To help you understand the nature of my work in acupuncture, here are some common questions and my responses. Please feel free to send your own questions via email to: laura@lauramueller.com.

1. How can acupuncture help me?
Regular treatments can help us to maintain a sense of wellbeing, increase our effectiveness, enhance our enjoyment in living, and deepen our relationships with others and ourselves. Acupuncture awakens our senses, calms our minds, keeps our emotions moving, and enlivens our spirits. With treatment we often experience increasing clarity, expanding creativity, smooth flow, ease, balance, and deeper meaning in our day-to-day life.

Many people begin acupuncture seeking relief from a physical condition that has not responded well with other treatment. Concern over a specific symptom often transforms into deep personal healing where we recognize change and growth in many areas of our lives. Through such personal healing, we cultivate awareness of the tremendous power of our body/mind/spirit. We more readily build habits that keep us whole, healthy and happy throughout the year.

2. At what age do children benefit from acupuncture? What if a child is reluctant or afraid?

Children of all ages, from babies to adolescents, benefit from treatment. They usually respond very quickly in a few sessions. During their child’s treatment parents can observe changes in the movements and moods of their very young one to see that the treatment is working. Parents often show amazement at the detail with which older children describe their changing sensations during their treatment.

Because children express such awareness and sensitivity, I use gentle, non-threatening techniques appropriate to each of them. These include finger pressure, gentle touch, light brushing along the energy pathways on arms and legs, and holding needles or other tools over body points without inserting them in the skin. When a child expresses reluctance or fear, I use the technique on their parent while the child watches. I also teach parents to touch and hold appropriate points that they can also use at home between visits. Both parent and child leave the session feeling better. Often the child insists on going first when they return.

Many adolescents come for treatment to sharpen their focus, enhance their performance, improve their memory, regain ability in a sport, relieve pain or discomfort, reduce stress and anxiety, learn to relax, get better sleep or rest, or improve relationships with people they care about. The results they report include meeting such treatment goals with greater strength, confidence, self-awareness, relaxation, flexibility, ease, and gratitude.

3. How much do acupuncture needles hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very thin, and many people feel nothing or very little with needle insertion. Some sense a brief ache or a fleeting sense of heaviness. Some feel sensations in other areas of their body, including warmth, tingling, lightness or movement like smoke or wind. Needles are not placed directly at an injured area but bring relief from elsewhere on the body. Many clients report feeling deeply relaxed both while needles are in place and after they are removed.

Since some points can be more sensitive than others, I teach clients breathing techniques to help manage strong sensations. Many clients use these breathing skills at the dentist, in doctor visits, when injured, to relax, or to go to sleep more easily.

4. How safe are the needles?
Sterile, pre-packaged needles are used only once. They are disposed of immediately after use, following OSHA guidelines.

5. Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
Some insurance companies reimburse individuals for acupuncture treatment when it is medically necessary, such as for pain relief. Many expect referral from a physician. Some only reimburse for care by practitioners within their network. Consult your insurer for the terms of coverage on your policy. Full payment is required at the time of treatment.

6. How frequently do I need to come to benefit from treatment?
After an initial consultation, you will usually have one-hour sessions weekly for six to eight weeks, during which we track and discuss signs of progress. As you experience improvement in your condition and enjoy a greater sense of ease, treatments are extended to every other week, every three weeks, monthly and eventually seasonally. The frequency of treatments varies with each individual, his or her condition, and the goals for treatment.

7. How do I prepare for my first treatment?

  • Dress comfortably in clothes that come on and off easily.
  • Minimize your use of strong-smelling personal care products or make-up for your first consultation.
  • Be prepared to list any medications, supplements, herbs or remedies you are currently using.
  • Be ready to share your healthcare history. If you have it written down, bring a copy for your treatment file.
  • Be sure to eat well and drink plenty of water before traveling to the session.
  • Maps and directions are available from the Location page, which links to MapQuest.

To maximize the benefits of your treatments, avoid caffeine in coffee, tea, or sodas during the day of treatment. Avoid alcoholic drinks and minimize carbonated drinks within 24 hours before and after your treatment time. Avoid intense physical activity immediately before or after your scheduled treatment.

8. What can I expect to get out of my initial consultation and first treatment session?

During the initial consultation and first treatment, you can expect:

  • To review your health concerns and symptoms such that we reveal patterns and connections;
  • To design three or four goals for treatment and observations to show we are meeting them;
  • To experience some of the tools of acupuncture diagnosis and treatment;
  • To have physical assessments, including several pulse readings throughout the time allotted;
  • To share enough information to develop your personalized plan for 4 to 6 future treatments;
  • To learn what you may observe over the week following treatment for review at the next session;
  • To be more aware of the subtle signals of your body sensations;
  • To leave the session feeling more relaxed and energized than when you arrived.

9. What do I do next if I want acupuncture treatment?

Contact me at the telephone number displayed on the Contact page of this website. We will discuss your concerns and schedule an initial visit. During your first visit we will determine a treatment schedule to best meet your needs.