncture so that she can provide a comfortable treatment.

7. How many treatments do I need?

The number of treatments needed varies on a case-by-case basis. Typically, 2 -3 sessions are suggested for acute conditions, while 8 – 15 procedures may be necessary for more chronic illnesses. Therese will discuss your individual treatment plan with you and recommend the appropriate number of sessions required.

8. How long does an acupuncture session last?

Your first visit typically takes between 1 – 2 hours long in order for Therese to conduct a background health assessment and develop a treatment plan. After this initial appointment, each subsequent visit generally takes about 1hour.

9. How do I prepare for my appointment?

Patients are advised to wear comfortable clothing and have one small meal 1 – 2 hours prior to treatment. Please arrive 15 – 20 minutes early to fill out your new patient information packet before your scheduled appointment time, unless your packet is complete.

10. Do you take insurance?

Upon request, SLO Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine will provide patients with an invoice called a “Superbill.” A Superbill uses standardized codes for the treatments performed and may be submitted to your insurance company for full or partial reimbursement of the cost of your visit, depending on your policy. The cost of treatment is due at the time of service.