Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Acupuncture Work?
This a complex question. We know from current research that acupuncture stimulates neurochemicals and hormones (for example dopamine, opiates, estrogen). These hormones and associated neurotransmitters work to mediate pain, relax the body, and relieve stress. New studies are regularly performed uncovering new ways that acupuncture is actively working on a neurochemical level.
Where Do the Needles Go? Are They Safe?
Acupuncture points selection is unique to you and your condition. As such, point selection can only be determined after your acupuncturist sees you. Many patients are surprised when we place needles away from the site of a local injury, but as Dr. Richard Tan is noted for saying, "The switch isn't on the light." When receiving acupuncture, it may be helpful to think about the body as a single entity. Each part of the body may have unique functions, but it operates collectively. Acupuncture needles placed far from your area of complaint can still have a profound effect on your condition.
Acupuncture needles are sterile, individually packaged and disposable. At Acupuncture Shreveport, needles are never reused, not even on the same person. The prick is comparable to a light scratch with a fingernail, if it is felt at all. In the hands of a professional, these needles are completely safe.
How Often Will I Need to Come?
This really depends on the individual patient, the condition and the length of time the symptoms have been present. Generally speaking, acute conditions resolve more quickly (over the course of several treatments) and more chronic conditions take longer. A good rule of thumb for chronic conditions is one month of treatment for every year you've had the injury or illness. This is just a guideline to set expectations. Your treatment might progress more quickly.
What Should I Bring to My First Treatment?
A list of your current medications and relevant medical reports is helpful. Bring a list with you or list your medications and supplements on our intake form, which can be filled out in our office. To save a little time, you can download part of the intake forms by clicking here and printing two pages. We will also ask you to review and sign a couple of typical forms giving consent for treatment, etc.
How Else Should I Prepare for My First Treatment?
1. Wear loose comfortable clothing. Patient gowns are available, but many treatments can be performed while you are in your street clothes.
2. Refrain from eating large meals just before or after your visit. But don't arrive too hungry either. Aim for being neither too full nor too hungry at your appointment time.
3. Brush your teeth but don't brush your tongue or eat or drink anything very colorful that may alter the color of your tongue before treatments. Your acupuncturist wants to see the natural color and coating on your tongue.
4. Plan to spend about 90 minutes for your consultation and treatment on your first visit and about 60-90 minutes for follow-up visits. Relax and enjoy this period of quiet while the needles are doing their work.
What Should I Expect After Treatment?
Most patients report feeling extremely relaxed during and after treatment. Many patients report sleeping more soundly during and following treatment. Symptoms of your presenting problem may diminish or disappear.
What Conditions Are Treated with Acupuncture?
The World Health Organization (WHO) lists over 31 conditions for which acupuncture is considered an effective form of treatment based on positive clinical trial outcomes. In total, the report from the WHO details over 90 conditions for which acupuncture may be effective.
Some, but not all, of the conditions treated at Acupuncture Shreveport are listed on our Welcome page and some of them have links to articles in Meredith Stewart's Qi Mail monthly newsletters. See some of the newsletters on our News page.
What our patients are saying ...
"After our visit on Saturday, I have not smoked, my sugars are down 20-30 points and I feel much better. Thank you so much."
A nice email:
"Hi, I came in last Tuesday and had a wonderful experience. You thought my body may be fighting some sort of infection, and turns out I have a UTI/kidney infection. I went to Urgent Care on Saturday and was diagnosed with it then. Just thought I would share that with you, since you knew days before I did!"
Not Just Maintaining, Improving:
"I'm firmly convinced that acupuncture has allowed me to put off surgery...I'm noticing that I am not just maintaining, I'm improving,"
--Patient with a hereditary degenerative disease
Re Relaxation and Wellness: "I've been going to Acupuncture Shreveport for over a year and I love it. It's like having a massage that lasts a week."
"It's not that I've had major health problems but I have had a number of issues and they have all been helped by acupuncture. One thing I consistently go back for and what I love is just the feeling of being so relaxed after a stressful week. It just relaxes my mind and body."
About a Hormone Imbalance:
"Meredith helped me with a hormone imbalance that I had been dealing with for six months with 'traditional medicine' in two treatments. I can't recommend acupuncture enough!"
"I used to wake up with daily headaches. After one treatment with Meredith they were gone!"
About weight loss:
"I love the ear seeds. They really helped me with weight loss...Personally, I didn't think it was going to work. When I'm at home and I get a craving, there's no stopping me. I was sitting on the couch one night and got a craving. I mashed the ear seed and the craving went totally away."