Frequently asked questions

What is acupuncture?

How does acupuncture work?

What conditions does it treat?

Are the needles clean?
What should I expect on my first visit?
How many treatments will I need?
Do the needles hurt?
Where can I find more information on acupuncture?
How should I prepare for my treatments?

Are the needles clean?

All needles are taken from a new sterilized package, used once, and discarded.


What should I expect on my first visit?

The first visit begins with the practitioner taking a detailed medical history.  In addition to a typical medical history taken at the doctors office, other questions will be asked such as your sleep habits, ability to tolerate heat or cold, dietary habits, etc..  After reviewing your medical history, you may have an examination of the tongue and of your pulse.    

After obtaining your medical history and diagnosis, the practitioner will begin the treatment.  A treatment may include needles inserted into specific points on the body, moxabustion, and electrical stimulation (similar to what's used in a physical therapy or chiropractic office).

Your first visit usually last about 40-60 minutes.  Most treatments require a minimum of 4-6 visits.  As with other medical modalities (physical therapy, chiropractic, medicine), acupuncture requires a series of treatments to be most effective.


How many treatments will I need?

Most conditions require a minimum of 6-8 treatments.


Do the needles hurt?

Acupuncture needles are solid and very thin.  Needles are only inserted about 1/2 inch.  While each person's experience is different, most people feel a minimal amount of pain as the needle is inserted.

 How should I prepare for my treatments?

Prepare to give a detailed medical history including current and previous medications.  Do not eat or consume caffeinated foods or beverages several hours before treatment (this may discolor tongue and make it difficult to examine). Wear loose fitting clothes. 

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Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness

Laurie Binder, Doctor of Acupuncture (RILB)

3029 Wilshire Blvd Suite 201

Santa Monica, CA 90403

(310) 564-4325


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