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Questions to Ask Your Acupuncturist

 Questions to Ask Your Acupuncturist

If you have chronic pain that hasn’t been relieved by traditional medicine, you may be considering acupuncture. Although doctors practicing Western medicine used to look askance at acupuncture, studies in the past two decades have helped acupuncture move from a nontraditional to a complimentary or standard course of treatment for some ailments, including chronic back pain, digestive disorders, mood disorders, and sexual dysfunction, among others. 

Dr. Donghwan Lee with DH Acupuncture in New York, New York, wants you to feel comfortable with the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture treatment you receive. You’ll have time to ask all of your questions about acupuncture, which is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Are you licensed and board-certified to practice acupuncture? How long have you practiced acupuncture? 

It’s important to be able to trust your medical practitioner. You want to make sure that your acupuncturist is licensed to practice by the state, which means a state entity has confirmed the background and qualifications of your practitioner. 

Dr. Lee is licensed to practice acupuncture in New York and has the highest certifications in the profession. He is a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, meaning he has completed rigorous training in acupuncture and has also received board certification in Chinese herbal medicine from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

In addition, Dr. Lee has a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine from the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, the leading TCM college in China, and he practiced TCM for more than a decade in China. You can rest assured that Dr. Lee is a top practitioner in TCM in the US. 

Just as you look for other doctors with expertise in their fields, you want your acupuncture practitioner to have significant experience treating patients. An unlicensed practitioner might insert needles at incorrect points on your body or insert them too hard. 

Will acupuncture help me? 

You want to know if acupuncture treatment is going to help your pain or other troubling symptoms. Dr. Lee must review your medical history, do a thorough assessment by asking you many questions about your health and habits, and conduct a physical exam before ascertaining whether TCM is going to be a good answer for you. 

How long is an acupuncture appointment? 

Before your first appointment, it’s helpful to know how long the appointment takes so you can plan your day effectively. A first appointment may take 90 minutes. Subsequent appointments could take 20 or 30 minutes or one hour, depending on what is done. 

What happens at an acupuncture appointment? 

If you’ve never had acupuncture, you want to know what to expect during your treatment. Dr. Lee reviews your medical history and asks you to explain your symptoms. He conducts a thorough assessment of your health habits and body systems, such as eating and sleeping habits or problems, digestive/elimination system, emotional issues, chronic pain, and more. You’ll have an exam similar to other physical exams you’ve had. 

Based on your symptoms and the exam, Dr. Lee determines where to place acupuncture needles on your body to restore balance to your qi, or life force. You lie comfortably on a table. Soft music may play in the background, and lights are dimmed. You might fall asleep. Dr. Lee checks on you periodically while the needles are in place. Then Dr. Lee removes the needles. 

Dr. Lee may also recommend certain Chinese herbs for some medical conditions. He checks any contraindications in the medications you currently take before prescribing herbs.  

Are there side effects and risks of acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a very low-risk procedure, especially when compared with minimally invasive procedures for ailments such as back pain. Most people have no side effects from acupuncture. A few people feel minor soreness or bruising where needles were placed. Sterile needles prevent infection. 

Dr. Lee reviews your medical history and asks you questions about it. If you have a bleeding disorder, wear a pacemaker, or are pregnant, you may not be a candidate for acupuncture. 

If Chinese herbs are prescribed, are they safe? 

Dr. Lee only uses herbs from trusted manufacturers. The herbs go through verification, testing, and quality control tests to protect against contaminants and toxins such as metals, pesticides, and more. Our office can coordinate with your doctor about which herbs are being prescribed and why they are needed. TCM using Chinese herbs has been practiced safely and effectively for many centuries. 

Call DH Acupuncture or book an appointment through our online portal today to see if TCM and acupuncture treatment can provide relief from what’s troubling you.

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