Frequently Asked Questions
We try to anticipate questions you might have about our services and provide the answers here. If you need additional information, please call or send us an e-mail. Contact Us
Your first visit to the clinic will include a review of your medical history, intake and treatment by Gina Musetti, L.Ac., and — if necessary — an herbal prescription prepared in the clinic. Gina also may recommend eating/drinking changes, self-care techniques, or additional acupressure treatments.
Ms. Musetti suggests you visit the clinic several times before assessing your progress to allow her time to observe your health patterns and your body’s response to treatment. After roughly 4 visits you may request your diagnosis and a recommended treatment plan from Gina Musetti, L.Ac.
Keep in mind that your diagnosis from Gina Musetti, L.Ac. will follow Chinese medical principles and may not resemble your Western diagnosis.
Generally we recommend that you allow up to one and one-half hours per treatment — more for your first visit. This allows enough time for 10-15 minutes of intake and preparation, time for needles, plus time to undress, dress, pick up your herbs, and check out. Please allow additional time if your treatment includes Chi Nei Tsag Acupressure, Tui Na Acupressure, or other massage/acupressure treatments.
Please keep in mind that the time required for a treatment varies with time of day. Because many clients prefer to visit after work, the clinic schedule has a tendency to back up in the late afternoon and early evening and your appointment may take longer than usual.
The length of a course of treatment varies by client, and depends on the condition being treated. Some clients come once or twice a week for a short period of time to treat a specific condition. Others continue to come for support with long-term health maintenance, or because they find regular treatments beneficial. Generally we recommend a course of 12 to 14 treatments.
Time required to treat a condition can depend on your constitution and state of health, the duration of the condition, your body’s responsiveness to treatment; your attitude, and your commitment to self-care. Even after you have achieved the results you desire from acupuncture, Gina Musetti, L.Ac. recommends regular “tune-ups” to maintain your health.
Women seeing Gina Musetti, L.Ac. for support with fertility enhancement should allow their bodies 3 to 6 months of treatment in preparation for pregnancy. Treatments should continue after that time on a schedule recommended by Ms. Musetti.
Response to needles varies by client, and for a particular client may differ depending on general health and where on the body the needle is being placed. Some people report no sensation whatsoever when needles are inserted. Most patients who report discomfort with needles describe the treatment as feeling like a mosquito bite. Gina Musetti, L.Ac. will coach you on breathing techniques to help your body receive needles without discomfort, and to activate the effectiveness of the needles.
In most cases, the needles will stay in for about 20 minutes.
Chinese medicine treats the total person — body, mind and spirit. To treat you, Ms. Musetti must assess health patterns that reflect the way energy or Qi/Blood flows through your body’s meridians — along which needles are placed. Because all our body’s organs act in concert, a complaint in one area may reflect an imbalance that originates in a seemingly unrelated organ.
For example, an eye condition may reveal information to Ms. Musetti on the health of your liver. In addition, things like sleep, thirst, and bowel movements tell a lot about your general energy, body “climate” (hot vs. cold), and ability to digest food and eliminate toxins. Ms. Musetti is interested in all these aspects of your health as they relate to the specific condition she is treating.
Cupping, like acupuncture and acupressure, stimulates points along the body’s five energy meridians to rebalance Qi/Blood, or life-force energy. Cupping is particularly effective at clearing congestion and stagnation and — because it draws blood to the capillaries — improving circulation. Cupping is also used in diagnosis; skin discoloration that occurs during the process can reveal important information about the flow of energy, or Qi/Blood, in the body.
Occasionally the suction created by the cups will leave minor marking, which should disappear within 24 to 72 hours. These marks may occur at an acupuncture point where congestion or stagnation is being cleared.
Moxabustion uses heat to stimulate and warm specific acupuncture points. Moxa, — the dried form of the herb mugwort — is applied directly to needles or, sometimes, to fresh ginger or to a mixture of garlic, salt, and herbs, applied to the skin. You can also light a stick of moxa and use it to heat a specific point, waving the moxa wand in a circular motion above the skin.
If moxabustion is included in your treatment or is part of your self-care regimen be sure to drink a little warm water after treatment to help balance the “heat” added by moxabustion.
Why are Gina Musetti, L.Ac.’s eating/drinking guidelines different from the basic nutritional advice I’ve always received?
Gina Musetti, L.Ac.’s eating/drinking guidelines reflect the Five Elements and Eight Principles theory of Chinese Medicine. In this approach, each food — regardless of its nutritional content — has distinct characteristics that affect the flow and nature of energy in the body. For example, some foods contribute dampness or heat; others clear these conditions. Some foods cause energy to contract in the body; others encourage expansion.
Different health conditions and body “climates” call for different eating/drinking guidelines. For example, Gina Musetti, L.Ac. may recommend that someone with a cold or weak constitution avoid cold or raw foods. Dietary guidelines also vary by season, when different weather has a different affect on the body, and — for women — by phases of the menstrual cycle.
In addition to Five Elements and Eight Principles guidelines, Gina Musetti, L.Ac. may also recommend food-combining principles that affect your body’s ability to use the nutrients in the foods you eat.
If you find that you simply cannot follow your eating/drinking guidelines, listen carefully to your body before you compromise. If it was recommended that you avoid cold foods but you choose to eat ice cream, observe the impact on your body when you stray from your food guidelines. How do you feel after eating ice cream? Is the short-term satisfaction worth the immediate impact on your health? Keep your observation in mind the next time you feel like straying from your guidelines.
For fertility program patients in particular, Gina Musetti, L.Ac. offers the following advice: In moments when you feel you cannot be more than 75 percent committed to your eating/drinking guidelines, keep in mind that there is no such thing as 75 percent pregnant.
Chinese herbal medicine is a complex science that, like acupuncture, treats each person as an individual with unique patterns. Your herbal formula may differ from that of someone who, diagnosed by Western medicine, has the same condition as you.
To gain a better understanding of the role Chinese herbs play in your treatment program, ask Ms. Musetti to define your basic health pattern.
In general, Gina Musetti, L.Ac. recommends you take a proactive approach to herbal therapy — monitoring your own supply, observing your formula’s impact on your health, and informing her when you need more herbs or have questions about your formula. However, unless your condition is acute or timing is of particular concern in your healthcare program (as maybe the case during an IVF cycle, for example), don’t worry if you run out of herbs between treatments. A short-term break from herbal therapy can refresh your body’s response when you resume your herbal formula.
Please note that if you run out of herbs while preparing for an IVF cycle you should make special arrangements to pick up additional herbs and plan accordingly between appointments.
An improvement in your health is testimony to the effectiveness of your treatments and your commitment. Rather than jeopardizing your progress, continue following your eating/drinking guidelines and taking your herbs until you’ve had the opportunity to discuss your condition with Ms. Musetti. Your pulses and other indicators will tell her if your health pattern has shifted significantly enough to warrant a new approach — or if you should continue your regimen to maintain your new good health.