Do the needles hurt?

Often you will not even feel the insertion, because we use the thinnest Japanese gauge needles available.  Sometimes you might feel a brief pinch or sting but usually it is very mild and goes away instantly

How big are they?  

Don’t worry, acupuncture needles are extremely thin and not hollow like hypodermic needles.

Depending on the gauge of hypodermic needles, you could fit 10-18 acupuncture needles into the hole at the tip of a hypodermic needle.

They are sometimes described as thick as a several human hairs, and are flexible like a very thin metal wire.

They are made out of surgical stainless steal and are packaged to be sterile and single use only.

What does it feel like?

Once the needles are in most people experience pleasant sensations of warmth, heaviness and or tingling.

The majority of patients feel extremely relaxed and peaceful once the needles are in and usually fall into a restful sleep.

But what if I have needle phobia?

It’s ok. Upon seeing the actual tiny size of the needles a lot of people wind up being ok with acupuncture and actually loving it!

If you have extreme needle phobia, don’t let that stop you from gaining the benefits of Chinese medicine for your health.  We have many other modalities that can help you with pain and illness that don’t involve the use of needles.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture uses an interconnected system of over 300 precisely mapped points that relate to different areas in your body to influence the tissues and organs.  These points are openings that access the bodies “Qi” which is the basis for all bodily function.  Qi (pronounced chee) is the vital force that flows within every tissue and cell to animate all bodily function.  With proper needling technique and use of points your bodies natural healing and regulatory systems are strengthened and guided back to health and resolution of pain and disease.

In a more scientific biomedical prospective, the use of acupuncture has shown to increase immune system function and response, decrease heart rate and blood pressure, and treat pain by repolarizing nerve tissues and resetting negative feedback pain loops to the brain.  It also has been shown to increase endorphins, and regulate the secretion of gastric acid in the stomach.  It has been hypothesized that acupuncture’s effects can reach deeper areas of the body through directly stimulating the nervous system, by instructing the release of hormones into the bloodstream, and by contacting the connective tissues of the body that interlace and permeate into muscles, tendons, ligaments and organs.  Further scientific research into this field is an exciting and ongoing endeavor.

What about the heavy metals I’ve been hearing about in herbs?

See our Blog post for more about heavy metals, herbal safety and Prop 65 ( http://www.mayway.com/news-archive/september-2001/ )

There has been concern about the safety of herbs that come from China due to the possibility of heavy metal content found in some companies’ herbs.  Sequoia Wellness & Apothecary only carries herbal products that have rigorous testing methods and the highest quality standards to ensure that heavy metals will not pose health issues to our patients.

You can read more about CA prop 65, heavy metals and herbal safety by checking out our blog or clicking on the article link above.



What should I wear?

Please wear something comfortable, such as yoga-style clothing. Since we encourage you to let the Ayurvedic oils soak into your skin for a few hours after the treatment, don’t wear your favorite clothing that could be stained by the oil.  For the shiro dhara oil treatments we also recommend bringing an old towel to throw over your car seat for the drive home.

How Long Does A Typical Steam Session Last?

In general, the recommended steam bath is between 15-20 minutes. Longer sessions, up to 30 minutes, may be appropriate to those in certain programs.

Will I need to shower after an oil treatment?

We encourage you to let the Ayurvedic oils soak into your skin for as long as you are comfortable with.  The benefits of your dosha specific oils keep giving the longer they are allowed to soak in.  Try leaving them on for the night to allow maximum saturation.  You’ll find that you wake up with deliciously soft, supple and vibrant skin and hair.  However, if you need to, you can shower at any time after your treatment and still receive the benefits of shiro dhara… but hey, when else can you get messy and just revel in the health of it?