Acupuncture - FAQ
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a therapy that promotes natural healing and
improves body function. This is done by inserting hair-thin needles
into the body at precise locations that have been shown to be
effective in the treatment of specific health problems. The
treatment is often supplemented by applying heat or electrical
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
The National Institutes for Health considers acupuncture useful in
the treatment of muscle pain, osteoarthritis, lower back
pain/sciatica, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, headache/migraine, women's
health issues, morning sickness, allergies and asthma, stroke
rehabilitation, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Acupuncture may provide
relief for other conditions as well. Talk to your acupuncture
provider to see if acupuncture can help you.
Do I need to be a Kaiser Permanente member to receive
The Kaiser Permanente Center for Complementary Medicine is open to
everyone. You do not have to be a Kaiser Permanente member to come
to our facilities and receive chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage
treatment. Whether you are a member or nonmember, you will receive
the same high-quality care.
Do I need a referral from my primary care
No. You may contact the Center for Complementary Medicine directly
to learn more about the services provided or to book an
What will my first acupuncture treatment be
Acupuncture is performed in sessions that generally last 30 to 60
minutes. During the first session, your acupuncture provider will
talk with you about your medical condition, health history, and
lifestyle, and design a treatment plan to meet your specific needs.
If you are a Kaiser Permanente member, your primary care provider
will be notified that you have come in for acupuncture treatment so
that he or she can work with your acupuncture practitioner.
How does acupuncture feel?
Acupuncture is performed with sterile, hair-thin needles. When
your practitioner inserts the needles, your may have brief
sensations of dullness, aching, or a radiating feeling (responses
vary). All of these sensations are good. They indicate that the
body is responding to the treatment. Most people find their
acupuncture treatments pleasant and relaxing.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you need will depend on the duration,
severity, and nature of your health condition. Some acute
conditions may only require a single treatment. Chronic conditions
that have progressed over several months or years may require
several visits. As part of your initial visit, your acupuncture
provider will develop a treatment plan and talk with you about the
number of visits you are likely to need.