Does It Hurt? 
People who are thinking of going to an acupuncturist for the first time frequently ask, “Does it hurt?” It is difficult to 
answer that simple question. Some patients show very little sensitivity to the needles and do not feel anything when 
they are inserted. On the other hand, there may be an increased sensitivity in particular meridians showing an energy 
imbalance. Some patients may feel more needle sensitive on one occasion than on another. 
 
The needles should not cause pain when inserted. Nevertheless, there is a “needle sensation” which may be described as 
a tingling or feeling of numbness radiating from the needle. This sensation tends to differ from patient to patient and 
also depends upon the particular points chosen. Sometimes there is also a distinct twinge as the needle comes into 
contact with the energy at the point, but this is only momentary. The points in the forearm and lower leg are the most 
frequently used and tend to give more needle sensation than those on the trunk or head. 
 
In general, however, treatment should not be painful and when the needle sensation occurs, it should only last a few 
seconds. Acupuncture bears no resemblance to the feeling of getting an injection. The needles used in our clinic are 
extremely fine and made of highly polished stainless steel. 



What will my acupuncturist do?
During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue. Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a persons health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with you acupuncturist may last from 30 to 90 minutes.



Why do they want to feel my pulse?
There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.



Why do they want to look at my tongue?
The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.



Is acupuncture safe for children?
Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.



How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.



Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
Insurance coverage varies from state to state. Contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask:
Will my plan cover acupuncture?
How many visits per calendar year?
Do I need a referral?
Do I have a co-pay?
Do I have a deductible?
If yes, has it been met?


How should I prepare?
Write down and bring any questions you have.We are here to help you.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.

Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment? 
Yes, the following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment: 
1. Maintain a good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection. 
2. To prevent loss, do not wear jewelry. 
3. Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stockings. 
4. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex. 
 


Is there anything I need to do while receiving an acupuncture treatment? 
Yes, again: 
1. Relax. There is no need to be frightened. Ask your practitioner any questions you have along the way so that 
you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment. 
2. Do not change your position or move suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner. 
3. Some people experience dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath, or faintness during treatment. This 
often occurs if you are nervous. Inform your practitioner immediately so he or she can readjust or withdraw the 
needles. Also let your practitioner know if you feel an increasing amount of pain or burning sensation during 
the treatment. 
4. If you find your treatment unbearable at any point, be sure to speak up so that your practitioner can make the 
proper adjustments to stop the treatment. 



What can I expect after treatment? 
You may note a spot of blood at one or more of the needle sites and/or a small bruise could develop. These should not 
be harmful, but please talk to your practitioner if you are concerned. Patients often experience the most dramatic 
results in the first treatment. Some patients experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other 
symptoms. This relief may last or some pain may return. In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice 
the pain diminish over the next couple of days. Generally, you should expect to feel better. 
 
Most patients will have more questions than can be answered in this FAQ. Your practitioner is used to answering 
questions such as: Should I continue to see my medical doctor? Should I continue taking my present medication? What 
should I eat? Is there anything I can do for myself at home? What signs of success should I look for first and after how 
long? You should discuss all of your questions in person with your practitioner. 


Ongoing Treatment 
After the first consultation, most patients are advised to follow a course treatment. The duration of this always 
depends on the individual case, each patient presenting a different pattern. As a general rule, however, long-standing 
problems take longer to cure. In the Orient, patients with acute problems may be seen every day, but in the West this is 
usually impossible. After your first visit to the acupuncturist, you will usually be asked to return in a week’s time. After 
the complaint or illness has been improved, the patient is advised to return periodically for a checkup and to receive a 
treatment to prevent future imbalances. 
 


Diet and Exercise 
When the treatment has been completed, the patient may be advised about diet or exercise if these are relevant to the 
condition. Alternatively, the acupuncturist may suggest certain changes in life-style, if it is felt that there is another 
cause for the imbalance. 



How Deep Do The Needles Go? 
That depends upon the nature of the problem, the location of the points selected, the patient’s size, sage, and 
constitution, and upon the acupuncturist’s style or school. Usually, the needles are inserted from 1/4” to 1” in depth.
 


Are the needles clean? What about HIV & other communicable diseases? 
Mr. Gillet uses only disposable, sterile needles. These needles are used for one patient, one treatment only. At the end 
of the treatment they are disposed of in a special container that later will be incinerated. A sterile field is maintained at 
all times during the treatment. 
 


What criteria should one consider in choosing an acupuncturist? 
Patients should ask about where the practitioner trained, how long the training was, how long he or she has been in 
practice, and what experience the practitioner has had in treating the patient’s specific ailment. Acupuncture is a 
licensed and regulated healthcare profession in about half of the states in the U.S. Ask your practitioner if your state 
requires a license to practice. In states that do not currently require licensing, patients should ask their practitioner if 
they are certified by the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists. Acupuncturists who have 
passed this exam are entitled to add Dipl.Ac. (Diploma of Acupuncture) after their name. 
 


How many treatments will I need? 
That depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint. You may need only a single treatment for an 
acute condition. A series of five to fifteen treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative 
conditions may require many treatments over time. 



What should I know about the proposed treatments? 
Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem and what treatment he or she is recommending. Your 
practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment, what other treatment options are 
available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician. If you agree to go ahead 
with the treatments, your practitioner will tell you what progress to expect, what to do if you don’t experience that 
progress and what to do if you feel worse.