FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Acupuncture and herbs are the principal branches of Chinese medicine, a system that has been developed and refined for more than two thousand years. In acupuncture, hair-thin needles are inserted at various points on the body. These points perform various therapeutic functions, but in general, they access and manipulate the pathways of energy that course through our bodies. This energy (qi) drives all of the systems that keep us alive. When there's too little or too much of that energy in any given system, it can result in pain and disease. Acupuncture helps these sytems to integrate and work more efficiently. With that, we regain balance, health and vitality.



WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?

Acupuncture and herbs treat a wide variety of conditions. Here are some examples of the biological systems and disorders you can address with Chinese medicine:

-Circulatory (cold hands & feet, swollen limbs, etc.)
-Digestive (Crohn’s disease, IBS, bloating, nausea, etc.)
-Endocrine (Thyroid disorders, irregular periods, symptoms of menopause, etc.)
-Immune (allergies, frequent colds, acute colds & flus, etc.)
-Musculo-skeletal (Low back pain, injuries, surgery recovery, etc.)
-Reproductive (Endometriosis, PCOS, fertility, etc.)
-Respiratory (asthma, COPD, shallow breathing, cough, etc.)
-Urinary (incontinence, urinary tract infections, etc.)
-Mental-Emotional (anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, etc.)



The UCSD School of Medicine recognizes this list of conditions that acupuncture can treat.

DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?

Acupuncture treatments generally create a deep sense of relaxation. It’s possible to feel some sensation as the needles are inserted, or as reference points are palpated. These sensations include pressure, warmth, a dull ache, and pinching. But these feelings tend to pass fairly quickly, and are not necessarily painful. Athena practices gentle and minimalist styles of acupuncture, with thin needles and fairly shallow insertions. Her methods are perfectly suited for people who are afraid of needles or have never tried acupuncture before. 

 

IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?

Yes. Licensed acupuncturists receive years of training on safe practices. They use sterilized, single-use needles, which are disposed of immediately after use. It is also safe for children.

IS THERE ANYTHING I NEED TO DO TO PREPARE FOR MY TREATMENT?

It’s best to not get a treatment on an empty stomach, so you should make sure you’ve eaten at least an hour before your session. Wear or bring loose clothing that can roll up above the elbows and knees. 

WHAT IS REIKI?

Reiki is an energetic healing practice with origins in the 1900s in Japan. The word comes from Rei, meaning “Universal Life” and Ki, otherwise known as "qi" or energy. In reference to the life force that flows through all things, Reiki helps you connect with universal healing energy that benefits physical, mental-emotional and spiritual balance. It can be practiced with light touch, or even over distances / no touch at all, and is typically very relaxing, cleansing and illuminating.

WHAT IS HERBAL MEDICINE?

Chinese herbal medicine has been used in conjunction w/acupuncture, tai chi and other Eastern medical therapies, to treat various conditions and illnesses or to maximize health. Herbal formulas are a great way to have a daily influence on your condition or vitality. They often come in the form of  decoctions, powders, pills or tablets, syrups, liniments or plasters.