Sharon Rose, LAc, MSAOM
(503) 964-3422
3806 SE Belmont
Portland, Oregon 97214

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Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture

Why choose Rose City Acupuncture?

You're really choosing me, Sharon Rose. There are plenty of great acupuncturists in town: Here's why I'm different. First, the osteopathic bodywork I do affects how your muscles work. It creates lasting change, so you truly heal instead of simply feeling the temporary relaxation of a regular massage. The other major difference is that I make a point to only see one patient at a time; I will never ignore you to treat other people in another room. Your experience will be private and relaxing. I'm extra gentle, even as acupuncturists go.

acupuncture treatment

How does it work?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on a set of energetic organs and their channels of energy (Qi / Chi) that extend through the body and along the limbs. The channels, or meridians, have differing qualities and functions. The acupuncture points we use are places where the channels run near the surface. At these sites, we can access the energy and moderate it by dispersing areas of excess or stagnation and nourishing areas of deficiency. Understanding this complex physiology takes years, which helps explain why a TCM-trained acupuncturist who has learned the specifics of nearly 1,000 points may get different results than an MD with a few weekend courses.

Some of the points reflect an anatomical point of view: They are located at a neuromuscular junction and affect nerve transmission, for example. Others make sense based on TCM theory, such as using a Water point to quench Fire or heat in the system. Still other points are a mystery. There's a point in the lower leg that helps pain in the opposite shoulder. We haven't discovered the mechanics of this action yet, but its effectiveness is clear (Ask me about the current research into electricity along the meridians!). We may not understand how it works, but 4,000 years of trial and error has given us a phenomenally powerful system of medicine.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are much finer than those used to give a shot or take blood: They are only about the thickness of a human hair. There's a tiny sting as they go through the skin, and then most people don't feel anything. Those who are energy-sensitive may feel a heaviness, dull ache, or tingling, but these are generally mild sensations and don't hurt. I am particularly gentle, since I've found that a light touch gets the same results as heavy stimulation. Acupuncture is like Aikido: The more precise your technique, the less force you need!

You are the boss of your treatment. I will slow down or stop as soon as you ask.

If you have a phobia of needles or are too nervous to try them, I can always just use acupressure.

What should I expect?

During the session, which lasts 45 minutes to an hour, you will feel happy and relaxed. Falling asleep is quite common. You might feel warmer as your Qi and blood flow improve. Afterwards, some people feel mildly "high." If you've come in with a symptomatic complaint, such as back pain or sinus congestion, you should have immediate improvement. Due to feedback between the muscles and brain, if you have received OMM therapy you can expect even more improvement over the next day or two. Constitutional treatments, such as for digestive or hormonal issues, can take a little longer.

What if I don't believe in it?

Fortunately, Chinese medicine really works on a physical level and doesn't depend on your belief system. I have treated both animals and skeptical humans with great success. Ask me about Pelé the bunny!

Are the needles sterile?

Yes, absolutely! I only work with single-use, disposable needles.

How should I prepare for my treatment?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing, such as you would wear to a yoga class. If I need to treat a clothed area, I'll step out while you undress and make yourself comfortable under the sheet/blanket on the massage table. Your privacy and comfort are always respected. Ideally you should eat a light meal within a few hours of our session. It's best if you are not hungry or overfull. Please print out the Patient History Form, fill it out, and bring it with you.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Some companies do, some don't. If you've had a recent car accident or worker's comp claim, I will be happy to bill them direct, saving you the hassle. If you have health insurance it gets more complicated depending on the provider. If I can't bill them directly I can provide you with a receipt with the proper ICD-9 codes to maximize your reimbursement.