Everyday I start my day with a cup of strong hot kopi-o-kosong (black coffee in Singapore) and then I’m off to doing acupuncture for about 10 patients a day. Where I work, it’s mostly for weight loss and sometime I get some interesting questions and here are my thoughts. So, here goes.
Q1: Can you leave the needles for 1 hours, I have a lot of time to kill.
A1: Most people only need to leave the needles for about 30 minutes. Because it takes about 28 minutes for the Qi to circulate the body once. Leaving the needles in for too long can drain the energy in the body and may leave you a little faint. 😵But if you insist, then okay I’ll leave it for 1 hour and check up on your 2-3 times to make sure you’re feeling fine.
Q2: Can you acupuncture my arms? They are flabby.
A2: Sure, but it wouldn’t do much. Acupuncture is not about poking fats away. If your digestive system is working properly, dampness is eliminated, metabolism is boosted then fats from your body fats will start to shrink. Well, if it makes you happy, I just needle 1-2 on the arms. Placebo effect can also be quite effective.
Q3: Can you not needle my hands, I need to use my phone.
A3: Er… perhaps you can use it later? Just 30 mins of no-phone time can be a killer to most people. It’s like taking away the baby’s “chou chou” stinky towel that you can’t let go. If you MUST use your phone, then I’ll add some other point on the head (for calming) or points on the feet (for Qi regulation).
Q4: Can you add more needles?
A4: Many people have this misconception that more needles is better. No, more is not better. It’s about needling the right acupoints. “$50 per session, then 25 needles would be more worth it than getting 10!” No, it doesn’t work like that, dear.
Q5: Can you skip that acupoint on the toes?
A5: Sure, the points on the extremities can hurt a bit more because there is lesser fat/muscles around that area.Usually I’ll distract that area by tapping and then quickly insert a super fine needle. Just like how doctors give vaccine shots to a baby. You’ll usually only realise when it’s over.
Q6: Why do I need to do acupuncture twice a week?
A6: Just like getting a vaccine shot, you need a booster shot. Acupuncture effects usually last for about 3 days so you’ll need to come back for a booster when the effects wear off, this way you can maintain the best therapeutic effect in the beginning. Once your body is better, you can cut down to once a week.
Q7: Will cupping suck my fat away?
A7: Oh yes I wish! Unfortunately, it doesn’t suck away your fat. Cupping does have an suction effect but it’s just pulling up the skin and muscles to create more space in the tissues. This will help to increase blood circulation, move stuck Qi (energy) and get rid of lactic acid….not fats. Maybe someone will invent a byebye-fat-cupping in the future.
Q8: Can you distract other parts of my skin when you needle? I’m scared of pain.
A8: Sure, I usually do that for sensitive points, like the ones on the fingers or toes. Tap,tap, tap, poke! If you are the type who gets sweaty palms, feel free to hold a ball of tissue before we start needling. A patient of mine does that and it helps to keep her calmer too.
Q9: I want to do cupping but I don’t want any marks. I’m going to Bali beach holiday!
A9: That would be difficult so I’d advice to do it after you holiday. Most of the time, cupping marks will range from a very light pink to a very dark purple, depending on your level of blood, qi and lactic acid blockage in the body. The darker, the more blockage. If you don’t mind a little light pink mark, “walking the cup” (putting oil and sliding the cup) method or “flash cupping” (suck a bit and remove the cup in quick motions) method will be the one to opt for. This can relax the muscles and improve blood circulation as well.
Q10: Poke more on my thighs! I don’t like them!
A10: *start poke poke poke 25 needles*…. NO! I can poke 29462 needles and you’ll still not like your thighs. Go home today, clear your pantry, donate all your sugar loaded processed food to the bin, go to the supermarket and stock up your fridge with real whole food. And do crab walk everyday for 10 minutes. Trust me, you’ll love your thighs after 2 months.
Fellow acupuncturists, have you had any interesting/funny requests?
Share in the comment below!