FAQ

Find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) in the pull down menu below.

Do you treat kids at PCA?

We do! If your child is developmentally able to remain seated quietly for a brief period of time (typically 20 minutes for most children), all of our acupuncturists will be glad to see them in the Community Treatment Room. We find that many children, beginning around 9 years old, are able to be treated in this manner. Of course you know your child best! If you have any questions about whether acupuncture at PCA is appropriate for your child, please feel free to ask us! We do ask that all children who receive acupuncture at our clinic be consenting to the process and informed in advance that there will be (very tiny) needles involved.

In the event that you would like your infant or young child seen at PCA, please schedule them only with Erin Schmitt. Young children require different treatment strategies and Erin will be glad to speak with you about that.

Are you wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate wheelchairs. There are 12 steps leading to our treatment space and no lift. Roxborough Community Acupuncture in Manayunk, however, is a nearby clinic that is located on the first floor and has a similar sliding scale.

Why did you put that needle there?

Probably the most frequently asked question in any acupuncture clinic, anywhere. Our friend and comrade Andy Wegman wrote an entire book with this title! You can listen to him read his book or download it for free from his site. We also have copies for sale in our clinic.

Do you treat pregnant people?

Yes! We get lots of referrals from midwives and obstetricians because acupuncture is effective for many pregnancy-related conditions. Also, there’s a rumor that people who get acupuncture throughout their pregnancy tend to have calm babies.

Do you use disposable needles?

Yes, we use disposable needles. They come to us sterilized, we use them once, then we dispose of them in an approved Sharps container.

What can I expect after the treatment?

In general, you can expect to feel relaxed for several hours following an acupuncture treatment. Some people get immediate relief from pain, allergies, common cold symptoms, etc. Others find their symptoms recede gradually over a few days. Everyone responds slightly different to acupuncture. Your acupuncturist will discuss this more with you particular to your case and what you might expect to feel after your treatment.

How does it work, what are the needles doing?

This is the million dollar question. The answer is…there is no one answer, and it depends on who you ask. But, whether seen as a result of particular chemical/hormonal processes, the movement and directing of blood flow, vascular excitement, regulation of the central nervous system, connective tissue communication, ‘placebo’ effect, or the manifestation of qi, we do know that acupuncture works quite well for many ailments.

What conditions do you treat?

At PCA we see a wide variety of things and in general, acupuncture will have a positive effect on most conditions. The World Health Organization has also published its own list of conditions that are seen as appropriate for acupuncture treatment. Although far from an extensive list, here are a few of the more common things we tend to treat:

  • Stress! Plays a big part in many conditions and responds particularly well to acupuncture.
  • Chronic & acute pain especially joint and muscle pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, as well as headaches and other discomforts. Back, neck, and shoulder pain respond particularly well.
  • Gynecological and urological issues, including benign prostatic hypertrophy, endometriosis, PCOS, menstrual difficulties, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
  • Fertility, including general fertility support as well as situations involving all assisted reproductive technologies. We work with many local reproductive endocrinologists and are experienced in seeing people through many advanced reproductive procedures, including IUI and IVF.  We also treat many people to support them through healthy pregnancies and after birth; many breastfeeding parents come to us for treatment of plugged ducts, mastitis and to build milk supply.
  • Fatigue, including chronic fatigue syndrome, or just a general feeling of being tired or run down.
  • Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation, gas/bloating, and acid reflux amongst others.
  • Sinus and lung issues such as allergies, asthma, and the common cold respond extremely well to acupuncture treatment.
  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are well controlled with a course of regular acupuncture “tune up” treatments.
  • Conditions that don’t respond to conventional treatments are some of the best candidates for acupuncture.
  • Health problems with an emotional component respond extremely well. Physical disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, fibromyalgia, insomnia, and migraines will often flare up during times of stress. Depression and anxiety also are great candidates for acupuncture and we treat many people for support with overcoming addictions as well.
Does acupuncture hurt?

Usually you do not feel much at all, and most people are deeply relaxed and/or asleep once all the needles have been placed. Acupuncture needles are actually quite small (about the thickness of a cat whisker), only go a few millimeters under the skin, and are designed specifically to be very smooth and comfortable for patients. Interestingly as well, we DO NOT have to place the needles where the pain or problem is located. For example, we can treat back and hip pain using points on the arms and legs.