Ancient City Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Ancient Medicine for Modern Health

Frequently Asked Questions at ACAHM

Below are just a few frequently asked questions some might have regarding acupuncture or other modalities of herbal medicine. If you would like to see the conditions that can be treated using these, visit the Conditions Treated page. If you are still curious, feel free to give us a call at (904) 797-2401.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Most people find acupuncture to be a very nice experience. The initial insertion has been described as finger prick. It is true that some areas are more sensitive than others and produce a strong response. However, many people find acupuncture to be a welcomed warm glow, a buzzing, spreading or flowing sensation. Once the needles are placed, patients often experience a restful state, even falling asleep during treatment. This is always a welcome outcome. For those fearful of needle acupuncture, other modalities are appropriate until such time as the patient is ready to experience needle acupuncture.

What is an acupuncture point?

An acupuncture point is a place, space or point that can be accessed to regulate bodily functions to support the body and prevent diseases. Deep and extensive study of these points and their connecting channels or meridians is necessary to successfully strengthen health and prevent disease. There are twelve main meridians or channels comprising at least 361 points. Taking into consideration extra points, extra channels, and other (ashi) points, there are claimed to be over 600 points on the body. No wonder it requires extensive study to master. Think of an acupuncture point like the electric wall socket that allows one to access electricity. Once accessed we can turn on or off the lights. When we access an acupuncture point we can give a message to create a change; to regulate energy balance.

What kind of needles are used, and are they safe?

In Florida, as in most states, acupuncture needles are one-time use disposable needles. They are solid needles which are as thin as a strand of hair, and as such they are generally easy to use.

Acupuncture needles do not introduce chemicals into the body. This means that they are disposed of in a bio-hazard sharps container after one-time use. This prevents cross-contamination and prevents infection. Acupuncture needles are very safe when used one time and disposed of properly in sharps containers after use. I only use one-time use disposable needles.

What is cupping, and what is it good for?

Cupping is a therapy utilizing a cup or jar that is attached to the skin via vacuum suction. This suction creates local congestion. The method is simple, therapeutic, and effective. Cupping is good for warming and promoting the free flow of Qi and blood, diminishing dampness, swellings and pain. Cupping is appropriate for cough and asthma to name a few. I like fire cups made from glass, but they come in plastic, and bamboo. In ancient times animal horns were used for cupping too.

What is Moxa or moxabustion, and what is it good for?

Moxa is Artemisia vulgaris. The leaf is dried for years before is it processed. It is prepared into various forms for use on the body. Moxa is burned and the Moxa smoke is allowed to come into close contact with the body. There are many methods such as direct and indirect, used alone or with other herbs. The warming capability of Moxa makes it unique; it expels cold, treating both excess and deficient conditions, strengthening yang and preventing disease. Moxa can be used alone or in conjunction with salt, ginger, or garlic. In my opinion, there is nothing like Moxa.

What is Gua Sha and what should I keep in mind when receiving it?

This is a scraping technique similar to cupping. As it releases the exterior, pathogens can be expelled, pain can be relieved, and circulation can be increased. These are just a few of the benefits of gua sha.

Keep in mind that the marks created show the severity of stagnation presented. These can be many shades of pink, red, to purple-blue. These marks must be kept covered with a shirt or scarf until resolved in order to prevent pathogens from re-entering the body.

What are some causes of pain?

According to oriental medicine, statements inform us that "where there is stagnation there is pain." Stagnation leads to obstruction with or without heat. Moving the stagnation will increase circulation and disperse heat, thereby reducing and in many cases eliminating pain. Not all cases have the same results.

What should I wear when I come for my first acupuncture treatment?

Wear loose fitting clothes that can allow access to your knees and elbows. This is where many points are commonly chosen. Other areas may be needed, such as the stomach area.

How should I prepare for my first visit?

Never arrive at an appointment famished or overfed, intoxicated, or overly exhausted (such as after running a marathon). The body's energy cannot be moved in these situations. Eat a light meal prior to your visit as is your normal daily routine. Drink water to stay hydrated.

Do you accept insurance?

Our practice accepts insurance for acupuncture patients. In order to best serve you, we can verify your insurance benefits before you arrive. Please click on the blue button labeled "Verify Your Insurance" on the top right side of the page and complete the online form. We will contact you as soon as the benefits are established.

Can I use my health savings account or similar?

Yes! In most cases this works for acupuncture. Occationally benefits vary from employer to employer, and we do our best to verify your benefits.

What if I have other questions?

You can email any questions to and we will be happy to answer these. To read more about acupunture, follow the link to the online magazine Acupuncture Today here.

Additional Links

Center for Disease Control