Frequently Asked Questions

Many people think acupuncture is used to help relieve acute and chronic pain such as headache, low back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. While this is certainly one of its strong points, acupuncture can also help a long list of medical and even psycho-emotional conditions. Studies have shown it to be effective for:

headache, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chemotherapy and post-surgical pain, nausea and vomiting related to chemotherapy, nausea of pregnancy, stroke rehabilitation, menstrual cramps, insomnia, myofascial pain, tennis elbow, addiction, carpal tunnel syndrome

And many people get good results from acupuncture for:

depression, anxiety, ear disorders, stomach/epigastric pain, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, PMS, male and female infertility,TMJ, Bell's palsy, the common cold, sinus headaches, congestion, allergies, urinary issues

And don't hesitate to contact Bill about your specific condition or come in for a free consultation.

Treatment length will vary considerably but mine are often 40 minutes to an hour for adults.
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For chronic or long-standing conditions, one or two treatments a week for a month or two or more may be recommended. For acute problems such as a headache, recent joint pain, hayfever/allergy symptoms, usually one to several visits is enough. Each course of treatment differs greatly and it something the practitioner and patient agree on together.
Acupuncture is extremely relaxing for the majority of patients. Many clients close their eyes and some fall asleep while the needles are in. Many of the insertions are totally painless. Patients are encouraged to report any discomfort. Really, the overall feeling of acupuncture is deep relaxation and some patients even report a feeling of elation.
Yes. It is a basic part of acupuncture and has been for 2000 years.
Dry needling is a subset of acupuncture. It is isolating trigger points in muscles and aggressively needling until the muscle twitches. It is not a subtle technique. It can be appropriate depending on the issue. Acupuncturists have 2500 hours or more of training in technique AND theory and a variety of techniques (of which dry needling is only one). Dry needling IS acupuncture. If you're considering having this done, ask how many hours of training in acupuncture the therapist has.
In general loose fitting clothes are best. Tight, skinny pants/jeans will likely have to be removed. Shoes and socks will always be removed. Men are sometimes asked to remove their shirts and pants. Women are often given gowns to allow access to points on the back. All under garments should be left on. If you think you might need work on your upper thighs or lower back or buttocks, loose fiting shorts are recommended. You are encouraged to express your comfort with the procedures including where needles are placed at any time. Everybody has different levels of modesty and I try to respect that. If you have sciatic or hip or lower back pain or even issues in your lower legs, it's often useful to work on the buttocks in the sciatic nerve/ piriformis/ glutes area. The needles commonly go from the elbows down to the hand, knees down to the foot, all up and down the back, and in the abdomen. There are very useful acupuncture points on the chest and face and head as well. So you see the needles can go almost anywhere as long as you are comfortable.
All needles are sterile and disposed of immediately after use.
Yes, both chiropractic and acupuncture access the body's own healing system. Chiropractors typically focus on the spine and therefore central nervous system. Acupuncturists also use a lot of points next to the spine stimulating similar areas of the body. Acupuncture also stimulates the peripheral nervous system. Points in the arms, legs, and head are often used as well. An acupuncture treatment is often over 40 minutes (and even longer), though, so the patient actually relaxes into the stimulation. A lot patients get pleasantly drowsy and many fall asleep and take a short nap.

I have suffered from allergies, headaches and sinus problems since I was a child. As an adult I have experienced migraines, anxiety/panic attacks, insomnia, digestive issues and of course joint pain including shoulder, knee and back issues. At the age of 20 or so a friend recommended I try chiropractic. With one adjustment to my neck, my nose started to drain. I then realized that decongestants and antihistamines were not the only answer to allergies.

Then in my mid-twenties while living in Kyoto, Japan, I tried shiatsu massage. This also helped my headaches and allergies, but the very gifted therapists, Ryokyu and Mayu Endo, also seemed to connect on a very deep psycho-emotional level as well. Several years later I decided to study with his wife, Mayu, and Endo-Sensei himself.

Endo Sensei had studied with Shizuto Masunaga, the author of Zen Shiatsu. In this book, there are several pages of outlining the relationship of the organ-meridian system with both physical symptoms AND their psycho-emotional counterparts. This fascinated me.

Then, when back in the US after 10 years in Japan, I found myself dissatisfied with office work and decided to turn to something more meaningful to me. I enrolled in the acupuncture program at the Eastern School of Medicine in Montclair, New Jersey. I continue to be fascinated with the art and science of Chinese medicine. The daily process of applying the knowledge and working with patients on their paths to healing I find extremely rewarding.

I continue to use acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, conventional medicine, meditative exercises such as qi gong and tai chi, attention to diet, and nasal irrigation to successfully manage my sinus/allergy challenges.

This is a very good question as there is a lot of overlap in what each of these practitioners/disciplines is able to treat. As an acupuncturist I will refer out to all of the above if treatment plateaus or I think there is an added advantage to doing 2 modalities at the same time. Acupuncture is not mystical and you do not have to believe in "Qi" for it to work. The way I see it is, it is all the same body and mind. In other words, a chiropractor might look for subluxation of the vertebrae, but so do I. A physical therapist might be working on a trigger point, but so does an acupuncturist. Massage therapists and Rolfers might be looking to free up and or integrate chains of fascia, but acupuncturists do as well. So you see it's really a difficult question. Start with a practitioner you feel comfortable with, but don't hesitate to branch out if you are not seeing the results you hope for.
Yes. I have been treating children from elementary school through high school for over a decade. I usually start off with non-needle techniques such as magnets, heat lamps, acupuncture "band-aids", and acupressure until the child is ready to try actual needles. Pediatric patients tend to respond very quickly. The treatment time is also shorter than an adult one and sometimes under 30 minutes.