Frequently Asked Questions


What type of needles are used in acupuncture?

Dr. Hayes uses only the highest grade needles which come with their own sterile, plastic guides enabling painless insertion as well as ensuring sterile procedure. The acupuncture needle has three points: the point, the shaft, and the handle. The handle can be made of plastic or metal. Frequently, the metal acupuncture needle is often made up of two or more types of metals to increase its conduction of energy. The shaft is usually made of stainless steel. The hypodermic needles used by your doctor bear little resemblance to an acupuncture needle. First of all, acupuncture needles are many times thinner than a hypodermic needle. Even the thinnest needle used by your doctor can hold a half dozen acupuncture needles in its barrel. Secondly, hypodermic needles are hollow and have sharp, beveled edges which is why they cause pain and/or bleeding when they enter the skin. Acupuncture needles are solid and have fine, sharp, smooth edges. They part tissue as they enter the body without tearing or damaging muscles, tendons, or vessels. There is no medicine of any kind contained in or on an acupuncture needle. The head of a Seirin acupuncture needle is highly polished and has a special coating which allows painless insertion. Most patients either do not feel any pain or may feel some mild discomfort with one or two needles. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain.

Is there any bleeding?

Because these needles part tissue and there is no cutting, there is very rarely any bleeding.If there is, it is only a small drop that is easily stopped by a cotton ball.

What does the doctor do once the needles are in place?

Depending upon the treatment, the doctor may stimulate the needles in a variety of ways. Most common is the adding of slight electro current to the needles. This is done by a battery powered device that is completely safe. This adds additional energy through the meridians. With rare exceptions, most individuals find this sensation pleasant.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. For complex or long standing problems, Dr. Hayes uses a special type of treatment that only requires one visit per week. Most conditions improve in six to eight weeks. Once significant relief is accomplished, the visits become less frequent.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?

Usually, no. As energy is redirected in the body, internal chemicals and hormones are stimulated and healing begins to take place. Rarely, the original symptoms worsen for a few hours. Actually, that is a good sign since it tells the doctor the treatment is affecting the condition and improvement will occur within the first couple of days.

Will the treatments make me drowsy?

Acupuncture needles do not put any foreign substances into the body. The needles are solid and contain no medications. But, acupuncture does affect the body's own neuromodulators and hormones to improve pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. It is quite common with the first one or two treatments to have a sensation or even mild disorientation immediately following a treatment. This passes within a short time and never requires anything more than a bit of a rest.

Can I drive to and from a treatment?

Yes, you can drive to from an acupuncture treatment. While there might be a mild, relaxing sensation after a treatment, it certainly will not affect your psycho-motor skills to drive a motor vehicle. This, of course, assumes the patient is not taking any other type of medication which may cause sedation in which case we would caution the patient regarding driving to the appointment.

Can I exercise before or after a treatment?

Yes, but just refrain from excessive physical exertion within twelve hours after treatment, for example, competing in a sport or moving out of a house.

How should I dress for a treatment?

Most treatments require no removal of clothing. However, upper body treatments may require the removal of a shirt or a blouse. Gowns are provided. Also, it is important to access the upper extremities below the elbow and the lower extremities below the knee for many treatments. Dr. Hayes recommends lose fitting tops and bottoms with elastic waist; fleece suits are ideal.

Can I bring a CD player, IPOD, or MP3 Player into the treatment?

Yes, by all means. These will help you to relax and enhance the treatments. However, we discourage the use of CELL PHONES. We ask patients to turn off their cell phones or put them into the silent mode prior to treatment. Cell phone use may affect the safety and the effectiveness of a treatment.

Are they are specific conditions that prevent the use of acupuncture?

In most cases, there is absolutely no reason not to use acupuncture. If you have any questions, please call 610-757-1035, and Dr. Hayes will be happy to discuss this with you.

Does my insurance cover these treatments?

The answer to that question depends on what type of procedure or treatment you receive and on the benefits as defined in your Health Care Plan. We do not participate in Medicaid or Medicare. You will be referred to our health plan insurance specialist to determine your benefits prior to the first visit.