Commonly asked questions about acupuncture and Oriental Medicine--If your questions aren't answered here please come in for a complimentary consultation so we can talk specifically about your healthcare goals and individual needs, or you can call or text at 804-501-8060.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture in general is not painful, occasionally there will be a point that is tender or has a mosquito bite sensation but Remee is known for her particularly gentle needle technique and often her patients fall asleep during treatment. She encourages her patients to keep open communication with her during the session and if anything is uncomfortable at anytime needles can be adjusted for comfort.
Does acupuncture work?
Yes, (check out our testimonials here) for many and most health and emotional disorders. The mechanism by which acupuncture works varies from person to person as each individual is evaluated in a detailed manner to determine what systems may be out of balance. This unique approach to diagnostics is why it is of utmost importance to be treated by a Licensed Acupuncturist as this system of diagnosis is only reliably found and board tested by Licensed Acupuncturists with the NCCAOM certification.
What qualifications do you have to do acupuncture? Are you NCCAOM certified?
Remee Gemo, L.Ac. MSAOM is a Licensed Acupuncturist and NCCAOM certified as a Diplomate of the National Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). She completed a 4 year Master's degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at AOMA School of Integrative Medicine, part of Bastyr University having passed national board examinations in Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Biomedicine. Remee is Licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine and has been in practice since 2006. She maintains her status with continuing education, research, teaching and publishing of acupuncture and oriental medicine topics. She is co-owner of the Acupuncture Center of Richmond (voted best Alternative Health Center 6 years in a row by Style Weekly) and established the first women's health focused acupuncture and oriental medicine practice in Richmond, VA Empress Acupuncture and Healing Arts, which has offices in Northside and Southside. Remee is also the innovator of L.I.F.T. Facial anti-aging acupuncture protocol and professional seminars.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Yes, acupuncture is extremely safe when practiced by NCCAOM certified Licensed Acupuncturists, as they have been given extensive training in anatomy and physiology, thousands of hours of clinical needling experience and are trained in safe and sterile needling procedures.
What do you treat with acupuncture and Oriental medicine?
Does acupuncture have side-effects?
The main side effect is extreme relaxation, but on rare occasions, there may be small pea-sized bruises.
How should I prepare for a treatment? What should I wear?
Before sessions you should have a small snack, acupuncture is more effective if you are not hungry. Wear loose fitting clothing, sweats, t-shirt and shorts or anything else that gives access to knees and feet, wrists and elbows- you can also bring clothes to change into before your session.
What can I expect in my first treatment?
See Remee explain your first visit step by step below
When should I NOT get an acupuncture treatment?
If you are very hungry
If you are inebriated/drunk
If you are on blood thinners
If you are on your period (unless your period is atypical i.e. running long or painful- these symptoms can easily be alleviated with acupuncture)
If you are epileptic or have seizures
If you are in the contagious/feverish part of a having cold / flu /stomach bug etc
How long is a treatment?
Your first visit is usually an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes, follow up visits are an hour, but if you need an "express" followup visit an acupuncture treatment can be done in half an hour.
Why should I take Chinese herbs?
Chinese herbs are a safe and effective method of providing supportive treatment for your healing when prescribed by . Remee is also a Chinese herbalist and has had extensive education in formulating herbal prescriptions for your unique set of symptoms, but often she will recommend food therapy as the first form of medicine (fyi many Chinese herbs are also natural foods).
Do you do the same acupuncture points every time?
Remee will assess the state of your health each visit by asking about symptoms, evaluating facial markers of organ function and on occasion checking your tongue for current health status. Your health and state of wellness change daily like the weather so an acupuncture points used will change according to symptoms, energy levels, facial and tongue diagnosis, what part of your hormonal cycle you are in, as well as emotional state.
Do you treat men?
How does acupuncture work?
In its most basic explanation the acupuncture points regulate different aspects of one’s body and health. If more energy is needed in digestion there is a point that strengthens digestive energy, while if a person is running too hot there is a point that encourages the body to vent the excess heat. Not only does acupuncture work on a physiological level but emotional issues can also be addressed.
Can you treat more than one issue in a session?
Yes, more than one issue can be addressed in a session and often in Chinese medicine symptoms are related. Chinese medicine seeks to find the root cause of one’s health problems and once the root imbalance is corrected other issues follow suite. For example a bad diet can harm the digestive energy, in Chinese medicine this can result in excess mucus, constipation, foggy thinking, fatigue and slow metabolism among other symptoms, so when strengthening the digestive energy other symptoms will improve.
How many treatments until I see a result?
Each person responds to acupuncture differently. I can usually get a better idea of how quickly your body responds to acupuncture after your first visit. From there we can form a treatment plan. Acute disorders tend to respond faster than chronic disorders. Often I tell people three to five visits depending on the issue, which allows their body time to process the healthier pattern. Although, in some cases such as fertility (which is more complex) it depends on medical history and hormonal function or dysfunction as to the time needed to rebalance the body.
How many sessions are suggested for fertility / IVF / IUI treatments?
Everyone comes to acupuncture in a different level of health. Some are using fertility treatments with IVF or IUI, some need help building up their uterine lining, some seek treatment for improving retrieval numbers and some are interested in getting their body to ovulate in a predictable cycle. In consideration of all the different issues the treatment varies with each individual. In cases of fertility where there is no other concurrent issues and ovulation and cycles are clockwork I usually recommend 2-3 months of treatment every week except the week of your period. In regards to those doing medicated cycles, IVF or IUI depending on what part of the program you are in and other concerns your fertility doctor has, will determine your treatment schedule.
Why should I follow your food/dietary suggestions?
There is a quote from Hippocrates that states,”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This quote rings true in Eastern food therapy as well. Food is the first form of medicine. What we eat can heal our body, likewise when we eat badly we can harm our body. Eastern food therapy does not work on the premise of calorie restrictive diets or specific vitamins, rather it bases its theories on the nature of the food, preparation methods and lifestyle suggestions for efficient digestion. For example of a food’s "nature" watermelon has a cool nature, it is cold even hours after removed from the refrigerator, nature presents this fruit at the height of the summer heat, and it is refreshing to the palate. Watermelon in Chinese medicine can be used to treat hot flashes because it is cooling. Many foods have been categorized in such a way and depending on where your imbalances lie food may be the most simple solution to some of your health issues. Also eating the correct foods can perpetuate good health and prevent diseases.