Acupuncture, Cupping, Gua Sha and Moxa


Often times the AcuClinic is asked thoughtful questions that help shine a light on our services, and Chinese Integrative Medicine. Below is a collection of some of the most commonly asked questions and answers.

If you don't see your question listed, please contact us so we can help with your inquiry.

Acupuncture Questions and Answers

Does it hurt? What if I don't like needles?

We understand the hesitation one might have about the needling aspect of an acupuncture treatment. Most patients are pleasantly surprised to hear that the needles are very thin, about the size of a human hair and that about 40 acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of the standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle given at your doctor’s office. Sensations at the site are often painless but can include, a slight pressure, dull ache or tingling sensation. Another option is to slowly transition to the needling performed during traditional treatment. Cupping, medicinal hot packs, massage, ear seeds, tui na massage therapy and herbal therapy, can be wonderful, non invasive, alternatives to exploring the wonderful benefits of Chinese Medicine without needling at first.

What can I expect at my first Acupuncture appointment?

We ask that patients arrive wearing loose, comfortable clothing, and abstain from coffee or alcohol for at least a couple of hours prior to treatment. Upon arrival, the practitioner will perform an “intake” where they will ask you questions about your health history, daily habits and current symptoms.

This is followed by an acupuncture treatment that lasts between 20 and 30 minutes and includes needling and modalities such as cupping, tui na, and moxa, depending on what is advised for your particular condition. The lights are dimmed and quiet music is playing in the background to help you relax. Throughout the session, your practitioner will come in to make sure you are comfortable. Some patients fall asleep during their session and almost all patients end their treatment feeling completely relaxed. Some patients even report feeling energized. Post treatment, your practitioner will give you recommendations for a customized treatment plan and post treatment care based on the symptoms you presented with.

Are there side-effects?

Patients have reported several, pleasant “side effects”. An example is that when they go to a practitioner seeking treatment for neck and shoulder pain, they find that their pain diminishes. Meanwhile, their stress level, sleep quality, digestion, and overall mood improve too!

Other reported sensations experienced after an acupuncture treatment include a general sense of calm, increased energy, regular bowel movements, vivid dreams, and or/deep sleep. Temporary negative side effects can include bruising or hematoma at certain acupuncture points, fatigue, dizziness, soreness after cupping and in some cases, more soreness than usual for a day after any type of orthomuscular treatment. This is known as “dredging the pond”, because of the increased blood flow to the affected area. Patients pleasantly report that this resolves quickly and that they experienced a substantial decrease in pain the following day.

The AcuClinic San Diego | Chinese Integrative Medicine