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What is acupuncture, and how does it work?

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that involves the insertion of thin, sterile needles into specific points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints. It is based on the concept that there is a vital energy, known as qi (pronounced "chee"), that flows through channels or meridians in the body. Acupuncture is believed to help balance the flow of qi and promote overall health and well-being. For more information about acupuncture, visit our acupuncture page here. 


What conditions can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of conditions and health issues. While it's important to consult with a qualified acupuncturist for personalized treatment, below you will find a list of common conditions that are often treated with acupuncture. This is not a complete list of conditions treated. If your condition is not listed and/or you have additional questions, please contact Justin via our contact form here or call/text 518-892-9668 to determine if acupuncture could help you.


  • Pain Management:

    • Chronic pain (e.g., back pain, neck pain, joint pain)

    • Arthritis

    • Headaches and migraines

    • Fibromyalgia

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders:

    • Sciatica

    • Tennis elbow

    • Carpal tunnel syndrome

    • Tendinitis

  • Neurological Disorders:

    • Bell's palsy

    • Stroke recovery

    • Multiple sclerosis (MS)

    • Parkinson's disease

  • Gastrointestinal Disorders:

    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

    • Acid reflux

    • Crohn's disease

    • Constipation

  • Respiratory Conditions:

    • Asthma

    • Allergies

    • Sinusitis

    • Bronchitis

  • Mental Health and Stress-Related Conditions:

    • Anxiety

    • Depression

    • Insomnia

    • Stress management

    • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Women's Health:

    • Menstrual irregularities

    • Menopause symptoms

    • Fertility issues

    • Pregnancy-related discomfort (e.g., morning sickness, back pain)

  • Men's Health:

    • Erectile dysfunction

    • Prostate issues

  • Autoimmune Disorders:

    • Rheumatoid arthritis

    • Lupus

    • Hashimoto's thyroiditis

  • Cardiovascular Health:

    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

    • Palpitations

  • Dermatological Conditions:

    • Eczema

    • Psoriasis

    • Acne

    • Herpes zoster (shingles)

  • Immune System Support:

    • Frequent colds and infections

    • Weak immune system

  • Circulatory Disorders:

    • Raynaud's disease

    • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)

  • Cancer Supportive Care:

    • Managing side effects of cancer treatments (e.g., nausea, fatigue, pain)

  • Vision and Eye Disorders:

    • Macular degeneration

    • Retinitis pigmentosa

Is acupuncture safe?​​

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a qualified and licensed practitioner who follows proper hygiene and sterilization procedures. However, like any medical procedure, there are some risks and considerations to be aware of:

  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection if proper sterilization techniques are not followed when inserting acupuncture needles. Licensed acupuncturists are trained to use sterile, disposable needles to minimize this risk.

  • Bleeding and Bruising: It is possible to experience minor bleeding or bruising at the needle insertion sites. This is usually minimal and temporary.

  • Pain or Discomfort: Some people may experience temporary discomfort or mild pain during the insertion of needles. However, acupuncture is generally considered less painful than many other medical procedures.

  • Dizziness or Fainting: Rarely, some individuals may feel lightheaded or faint during or after an acupuncture session. This can be more common in people who are sensitive to needle procedures or have not eaten before treatment.

  • Organ Injury: Although extremely rare, there have been reports of acupuncture needles causing injury to internal organs if they are inserted too deeply or inappropriately. This risk is minimized when acupuncture is performed by a trained and licensed practitioner.

  • Pregnancy Considerations: Certain acupuncture points are contraindicated during pregnancy as they may stimulate contractions. It is essential for pregnant individuals to inform their acupuncturist about their pregnancy so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

  • Unlicensed Practitioners: Visiting an unlicensed or poorly trained practitioner increases the risk of complications and adverse events. Always seek acupuncture treatment from a licensed and qualified practitioner.


It's crucial to choose a licensed acupuncturist who has undergone appropriate training and follows safety protocols. Before starting acupuncture treatment, discuss your medical history and any existing health conditions with your acupuncturist. They can tailor the treatment plan to your specific needs and provide guidance on any potential risks or precautions. If you have concerns about acupuncture or specific medical conditions, it's a good idea to consult with your primary healthcare provider before starting acupuncture therapy to ensure it is a suitable complementary treatment for your needs.

Can I receive acupuncture if I'm pregnant?

Acupuncture can be safe and beneficial during pregnancy when administered by a qualified and experienced acupuncturist who has expertise in prenatal acupuncture. Many pregnant individuals seek acupuncture for various reasons, including managing pregnancy-related symptoms and promoting overall well-being. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Consult with a Healthcare Provider: Before receiving acupuncture during pregnancy, it's essential to consult with your obstetrician or midwife. They can provide guidance based on your specific health and pregnancy status. Your healthcare provider can help ensure that acupuncture is a suitable complementary therapy for your pregnancy and address any potential concerns.

  • Choose an Experienced Acupuncturist: Seek out a licensed acupuncturist who has experience and training in prenatal acupuncture. Prenatal acupuncture requires specialized knowledge to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.

  • Communicate Clearly: Inform your acupuncturist about your pregnancy, including your trimester, any pregnancy-related symptoms, and any underlying health conditions. This information helps the acupuncturist tailor the treatment to your specific needs.

  • Treatment Goals: Discuss your treatment goals with your acupuncturist. Prenatal acupuncture can be used to address various pregnancy-related issues, such as nausea, back pain, fatigue, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

  • Acupuncture Points Selection: During pregnancy, some acupuncture points are contraindicated as they may stimulate contractions or potentially affect the pregnancy. A knowledgeable acupuncturist will avoid using these points and focus on points that are safe and appropriate for prenatal care.

  • Safety and Comfort: Acupuncture during pregnancy is generally safe, but it's essential to communicate openly with your acupuncturist about any discomfort or concerns during the treatment. They can adjust the treatment to ensure your comfort and safety.

  • Timing of Treatment: Prenatal acupuncture can be administered throughout all trimesters of pregnancy. Some individuals choose to receive acupuncture regularly throughout their pregnancy to manage symptoms and promote overall wellness, while others seek treatment on an as-needed basis.


Common reasons pregnant individuals seek acupuncture during pregnancy include alleviating morning sickness, reducing back pain, managing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and preparing for labor. Many find it to be a valuable addition to their prenatal care.

In summary, acupuncture can be a safe and beneficial option during pregnancy when performed by a qualified practitioner with prenatal expertise and with the approval and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always prioritize your safety and the health of your baby by seeking appropriate care and communication with your healthcare team.

Are there any side effects of acupuncture?

Acupuncture is generally considered a safe procedure when performed by a qualified licensed practitioner. However, like any medical treatment, acupuncture may have some side effects, although they are typically mild and temporary. Here are some potential side effects and considerations associated with acupuncture:

  • Soreness or Bruising: It is not uncommon to experience mild soreness or bruising at the acupuncture needle insertion sites. This discomfort is usually short-lived and resolves within a day or two.

  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: Some individuals may feel lightheaded or dizzy during or after an acupuncture session. This can be more common if you are sensitive to needle procedures or have not eaten before treatment. It's a good idea to have a light meal or snack before your appointment to help prevent this.

  • Temporary Fatigue: After acupuncture, you may feel temporarily tired or fatigued. This is often a sign that your body is responding to the treatment, and the sensation typically dissipates within a few hours.

  • Emotional Release: Acupuncture can sometimes trigger emotional releases, leading to feelings of sadness, anger, or euphoria. These emotions are usually temporary and are considered part of the healing process in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

  • Nausea or Fainting: Although rare, some individuals may experience nausea or fainting during acupuncture. This is more likely to happen if you have a fear of needles or if the treatment triggers a strong emotional response. It's important to communicate with your acupuncturist if you feel unwell during the session.

  • Minor Bleeding: In rare cases, there may be minor bleeding at the needle insertion points. This is usually minimal and stops quickly.

  • Infection Risk: While the risk of infection is low when sterile, disposable needles are used, it is still important to ensure that your acupuncturist follows proper hygiene and sterilization procedures.

  • Temporary Aggravation: Some individuals may experience a temporary exacerbation of symptoms before they improve. This is often seen as a positive sign that the body is responding to treatment and rebalancing.


It's important to choose a licensed and qualified acupuncturist to minimize the risk of complications and ensure that the procedure is performed safely. Additionally, informing your acupuncturist about any existing health conditions, allergies, or sensitivities you have is crucial.

Overall, the side effects of acupuncture are generally mild and temporary, and many find the therapy to be well-tolerated. If you have concerns or experience any unusual or severe reactions during or after acupuncture, be sure to contact your acupuncturist for guidance and follow-up care.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is generally considered to be a relatively painless or minimally painful procedure. Most people describe the sensation as a mild, temporary discomfort, if they feel anything at all. The experience can vary from person to person and may depend on several factors, including the acupuncturist's technique, the location of the acupuncture points, and an individual's sensitivity to needle stimulation.

Here are some common sensations associated with acupuncture:

  • Mild Sensation: Many people feel a mild, dull ache, tingling, or pressure when the acupuncture needle is inserted. This sensation typically lasts only a few seconds.

  • No Sensation: Some individuals may not feel anything when the needles are inserted. Acupuncture needles are very thin and often cause minimal to no discomfort.

  • Temporary Discomfort: Occasionally, people may experience temporary discomfort or a slight pinching sensation during needle insertion. This sensation usually subsides quickly.

  • Warmth or Energy Flow: Some individuals report feeling a sense of warmth, energy, or relaxation spreading from the acupuncture point. This is often described as a positive and soothing sensation.

  • Painful Sensation: In rare cases, a person may experience pain or discomfort during acupuncture, especially if the needle is inserted too deeply or if there is an underlying issue with the acupuncture point. It is essential to communicate any significant discomfort with your acupuncturist, as adjustments can be made.


Acupuncture needles are typically very thin and flexible, much finer than the needles used for injections or blood draws. They are designed to minimize tissue damage and discomfort. Additionally, a skilled and experienced acupuncturist will use proper techniques to make the process as comfortable as possible.

It's important to communicate openly with your acupuncturist during the treatment session. If you experience any discomfort or pain that is more than mild and fleeting, you should inform your acupuncturist immediately. They can adjust the needle placement or technique to ensure your comfort.

Overall, most people find acupuncture to be a relaxing and soothing experience, and any discomfort is typically minimal and short-lived. If you have concerns about pain or discomfort, discuss them with your acupuncturist during the initial consultation so they can address your specific needs and preferences.

Can acupuncture be used alongside other medical treatments?

Yes, acupuncture can often be used alongside other medical treatments, and it is commonly employed as a complementary therapy to conventional medicine. This integrative approach, which combines acupuncture with standard medical treatments, is known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) or integrative medicine. Here are some important considerations regarding the use of acupuncture alongside other medical treatments:

  • Consultation with Healthcare Providers: It's crucial to inform all of your healthcare providers about any complementary therapies you are considering, including acupuncture. This ensures that your entire healthcare team is aware of your treatment choices and can provide coordinated care.

  • Coordination of Care: Acupuncturists who work in integrative medicine settings often collaborate with medical doctors, specialists, and other healthcare professionals. This coordination helps ensure that acupuncture is used safely and effectively as part of your overall treatment plan.

  • Pain Management: Acupuncture is commonly used alongside conventional pain management treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and surgery. It can help reduce pain and improve overall comfort, potentially allowing for lower doses of pain medications.

  • Chronic Conditions: Acupuncture may be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for chronic conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches. It can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

  • Cancer Care: Acupuncture is sometimes used in cancer care to alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, manage cancer-related pain, and improve overall well-being. It should be administered by experienced acupuncturists familiar with oncology considerations.

  • Stress Reduction and Mental Health: Acupuncture can complement conventional treatments for stress-related disorders, anxiety, and depression. It may promote relaxation and emotional well-being.

  • Fertility and Reproductive Health: Acupuncture is sometimes used alongside reproductive medicine treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), to potentially improve outcomes. It may also address menstrual irregularities and menopausal symptoms.

  • Digestive Health: Acupuncture can be incorporated into the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

  • Allergies and Respiratory Conditions: Some individuals use acupuncture as an adjunct therapy for managing allergies, asthma, and sinusitis symptoms.

  • Addiction Recovery: Acupuncture, particularly auricular (ear) acupuncture, is sometimes used as part of addiction recovery programs to help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.


It's essential to communicate openly with both your acupuncturist and other healthcare providers about all the treatments you are receiving. This helps ensure that there are no contraindications, drug interactions, or conflicts between therapies. Your healthcare team can work together to provide comprehensive care that addresses your specific health needs and goals. Always seek acupuncture from a licensed and qualified practitioner when considering it as a complementary therapy.

Does practicing acupuncture in New York State require a license?

  • Education: Acupuncturists in NYS are required to graduate from a New York State Education Department (NYSED)-registered acupuncture program or its equivalent. The program must consist of at least 60 semester credit hours or the equivalent in acupuncture education.

  • Clean Needle Technique Course: Completion of a clean needle technique course that is approved by the NYSED is typically required. This course covers infection control and safety procedures related to acupuncture practice.

  • National Board Examinations: Acupuncturists must pass the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) board examinations. These exams typically include the:

    • Foundations of Oriental Medicine examination

    • Acupuncture with Point Location examination

    • Biomedicine examination

  • New York State Licensing Examination: In addition to the NCCAOM exams, New York State may have its own licensing examination, such as the Acupuncture Licensing Examination. Check with the NYSED for the most current examination requirements.

  • Clinical Experience: Acupuncturists may be required to complete a certain number of supervised clinical practice hours, typically in an accredited acupuncture program or clinic.


To view Justin's credentials and experience, please visit his bio here.  

What should I expect during my first appointment?

The initial treatment will include intake forms, assessment and treatment. During this assessment, I will gather information about your medical history, current health concerns, and overall well-being. The goal is to create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Here are some of the things typically included in an acupuncture intake assessment:

  • Medical History: The acupuncturist will ask about your medical history, including any chronic illnesses, past surgeries, and significant health events. This information helps them understand your overall health and any underlying conditions.

  • Current Symptoms: You will be asked to describe in detail the specific symptoms or health issues that are bringing you to acupuncture. Be prepared to discuss the severity, duration, and frequency of your symptoms.

  • Lifestyle and Habits: The acupuncturist may inquire about your daily habits, including diet, exercise, sleep patterns, stress levels, and any factors that might be contributing to your health concerns.

  • Medications and Supplements: You should provide a list of any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies you are currently taking. This information helps the acupuncturist assess potential interactions or contraindications.

  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Inform the acupuncturist about any known allergies or sensitivities you have, including allergies to foods, medications, or environmental factors.

  • Emotional and Psychological Health: Your emotional well-being is an essential aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The acupuncturist may ask about your emotional state, stress levels, and any emotional factors related to your health condition.

  • Previous Acupuncture or Complementary Therapies: If you have received acupuncture or other complementary therapies in the past, provide details about your experiences and their outcomes.

  • Goals and Expectations: Discuss your treatment goals and what you hope to achieve through acupuncture. This information helps the acupuncturist tailor your treatment plan to your specific needs.

  • Physical Examination: The acupuncturist may perform a brief physical examination, which can include checking your pulse, examining your tongue, and palpating specific acupuncture points. These assessments provide additional diagnostic information.

  • Questions and Education: Feel free to ask any questions you have about acupuncture, the treatment process, or your specific condition. The acupuncturist should also educate you about what to expect during and after treatment.

  • Treatment Plan: Based on the information gathered during the assessment, the acupuncturist will develop a personalized treatment plan. This plan may include the frequency of acupuncture sessions, the duration of treatment, and any lifestyle recommendations.

  • Informed Consent: You will be asked to provide informed consent for acupuncture treatment, which includes acknowledging that you understand the risks and benefits of the therapy.

Remember that the acupuncture intake assessment is a collaborative process, and open communication with your acupuncturist is essential. Providing accurate and detailed information allows them to create an effective and safe treatment plan tailored to your needs. It's also a good opportunity to ask questions and address any concerns you may have about acupuncture.

general practice

How do I prepare for my first appointment?

It's a good idea to have a light meal or snack before your appointment. Avoid coming empty stomach to prevent potential dizziness or lightheadedness during or after the treatment. Please wear appropriate, loose-fitting, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to areas where acupuncture needles may be inserted. Many acupuncture points are on the arms and legs, so consider wearing sleeves that can be rolled up and pants that can be pulled up past the knee.

How many treatment sessions will I need?

The number of acupuncture treatments you will need can vary widely depending on several factors, including the nature of your condition, its severity, how long you've had it, and how your body responds to acupuncture. Acupuncture is often used as a complementary therapy, and the treatment plan is typically individualized to meet your specific needs. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

  • Acute vs. Chronic Conditions: Acute conditions, such as a recent injury or a common cold, may require only a few acupuncture sessions for symptom relief. Chronic conditions, on the other hand, often require a more extended treatment course, possibly spanning several weeks or months.

  • Severity of Symptoms: The severity of your symptoms plays a role in determining the number of treatments needed. Mild symptoms may improve more quickly, while severe or long-standing issues may require more sessions.

  • Frequency of Treatment: Initially, acupuncture treatments are often scheduled closer together, such as once or twice a week, to build up the therapeutic effect. As your condition improves, the frequency may be reduced to once a month or as needed for maintenance.

  • Individual Response: Each person's response to acupuncture is unique. Some individuals experience rapid improvement, while others may require more time to see significant results. Your acupuncturist will evaluate your progress and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

  • Overall Health and Wellness: Acupuncture is not only used for treating specific health issues but also for promoting overall health and wellness. Some people choose to receive periodic acupuncture sessions as part of a preventative healthcare routine.

  • Goals of Treatment: Your treatment goals also influence the number of sessions. If your primary goal is symptom relief, you may need fewer sessions than if you are seeking long-term management or support for a chronic condition.

It's important to maintain open communication with your acupuncturist throughout your treatment course. They can assess your progress, make adjustments to your treatment plan, and provide guidance on the expected duration of your acupuncture therapy.

In some cases, your acupuncturist may recommend combining acupuncture with other complementary therapies, dietary changes, or lifestyle modifications to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment and reduce the number of required sessions.

Ultimately, the best way to determine the number of acupuncture treatments you will need is to consult with a qualified acupuncturist who can assess your specific condition and create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your goals and health needs.

How long does each acupuncture appointment last?

The initial appointment will be about one hour and any follow up appointments after that will be thirty minutes.

What is the cost of acupuncture treatments?

The initial appointment lasts for an hour and costs $160. Follow up appointments after that are thirty minutes and cost $80 per session. 

Do you accept insurance, and how does payment work?

Jusitin does not accept insurance although he can provide receipts for you to submit to your insurance company yourself for reimbursement. Cash, check, debit, credit, venmo, and cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) are accepted forms of payment.

How can I schedule an appointment?

You can book an appointment with Justin below using online booking services or contacting Justin via email in the contact form at the bottom of the page as well as calling or texting Justin at 518-892-9668. Due to the need for HIPAA compliance, please do not include any personal medical information within your inquiry. Please note that doing so means that you understand and assume the risk of information exchanged that is not secure online and that Justin is not held responsible for your actions.

Can I purchase a service as a gift card for someone else?

Yes, please visit our shop here, to purchase a gift card. Instructions and process will be provided within the gift certificate description and during check-out.

How are Chinese herbal formulas developed by Justin?

Chinese herbal formulas are personalized and crafted by Justin based on traditional Chinese medicine principles, and consideration of the patient's individual constitution, symptoms, as well as diagnosis. Justin uses high-quality, high-potency, minimally processed herbs to craft formulas through a variety of delivery methods; dry powders, teas, tinctures, and topical ointments when necessary. Ask him about his standardized herbal formulas in Red Lion Tonics.


Are Chinese herbal formulas safe, and do they have side effects?

Chinese herbal formulas, when prescribed by a qualified acupuncturist like Justin, are generally safe and well-tolerated. Acupuncturists carefully select herbs based on the patient's health history and tailor the formula to minimize the risk of side effects. It's essential to communicate openly with Justin about any existing medical conditions, medications, or allergies to ensure a safe and effective herbal treatment.

How long does it take to see results from Chinese herbal formulas, and what are the potential benefits?

The timeframe for experiencing results from Chinese herbal formulas varies depending on the individual's condition and the complexity of the health issue. Some individuals may notice improvements within a few days, while others may require several weeks. The potential benefits include symptom relief, improved energy, enhanced immune function, and a holistic approach to addressing underlying imbalances for long-term well-being. Consistent communication with your acupuncturist is key to adjusting the formula and optimizing its effectiveness over time.

What is moxibustion, and how is it used in acupuncture?

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese therapy that involves burning dried mugwort (moxa) near specific acupuncture points or areas of the body. In an acupuncture office, it is often used to enhance the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. The heat generated from moxibustion stimulates energy flow and promotes healing. Justin does not offer this service separately from acupuncture. 


Is moxibustion safe, and are there any potential side effects?

Moxibustion, when administered by a trained acupuncturist, is generally considered safe. The acupuncturist carefully monitors the duration and intensity of moxibustion to ensure a comfortable and effective treatment. While side effects are rare, individuals with sensitive skin may experience mild redness or warmth at the application site, which typically resolves shortly after the session.

What conditions can moxibustion address, and how long does a session typically last?

Moxibustion is used to address a variety of conditions, including pain, digestive issues, and menstrual irregularities. The duration of a moxibustion session varies based on the treatment plan and the specific condition being addressed. On average, a session may last fifteen to thirty minutes, during which the acupuncturist carefully applies moxa to specific points to promote healing and balance within the body.

Does moxibustion hurt; what sensations can I expect?

Moxibustion is generally a painless and well-tolerated therapy. Most individuals find the warmth produced during moxibustion to be soothing and comfortable. During moxibustion, individuals may experience a gentle warming sensation at the application site. This warmth is intentionally applied to stimulate energy flow and promote healing. It is a mild and generally pleasant sensation that contributes to the overall relaxation experienced during the session.

What is cupping, and how does it complement acupuncture?

Cupping is a traditional chinese therapy where glass cups are placed on the skin to create suction, promoting blood circulation and muscle relaxation. When combined with acupuncture, cupping enhances the overall therapeutic effect by addressing both surface and deep-seated issues. Acupuncture focuses on balancing energy flow, while cupping targets muscle tension and promotes circulation, creating a synergistic approach to holistic wellness. Cupping should be performed by a licensed professional to ensure safety. 


Is cupping painful, and what sensations can I expect during a session?

Cupping is generally not painful, and most individuals find it to be a comfortable and well-tolerated experience. During the session, you may feel a gentle pulling or tingling sensation as the cups create suction on the skin. The sensation is often described as soothing, contributing to an overall sense of relaxation.

How long does cupping last during an acupuncture session, and what are the potential benefits?

The duration of cupping during an acupuncture session varies based on individual needs and treatment goals. On average, cupping may last around 5 to 15 minutes. The benefits include improved blood circulation, muscle tension release, and enhanced therapeutic outcomes. The combination of acupuncture and cupping contributes to a holistic approach, addressing both energetic imbalances and physical ailments for a more comprehensive sense of well-being.

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