What do the needles feel like?

Acupuncture needles are the width of only 1-2 human hairs…much thinner than a needle used for a shot.

On insertion, you may feel a pinch or nothing at all. Right after insertion, you may feel a sense of heaviness, warmth or aching that goes away soon. Both are completely normal. The needles are solid, and nothing is injected into or removed from your body. 

What is a healing reaction?

Less than 15% of people experience a temporary worsening of their condition or a flare-up of old conditions following their first few acupuncture treatments.

This is known as a “healing reaction” and it’s a normal part of getting better. People get healing reactions from other therapies as well, such as physical therapy and chiropractic. Just as you might experience muscle pain after starting an exercise program, a healing reaction may occur as acupuncture stimulates your body’s circulation and healing response.

If you've been living a very hectic life, relying on caffeine and adrenalin to make it through your day, you may initially feel tired after acupuncture. When acupuncture calms your stressed nervous system, your true level of fatigue may become noticeable. 

You can help yourself by getting plenty of rest, using care not to over-exert, and drinking plenty of water. 

It also really helps if you take some time to do something you really love!

If you have a healing reaction, and you have any questions or concerns, please contact our acupuncturist. 

Sports Medicine Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat monks and others who practice martial arts.

In the US, professional sports teams and the Olympics have team acupuncturists on staff. Acupuncture is effective for both acute and chronic injuries. We treat lots of people with sports injuries: kids and high school athletes, professionals, week-end warriors and seniors.

Acupuncture can give athletes of all ages and training levels a competitive edge, relieving pain and inflammation, enhancing blood circulation, boosting energy, supporting their immune system, and helping injuries heal. Acupuncture has very few side effects (slight bruising, a little soreness), so there is no downtime after treatments.  

What is Dry Needling?

Dry needling is a type of acupuncture, with the insertion of either acupuncture needles (or hypodermic needles because they are larger) into “ashi” or painful areas, and into muscle trigger points to help alleviate muscle pain.

Dry needling is done by PTs, OTs, Physicians and Chiropractors. In Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Acupuncture, Licensed Acupuncturists typically needle ashi and trigger points in combination with traditional acupuncture points, to holistically address the patient's concerns and the root causes of those concerns. At Bloom, we prefer needling areas which are not painful, and using a more holistic approach to pain and muscle trigger points. 

Can I get acupuncture if I'm pregnant? How about my kids? Can they get acupuncture?

Absolutely! Pregnant women and kids can get acupuncture.

Acupuncture is safe for women who are pregnant, and it's a very effective treatment for infertility and many pregnancy-related conditions. Since OB physicians usually tell their pregnant patients to avoid taking medicines (except vitamins), acupuncture is often recommended for pain and other issues. It's a win-win!   

Kids definitely benefit from acupuncture, and many of them really enjoyed treatment at ACA, our former clinic. Kids must be under the care of a pediatrician or other physician to get acupuncture at Bloom. They respond quickly and usually require fewer needles. We treat kids who are 6 years old and older. We do require a parent or guardian be present at all times and to sit with younger ones during their treatment. Needles may remain in place for 5-20 minutes (depending on the child’s age, health conditions and comfort with the needles). Teenagers and pre-teens' needles can remain up to 45 minutes if desired. A child needs to be willing to try acupuncture, and willing and able to relax quietly in a recliner during treatment. We don’t try to convince anyone to try acupuncture.

We do encourage kids to bring a favorite book, headphones with music, or their favorite stuffed animal. If desired, the child may choose to have their stuffed buddy get treatment too, and then they can relax together in a recliner. If someone's buddy forgot to come to the appointment, Ollie our stuffed koala, can step in. Ollie has selflessly stepped in for kids' buddies and received lots of treatments with kids over 10+ years at ACA, and he is excited to do so again at Bloom.      

How can I get treatment for my back pain in a group?

It is not necessary to put needles directly into painful, sensitive or private areas to treat you safely and effectively.

Our acupuncturist is skilled (and certified) in the Balance Method:  It's a strategy that allows us to use acupuncture points on your lower arms/legs and head to address problems anywhere in your body.

In this clinic, we rarely put needles where you are having pain. Dr. Richard Teh-Fu Tan, internationally known acupuncture expert, educator, author of 3 acupuncture books and creator of the Balance Method, explains how the Balance Method works:

“When you want to turn on a ceiling light, you don’t have to climb a ladder to do so. You just flip the wall switch on that controls the ceiling light.  And to turn off the light, you flip the switch off.  In the same way, we insert needles into your arms, legs and head, to turn on and strengthen certain areas and functions of your body, and to turn off painful sensations and other concerns. All conditions, even back pain, can be treated in this way". 


What should I expect during my first treatment?

Your acupuncturist will briefly review your completed Intake/Consent form with you and discuss and clarify any important information.

Be sure to have the online Intake/Consent form completed BEFORE you come for your appointment. In the past, patient's were able to complete the Intake form during their appointment, but this caused other patients to have to wait to be seen. We are committed to being respectful of everyone's time, and to start your appointment promptly. Bloom requires every new patient to have a completed Intake/Consent form before they receive their first treatment. Otherwise, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.  

Former patients' of Annapolis Community Acupuncture will need to schedule as a New Patient for their first treatment at Bloom, and complete an Intake/Consent form. However, they will be only be charged using the Returning Patient Sliding Scale fee. 

You may be asked to move a painful or affected area so that your acupuncturist can evaluate you. We will do pulse diagnosis by feeling the pulses in both wrists, and we may also look at your tongue. These are some additional diagnostic tools that help your acupuncturist identify the root causes of your concerns.

After collecting payment, needles are inserted and you may remain for 30-45 minutes. Please let us know if you need to leave at a certain time. Most people take a nap, meditate, or listen to music with their headphones.

Occasionally, someone will snore in the clinic. We do have 4 HEPA filters that also create fan noise to mask sounds in the clinic. And we have 7 surf sound machines as well. If you are easily disturbed by noise, you may want to bring your own music with headphones. If needed, we can provide you with a pair of foam ear plugs.    

How long before I see results?

Although you may experience an immediate reduction in pain or other symptoms, please remember that it may take several weeks (or longer if your problem has been chronic) for the underlying inflammation, deficiency or excess, and imbalance to resolve.

Your acupuncturist is skilled in identifying the complex relationships between your pain, other symptoms, and the root causes of them. If your symptoms are intense or interfering with your daily activities, we will recommend more frequent treatments at the beginning of care (for the first week or two) to boost your healing response and get you comfortable faster!  Your acupuncturist will give you a written plan of care, with the recommended frequency and duration of treatments on it.

We may also make referrals for other services, or share links to trusted websites and videos, specifically for your needs if desired. We will likely teach you acupressure points you can use to boost your results between treatments, and to relieve stress and help you sleep better, etc. If you'd like, we'll place commercially prepared black radish seeds on tiny bandaids on the acupuncture points that you can use for acupressure between treatments.  We can also help you take a picture of those acupuncture points with seeds using your cell phone's camera, so you have visual reminder available to you at any time it’s needed.

Acupuncture is supposed to be great. Why do I have to come more than once to get results?

Acupuncture works best when provided as a course of treatment. If you had pain and difficulty walking, you wouldn’t go to a physical therapist once and expect to be racewalking the next day. If you saw a personal trainer and wanted to get ripped, you wouldn’t go just once, right?

Yes, there are some people who have severe chronic pain disappear forever in just one treatment. We've seen it, and it's really exciting for the patient and for us! However, most people need a course of treatment. An injury that happened a week ago can usually be resolved in 1-4 treatments over 1-2 weeks. While issues you’ve had for many months (or even years), will likely take longer.

Your acupuncturist will recommend a course of treatment for you after she removes your needles and gets feedback from you on how you feel. If you sleep well most nights, eat well, stay active and really enjoy your life, generally your body will respond more quickly to acupuncture. However, if you are sleep deprived, juggling a busy life, and feeling overwhelmed, your body may need to be calmed and strengthened by treatments 1-2 times a week for a few weeks, and then weekly for 1-2 months before you see real sustained results.  

At Bloom, we agree with the airlines' “oxygen mask procedure". What???

“In an emergency, if the cabin loses pressure, an oxygen mask will fall down in front of you. Place the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then assist others”.

It’s not selfish to make your health a priority. You deserve it! And it's good for everybody around you too. It's a win-win!                                                    

More questions for us?

We'd love to hear from you!

This is for administrative questions only. Please do not ask medical, sensitive or private questions here. Instead please click on the Mail Hippo secure url link for private confidential questions, found at the bottom of every screen on the left side. "I've seen and agreed to the above"
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.