Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who makes the laws concerning Acupuncture?

The Texas Legislature makes the laws concerning medical practices including Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Q2. Who administrates or regulates Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in Texas?

The Texas Legislature has indicated that the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners, which is a subset of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners, is the licensing body for Acupuncturists. The Acupuncture Board is composed of acupuncturists, medical doctors, and public citizens. The Governor appoints these positions.

Q3. What training is required to practice acupuncture?

The Texas Legislature does not require medical doctors to have any knowledge, training, experience, nor to pass any exams to practice Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Chiropractors may have some limited training. However, acupuncturists are required to do extensive training over approximately three years at an approved acupuncture school or college, and to pass comprehensive National Examinations administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Individuals licensed by the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners are fully qualified to practice Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Q4. What are the needles made of?

In ancient China needles were made of bamboo, fish bone, bronze, silver and gold. Today most needles are made of surgical stainless steel.

Q5. How long and thick are the needles?

The needles vary from ½ inch to over 2" in length. The longer needles are used in the more fleshy parts of the body. An acupuncturist will almost always use only ½, 1" and 1 ½ needles. The needles are usually 30 gauge to 38 gauge. A 38-gauge needle is a little thicker than a human hair. Acupuncturists are trained to use the appropriate thickness for the treatment.

Q6. Is Acupuncture painful?

This is the first question most people ask. The majority of people who have received acupuncture indicate it is not what they expected. They found their experience was favorable and they would definitely recommend it. There is no correlation between depth of the acupuncture point and patient discomfort. Most patients feel no undue discomfort. Part of the extensive training is learning how to insert needles without causing pain or discomfort.

Q7. How deep are the needles inserted?

Each acupuncture point has it’s own unique depth. Part of an acupuncturist’s comprehensive training is knowing the depth of insertion for each acupuncture point. The needle insertion depth can be as shallow as 1/32" for ear points to over 2" for buttock points.

Q8. Are the needles sterile?

Most acupuncturists use needles that come in a sterile pack. They are one time use needles.

Q9. How does acupuncture work?

There is no all-inclusive definitive Western explanation of why it works. The Eastern explanation is very complex. In general, acupuncture treats the body as a whole. It does not separate the mind, body, soul, or psychic into separate parts. It assumes that there is a connection between each part of the body. Ex: In Western medicine the pulmonary specialist has little knowledge of liver problems. In Oriental medicine this relation is crucial to solving asthma and assorted lung problems. In general the acupuncturist balances internal energy so that the body functions as a whole and returns to a normal condition for that body given that persons genetic structure.

Q10. How many acupuncture points are there?

There are at least 1000 acupuncture points and more are discovered each year.

Q11. Do acupuncturist recommend vitamins?

Yes, some do. Vitamins come in a wide range of potencies. Many individuals take too many vitamins. A good vitamin program would be based on what is best for your system. A company called Ideal Health has a program of customizing vitamins and potencies for each person based on a persons urine sample, their gender, age, etc. For more information contact your acupuncturist or call 972-279-4888.

Q12. Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture done by a fully trained acupuncturist licensed by the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners is very safe and should not be a concern to the patient.

Q13. Can an acupuncturist prescribe medication?

No, only a physician can prescribe medication, but in many instances the acupuncturist will recommend over the counter herbal formulations for specific problems.

Q14. How many treatments do I need?

It varies depending on the problem. Chronic problems or problems you have had for a long time may take more treatments then acute problems of short duration. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect and treatments done in close proximity of each other may be appropriate. It is common for chronic problems to take 5 to 10 visits.

Q15. Are there different types of acupuncture?

Yes, however; the acupuncture points are the same. Someone trained in Chinese acupuncture may choose a set of points that would be different than someone trained in Korean or Japanese acupuncture, or Five Element acupuncture. It is not the type of acupuncture, but the competence and training that is important.

Q16. I’m pregnant can I have acupuncture?

Acupuncture is very effective in treating morning sickness. Acupuncture can be used during pregnancy, however; there are some points that the acupuncturist will not use because of the pregnancy.

Q17. Is acupuncture only good for pain?

There is a misconception that acupuncture is only used for pain. Acupuncture is very effective in treating internal problems.

Q18. Who comes for acupuncture?

Initially individuals come because their health problem was not solved by traditional Western medicine. Many have received such good results that they then decide to use the acupuncturist as their primary health care provider.

Q19. Are there some health problems not appropriate for acupuncture?

There are many health care problems that should only be seen by a medical doctor. For trauma situations Western medicine should be the choice. In general, other than common cold or mild flu symptoms, in our office, over 200 chronic diseases we can treat for you.

Q20. Should I get herbs at the health food stores?

Most health food stores have single herbs. Almost never are single herbs used in Traditional Oriental medicine. our office can recommend an herbal formulation for your specific problem.

Q21. Will insurance pay for acupuncture?

Some insurance companies will pay for acupuncture. The list of these companies that reimburse grows each year. Some more questions, please call to 972-279-4888, and we can help you call your insurance verify your case.