Frequently Asked Questions

Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Acupuncture should not hurt. You will feel a very small prick when the needle is inserted, but after that, you should not feel any pain. It is normal to feel a slight warming sensation, a cramp that isn’t painful or itchiness. These symptoms insure the needle has stimulated the desired nerve fibers. If there is a burning sensation or pain - please tell the practitioner as it means the needle just needs to be slightly adjusted.
Can I combine acupuncture with other therapies?
It is highly recommended to have your team of practitioners and doctors who can all contribute to your wellbeing. It is perfectly fine to receive massage, chiropractic or other therapies before or after an acupuncture session. It will not nullify what we have done during the treatment.
Will my medication interact with the acupuncture?
No, medications have no interactions. If you are on blood thinner, you might bleed or bruise easier than other people, but it is not dangerous. Some studies show that some SSRIs even help boost acupuncture's effects, however, this isn’t true for everyone.
Can/should I take pain medication before my acupuncture session?
It is fine to take pain meds before the acupuncture. However, if you’re able to not take pain meds before your treatment it can help you have a better idea of how well the acupuncture treatment worked.
Are there any adverse side effects?
Yes, there can be mild adverse side effects to acupuncture. If the treatment is too strong at first, you can expirience some fatigue, lightheadedness, increased pain, headache, or nausea following the treatment. Dr. Fick always errors on the side of caution for the first treatment to avoid problems. Most times these mild symtpoms appear right after the acupuncture treatment and last for 24-48 hours max. If they do not go away, call Dr. Fick. No serious health complications, infections, or injuries have ever been reported with acupuncture (*dry needling is an exception*). It is always recommended that you eat a little bit before and after acupuncture to avoid these symptoms.
Will acupuncture make my problems go away for good or just temporary? Do I need to continue to come?
The goal of acupuncture is always to make your symptoms go away for good. If you have a major health complaint, then at first, our priority will be to decrease those symptoms first to get you back to your daily activities. After symptoms are decreased we start the process called "peeling the onion": we take layer by layer off until we can resolve the underlying cause. Functional medicine is an important piece of getting rid of your symptoms long term. While acupuncture does in fact re-wire your brain and increase or decrease targeted bodily functions long term. If you are engaging in an activity, diet or lifestyle that got your body out of balance in the first place, you must address that. If you follow Dr. Fick's advise, homework and handouts you have a better chance of getting better for good.
Who shouldn’t get acupuncture?
Anyone can recieve acupuncture. Kids under the age of four years old are not recommeneded to recieve needles, but can still get acupressure and laser treatments. Women who are pregnant are great candidates for acupuncture during their entire pregnancy, however, certain points will be avoided. Because acupuncture is considered a mild therapy (as compared to surgery or medications), if your pain levels are 8+ out of 10, it is recommended you go to the emergency room. It is always advised to see a Primary Care Physician during all types of medical intervention just in case something major is overlooked.
I donated blood and they asked me if I had had acupuncture recently. Why?
Bonfils and other companies have recently been asking people if they have recieved acupuncture recently out of fear of contaminated needles. Acupuncture needles, unlike hypodermic needles, are a solid needle. The chance of disease transmission is so unlikely there are no reported cases in the US. However, because the recent rise in unlicensed individuals practicing acupuncture, such as physical therapists, chiropractors, and naturopaths, there could be the chance that a person become infected because of negligence. To become a licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.) which is NOT the same as "certified", we must pass the Clean Needle Technique exam. Unlicensed practitioners require no clean needle techniques course at all and have no malpractice coverage. It is highly suggested to make sure if you are receieving acupuncture from an unlicensed pracitioner that you are aware of the potential risks. Hepatitis is the most common disease transmitted through needles.
I'm on blood thinners, is it still ok to receive acupuncture?
Yes. You might bleed a little more than someone who isn't on blood thinner, but the bleeding is usually less than one drop per point at the most. Most people do not bleed ever during acupuncture regardless if they are on blood thinners or not.
I had a bad experience with acupuncture before, should I try it again?
No two acupupuncturists are the same. If you had a bad expirience before, it by no means you will again. Some patients are more comfortable with certain ammenities such as leaving the lights on or the door open, sometimes people don't want to be left alone for too long, or they can't lay on their stomach for a treatment. All of these types of requests are encouraged to make you most comfortable during your treatment. Always communicate with your acupuncturist about how you will be most relaxed.
During the treatment will I be left alone?

Yes, during your session you will be left on the table with needles in for about 20-25 minutes. The lights will be turned down low to help you relax. There will be soft music playing.

Every patient, every time, during Dr. Fick's treatments will be left with an easy push-pager. If at any time a needle hurts, the temperature is too hot or too cold, or anything else you might need, you can just press the pager at any time. It is absolutely ok to request the music off, or bring your own music, or leave the lights on, etc. This is your treatment.

Does it make a difference who performs acupuncture?

Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn't. Acupuncture is a very complicated, multi-faceted therapy. If you are looking for someone who can do a total assessment and safely perform complicated acupuncture techniques, it is recommended to see a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.). However, not all L.Ac's are created the same either.

Some patients just need a tight muscle released in which case a therapy like dry needling is highly applicable and there is no need to necesssarily go into an L.Ac, but someone like a physical therpaist who is certified to do dry needling would be fine.

Never recieve acupuncture from someone who has no formal training in the therapy.

When should I report side effects after acupuncture?
If you are expiriencing symptoms immediately after acupuncture such as headache, nausea, fatigue, and increased pain this could be a healing crisis - meaning your body got a little too stimulated from the treatment. These symptoms will go away 24-48 hours later. It is ok to take advil or other medications if this occurs. This is a normal potential after acupuncture. If you expirience shortness of breath, hyperventalation, severe sweating and pressure in the chest, call 911. You could be having a serious adverse reaction. Although this has only happened a handful of times in the US after a dry needling session, it is possible for these symptoms to occur. If you are unsure of your symptoms in any way, always call Dr. Fick after the appointment to confirm.
What are normal side effects after my treatment?
Normally patients feel relaxed after acupuncture with a feeling of euphoria, calmness and decreased pain. Most patients report a very good nights sleep following acupuncture.
How often do I need to come?

Dr. Fick recommends new patients come once per week for three weeks in a row at first. This gives both Dr. Fick and you, the patient, the best chances to understand how your body reacts to acupuncture and what is working. After the three treatments we will re-evaluate your symtpoms.

The best rule of thumb is if you are feeling symptom releif for 4-5 days in a row, you would be fine to be seen for acupuncture every 7-10 days. If you get symptom releif for 7-10 days following acupuncture, you can be seen every 14-20 days for a treatment.

Occassionally it is recommended to be seen twice weekly if your symtpoms are very severe. Each time you receive acupuncture, your body stimulates certain neurotransmitters and neuropeptides, then rebuilds and reassembles more than what was stimulated with acupuncture the previous time. So every time you receive acupuncture, your brain will stimulate more hormones and chemicals than the time before that, which ensues long term symptom releif.

How soon will I feel better?
The goal is for your to feel better immediately. However, the more chronic your condition, the more time and energy it will take to get you better. Each person responds differently to acupuncture because we all have unique bodies and unique ways we process different therapies. Communicating about how you have been feeling is the best way for Dr. Fick to decide is she needs to give you a stronger, or less strong treatment each session. Stronger treatments do not always correlate with you getting better faster. If the treatment is too strong, you can leave feeling worse. Typically patients report that 5-10 hours after acupuncture they are feeling significantly better.
What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
Before your first appointment it is recommended to gather all your recent (within 1-2 years) medical records and tests. Complete Blood Counts (CBCs) and other blood tests are very helpful for Dr. Fick to understand your health. XRAYS, MRIs and other scans are also very helpful so Dr. Fick can target specific areas to treat.
What should I wear to my acupuncture appointment?
You can wear whatever is comfortable. Most patients come to Dr. Fick after or before work. Do not worry too much about clothing as Dr. Fick can usually access most areas or have you change into a medical gown or drape. Usually she needs to get to below the knees, below the elbows, the stomach or back, and neck area.
Should I eat before my appointment?
Yes it is advised to eat a little bit before your treatment. A heavy meal isn't recommended as acupuncture can cause a flucation in your blood sugar. Some people get very hungry after acupuncture and either bring a snack or eat the provided mini Larabars for each patient at Dr. Fick's clinic.
Do I need to do anything special after acupuncture or not exercise?
Hydrate and exercise normally after acupuncture. It will not effect the results of the treatment.
Can I get massage or chiropractor the same day as acupuncture?
Yes! Some people prefer to recieve all their treatments in one day, others find it is too stimulating. That is up to you personally - they will not interact with one another.
Do I need a referral from my doctor?
No. Even if you are paying with insurance you do not need a referral.
Do I need to tell my Doctor that I am receiving acupuncture?
No. Dr. Fick is a huge proponent in working with other physicans and pracitioners to get you better. If you do not want to tell your Doctor you are receiving acupuncture, that is a personal decision that is respected.
Is my privacy protected?
Absolutely. Dr. Fick's clinic follows stric HIPAA rules and regulations. Being born and raised in Evergreen she understands what a small town it is and how little privacy people can have. She takes privacy very seriously. Each staff member at Dr.Fick's office is also under oath of her privacy policy. Your information will never be shared, even to a fellow physican, without your consent. All Dr.Fick's medical records are secured by HIPAA complicant software. Dr.Fick is also not allowed to approach you, the patient, outside of the clinic for privacy protection. If you wish to say "hello" outside the clinc, you, the patient, must initiate a conversation first.
Do I need to tell my acupuncturist my whole health history including communicable diseases?

Yes. Telling Dr. Fick your whole health history can help her to help you.

If you have a communicable disease such as Hepatitis or HIV you can transmit disease through blood and fluids. Although the chances of transmission are very rare, and clean needle technique is always used regardless if you have a communicable disease or not, it is best for Dr. Fick to know so she can protect herself from a needle-stick accident.

Are the acupuncture needles reused?
NEVER! Each acupuncture needle is new and comes in a medically sterilized package. No needle is reused, even on the same point. After the needle has been inserted it is put into a red biohazard sharps container and it is disposed of according to medical guidelines. As sad as it is to not be able to recycle needles, it is not safe or effective to try to re-sterilze medical waste. An acupuncture needle is a medical device and must pass certain FDA standards in order to be sold and distributed. Each needle is sterile, clean and safe.
Do I get a discount for coming multiple times?

Yes, there are packages for patients who wish to come in for acupuncture multiple times within a certain period.

Go to the Prices and Services page, at the bottom, you'll see the packages offered.

I have fainted before when receiving vaccines or injections. Is it ok for me to get acupuncture?
Yes it is ok for you to receive acupuncture and injections. Sometimes people can faint because they haven't eaten recently, or they are nervous. Some people are more susceptable to a vaso-vagal response than others. Just because you have fainted before does not mean it will happen again. Always communicate with Dr.Fick about this matter.
Is there a chance that acupuncture won't work for me?

Yes. As with any therapy there is a chance it will not work for you. Dr. Fick incorporates Functional Medicine with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine which increases the chances or success. There are many reasons why someone may not see any benefits from acupuncture:

  • They do not come more than once if they needed to
  • They do not follow recommendations such as diet or lifestyle changes if needed
  • They do not take part in their own health and healing journey
  • They are not honest about their symptoms

Very few times are there patients who are deemed as "non-responders". Non-responders are patients who have tried acupuncture many times, with absolutely no changes what-so-ever. It is theorized that some people (less than 10% of the entire population) have amino acid deficiencies that block acupunctures effects. If you are not getting results from acupuncture, talk with Dr. Fick more about this matter.

Is there a better time of the day to receive acupuncture?
No. If you feel energized after acupuncture, it might be best to get an appointment earlier in the day. If you feel very sleepy after acupuncture, it might be best to get acupuncture towards the end of the day. There's little evidence that suggests the time of day one receives acupuncture makes a difference. Mostly, it is based on your schedule.
I can’t walk up stairs. Can I still get acupuncture from Dr. Fick?
YES! Evergreen Medical Acupuncture has now moved into a handicap accessible clinic! We have ground floor parking which is right in front of our front door and is wheelchair accessible. We even have a treatment room you can access directly from the parking lot if you really cannot make it through the waiting room. There are no ramps to navigate. The sidewalk is always clear and free of ice or obstacles. Our restrooms at this time are not wheelchair accessible as the doors are only 23" wide but there are handrails within them.
Do I need to undress for acupuncture?
No, if you do not feel comfortable you do not have to undress. Dr. Fick never needs to access private areas such as the gentials or breasts as there is no acupuncture points used in these areas. Some areas that do require a patient to partial undress would be the upper thigh (quadriceps or hamstrings), the back, or the low back or buttocks area. Dr. Fick will ask you if you feel comfortable being draped if she needs to access these areas. If you feel too uncomfortable allowing Dr. Fick to access these areas you can request such and she can use neuropuncture, or distal points to try to help affect certain nerves.
Do acupuncture and cupping do the same thing?
No. Acupuncture is the act of piercing the skin to affect nerves while cupping does not puncture the skin and only affects muscles and the nerves and blood vessels within muscles.
Will insurance cover acupuncture?

It depends on your insurance plan. Call your insurance and ask them:

  • Will my policy cover Out Of Network (OON) acupuncture benefits?
  • If so, do I need to meet my deductible first?
  • If so, what is the amount of my OON deductible?

** As of May 2020 EMA will begin taking insurance in-network for Cigna and United. Please call for more details.

How do I add my acupuncture treatments towards my insurance deductible?

Ask Dr.Fick for a Superbill. It is of no extra cost to you. Send the Superbill to your insruance (usually via fax) and they will add that money towards your deductible.

If you are billing your own insurance, the same instructions follow.

Evergreen Medical Acupuncture

30480 Stagecoach Blvd, Evergreen, CO 80439
Phone: 303-594-8348
Fax: 303-600-7873
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sign up to Our Newsletter!

Stay up to date, learn valuable tips on health and wellness and get special offers from The Functional Farmacy.


Any and all information found on this website DrChristinaFick.com or ChristinaFick.com is for general educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be used as medical advise. Medical advise can only be given to an established patient where a medical examination can be made and a treatment plan is discussed. Dr Christina Fick is not a primary care physician and any and all concerns should be discussed with your primary care physician. We are not liable for any self treatment. © 2012 by Evergreen Medical Acupuncture, LLC. All rights reserved.

© 2020 Dr Christina Fick | Evergreen Medical Acupuncture. All rights reserved. site by thejrp