FAQs – Concord Center Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

New Patients

We understand that trying acupuncture can take a leap of faith for many. You may be afraid of needles or you may not understand how acupuncture works. This is normal. Many don’t know that acupuncture is safe, effective and even enjoyable. It is not uncommon for a new patient to say “That was it?” after the first needle was inserted or “I can’t believe how relaxing that was!” after their first treatment. Many of our patients are surprised by how profoundly relaxed they feel during their acupuncture treatments. This is because acupuncture creates a “relaxation response” in your body, which helps reverse the effects of stress.

There are many research studies showing the effectiveness of acupuncture for many types of health problems such as back pain, neck pain, migraines, allergies, hot flashes, anxiety, depression, digestive problems, cancer support, menstrual problems and infertility. Acupuncture has been shown to improve circulation, speed healing, relieve pain, balance hormones, reduce stress and improve the immune system. How it works is not entirely understood, but this doesn’t stop acupuncture from working.

What we do know is that acupuncture has been shown to affect the central nervous system by releasing chemical messengers (neuropeptides and neurotransmitters) into your body, which in turn affects the release, absorption, breakdown and re-uptake of other chemicals and hormones, such as amino acids, endorphins, serotonin, endogenous opioids and insulin into your central nervous system. This in turn modulates pain, immune responses and hormones as well as activates other self-healing mechanisms within your body. However, you don’t need to believe that acupuncture works or understand how it works in order for it to work. You just need to give it a chance! The best way to understand what acupuncture is and how it can help you is to give it a try.

Whether you are struggling with pain, stress, migraines, depression, allergies, infertility or hot flashes or you have a child with asthma, ADD/ADHD, digestive problems or anxiety, we offer a drug-free, time-tested and natural solution for these problems and many others. Using acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine we can help you feel better again. Our tranquil and professional clinic provides a respite from daily stress and welcomes you onto your journey to better physical and emotional health. “No crystals and incantations,” as one of our patients says, just down-to-earth, professional and patient-centered holistic medicine.

Read the FAQs below to learn more about what to expect during your first visit. We also encourage you to visit our Learn More pages to read more about acupuncture, herbal medicine and a few of the conditions that we treat in our clinic. If you have a health problem that is not discussed here, please give us a call and we can let you know if acupuncture can help.

Remember if you still aren’t sure if acupuncture is right for you, we offer a FREE 15 minute in-office consultation if you would like to visit our clinic and meet with one of our practitioners. We will be able to answer any questions that you might still have and determine if we can help you with your particular health concerns. Just call (978) 369-9400 and we would be happy to set up your free consult with us. We also offer convenient online scheduling for both new and returning patients that are ready to schedule their first treatment. We look forward to meeting you!


Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Expect During My First Appointment?
Initial visits usually last 60 to 90 minutes. Your practitioner will take the time to get to know you and your health concerns. This is done by conducting a physical exam and asking a wide range of questions about your health, diet and lifestyle. Your practitioner will also feel your pulse and look at your tongue in order to retrieve diagnostic information which is unique to Chinese Medicine. After this initial health intake, your practitioner will determine a diagnosis and treatment plan that will be discussed with you. Acupuncture, herbs, dietary modifications and specialized exercises may be recommended to you during your course of treatment.
How Should I Prepare For My First Appointment?

Please download and fill out our health history form and bring it with you to your first appointment. Successful health care and preventative medicine are only possible when the practitioner has a complete understanding of the patient physically, mentally and emotionally. Please complete this questionnaire as thoroughly as possible. 

For best results from your acupuncture treatment, eat moderately within three hours of your treatment. It is best not to come on an empty stomach

Wear loose clothing to your acupuncture appointment. If it is necessary to remove constrictive clothing, sheets are available for coverage. 

Because the tongue is routinely examined as part of the Chinese Medical diagnosis, it is best not to brush the tongue or discolor it with hard candy, cough drops, tea or coffee within three hours of your appointment. 

Feel free to bring a food journal of the prior several days if you would like to focus on diet from a Chinese Medical perspective. 

Please make sure that you discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your practitioner. 

Is Acupuncture Safe?

When administered by a licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is a safe way to improve your health with little to no side effects. All acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, pre-packaged and disposable. They are used only one time and then safely disposed. In Massachusetts, licensed acupuncturists are regulated by the Board of Registration in Medicine. Acupuncture Licensure in Massachusetts requires a Masters Degree in the field of Chinese Medicine, a minimum of 1,450 hours of clinical and course instruction, as well as the successful completion of Board Exams which are administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Licensed acupuncturists practice Universal Precautions and adhere to OSHA Safety Standards. 

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin (as thin as a strand of hair or a thread). The sensation caused by the acupuncture needles varies from person to person. Some people experience no sensation at all. Others will feel a slight pinch, warmth, tingling, heaviness or aching sensation. These sensations are not usually considered to be painful. In fact, most consider acupuncture a pleasant and relaxing experience. 

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

This depends entirely on the nature of the condition that is being treated, how your body responds to acupuncture, as well as the severity and the chronic nature of the condition. Your practitioner will discuss a treatment plan with you during your first several visits. Most conditions show some improvement within the first 8 treatments. A series of follow-up treatments are usually needed to maintain and further improve the condition. 

Are Chinese Herbs Safe?

Concord Center Acupuncture uses Evergreen Herbs and KPC Herbs because their modern scientific processing methods and rigorous quality control set them apart from all other sources of Chinese herbs. Both manufactures are located in Taiwan and share similar strategies for manufacturing premium Chinese herbs, herb extracts, and herbal preparations. Throughout the process, the herb extracts are subjected to tests to insure that they meet or exceed GMP standards. The site laboratories use equipment such as High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to assure consistent levels of active ingredients. All products are tested to insure that levels of heavy metals and harmful bacteria, such as salmonella and E coli, fall below minimum requirements. See Herbal Medicine for more information on the safety of our herbs.

When Will My Herbal Prescription Be Ready?

Herbal prescriptions are usually ready for pick-up 24-48 hours after your herbal/acupuncture appointment. A pickup time will be discussed during your appointment. Herbal prescriptions can also be shipped for a nominal shipping and handling fee. There may be occasions when your herbal prescription will be ready right after your appointment, however this can not be guaranteed. 

How Do I Prepare My Herbs?

Granules dissolve readily in warm water. You will be provided with a 1 gram spoon with each formula to make dosages easy. Follow the dosage instructions provided on the label of your formula. Add the indicated number of level gram spoons into a mug, mix with warm or hot water and then drink. Herbs are usually taken 1/2 hour before eating or 2 hours after eating. If you experience any abdominal discomfort after drinking herbs you may take them with meals. If you experience persistent abdominal discomfort or other side-effects after taking your herbs, please discontinue taking your herbs and contact your herbal practitioner. 

Share This:
Ready to get started? Make an Appointment

Start reclaiming your health by taking these next 3 steps:

We are happy to answer your questions or set up a FREE 20 minute consultation with one of our
acupuncturists to determine if we can help you with your particular health issue.
Download our free eBook Download Now