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FREQUENTLY 

ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Chinese Medicine?

Chinese Medicine is a body of practice that includes acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Asian bodywork such as tuina, cupping, and guasha. While many people in the west are growing in their understanding of acupuncture, the ancient practices of Chinese medicine encompass many other modalities.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient method to treat illness in the human body. Your acupuncturist will use hair-fine needles inserted shallowly into specific points on the body. These “acupuncture points” are selected based on your symptomology and constitution. Chinese medicine, and acupuncture included, looks at diagnosis within a different framework from the one we are familiar with when we visit our family doctor. Based on this diagnosis, a practitioner can use these needles to rectify the diagnosed “problem” and restore health and wellbeing.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Generally speaking—no! Our needles are NOT like the needles you have inserted into you for injections or getting blood drawn. Our acupuncture needles are often as fine as the hair on a human head. Most needles are inserted shallowly and into fleshy parts of the body. Patients may even have the experience of not knowing when the needle is inserted. When a needle does “hurt,” it is generally a small pinch that dissipates quickly. A sense of heaviness, itching, or light dull ache is a more common experience—and actually indicative of a powerful treatment. Patients often leave their treatment relaxed, feeling better, and looking forward to their next appointment.

What will happen at my first appointment?

During your first appointment, you might be surprised at how much you get to talk to your acupuncturist! You and your Chinese medical practitioner (Licensed Acupuncturist) will sit down and talk about why you are visiting that day. You will also answer questions about everything from your sleep, your food cravings and digestion, to the frequency of your bowel movements. Regardless of why you are visiting that day, the answers to these questions can be vital in helping us comprehensively treat you. Chinese medicine is not just about the pain—it is about the constitution of the patient and the reasons behind the pain. Don’t be surprised if your practitioner feels your pulse for an extended amount of time and asks you to stick out your tongue. These diagnostic techniques are drawn from ancient practice and help us in your treatment.

 

In more practical terms—please bring your new patient paperwork completed. We do ask many questions in this paperwork, and the answers help us in your treatment. Also bring a complete list of all the medications (and dosages) you take and what times of the day you take them. Loose clothing also helps us more easily perform our treatment, although we do have gowns available as needed.

What kind of training do you have?

Great question! Your acupuncturist at AMMA Wellness is a Licensed Acupuncturist in the State of Texas. You will see the designation L.Ac. after his or her name. This means they have graduated from a graduate program that specializes in acupuncture and Chinese medicine. These schools themselves have rigorous national accreditation bodies. The comprehensive academic programs are 3-4 years long and require several thousand hours of supervised training. Additionally, an L.Ac. In Texas must have passed 4 rigorous national board exams. Licensed Acupuncturists must also have taken additional coursework and examination on hygiene, disease transmission, and clinical safety as it specifically relates to modern clinical practice of acupuncture.

 

Rest assured your AMMA practitioner not only is at the top of the field but also is a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) with superlative and extensive training.

Can I take herbs if I already take prescription medication?

Often you can. Because AMMA Wellness employs only Licensed Acupuncturists (L.Ac.), their practitioners have graduate level training in herbal application and herb-drug interactions. We know contraindications and can advise on the timing of herbal administration if you are taking pharmaceutical medication. Rest assured we will never prescribe herbal formulas if we think it will be unsafe or affect the efficacy of your prescription medication. Also, you will never take any herbs during IVF if you are a fertility patient.

Are Chinese herbs safe?

Chinese herbs differ from pharmaceutical medication in that they are not ultra-concentrated synthesized compounds. Instead, they are high quality botanicals—some of which you might even use in your kitchen! Some herbs such as astragalus are also available over the counter at health food stores. What makes Chinese herbal formulas powerful, though, is the high quality of ingredients and the way herbs are combined with one another to enhance their therapeutic effect.

How long does it take to experience results?

Most patients will leave  their first appointment feeling better. Depending on severity and longevity of the issue, you may need to return weekly for a little while to have sustained results, or we may advise you return at a different interval. The healing, though, does not stop when you leave the office. Our goal is to empower you to continue a life of health and wellbeing through diet, qigong, and other self care. It will begin when you walk in the door. During your first treatment, you can expect a consultation where this question, as well as others, can be answered.

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