Frequently Asked Questions

There are many ways to explain how acupuncture works. Chinese medicine explains acupuncture through the ancient philosophy of Qi. Qi is the vital flow of energy that moves through the body. Health depends on the smooth flow of Qi. Western medicine explains how acupuncture works through its effect on the nervous and endocrine systems. These two systems help regulate and maintain homeostasis in the body. Broadly speaking acupuncture has three major effects: 1. It relieves pain. 2. It reduces inflammation. 3. It restores homeostasis.

No, you do not need to believe in acupuncture to feel better. Keep an open mind, commit to your appointments and give yourself a chance to see some good changes.

We only use disposable, sterile, stainless steel acupuncture needles. We are trained in clean needle technique as part of licensing.

The number of needles varies depending on the condition. There may be as few as four but on average, about ten.

The depth and angle of each needle varies depending on the area of the body being needled, the style of acupuncture being used, the season, the patient’s general state of health, the reason for treatment. The depth of the needle may vary from 1-3mm to several inches.

Acupuncture has many styles and techniques. Sometimes it is helpful to needle an area of pain locally but we often use distal acupuncture points located on the limbs. Both local and distal treatments work.

Most people find that acupuncture is comfortable and relaxing. The needles we use are very, very thin. There is usually little to no sensation upon insertion. We have helped many patients who “don’t like needles” get over their initial fears successfully. The bottom line is don’t ever sit in pain while you are having a treatment. Also please let us know if you are cold, don’t sit and feel cold during your treatment. We usually offer all our patients a fleece blanket at the beginning of the treatment. Get comfortable, tuck yourself in.

Acupuncture needles come in different lengths and gauges. The smallest gauges which we use with kids are as thick as a few hairs. Unlike a medical syringe they are not hollow. 

 How tiny is an acupuncture needle?

Loose comfortable clothing is the best option however we also have some drapes available. We need access to the arms and legs, usually up to the knee and below the elbow. If you have an injured area like a shoulder it can be helpful to wear a tank top so that we can access the area. You do not need to remove your clothing for treatment.

Please allow approximately one hour for your visit. First time visits can occasionally be longer. Please arrive 10 minutes early for your first visit so that you can fill out some brief paperwork before we begin. 

We only accept cash and check. Please pay for your visit before treatment. At our front desk we have envelops for you to leave your payment in, along with a sign that explains the instructions. Patients are not required to make any long term commitment to treatment.

We do not accept insurance. Our fee is about equal to what many people would pay as a co-pay. Some acupuncturists do accept insurance.

 Because we don’t have a secretary and have limited hours please schedule your appointments using our online scheduler.

If you need to cancel an appointment please follow the link in the email reminder you received or email us at or leave us a phone message.

Acupuncture is helpful for kids of every age, even babies. If your child is younger than 12 we recommend that you talk with us before making an appointment to evaluate your child’s needs. Mária has special training in pediatrics and also sees pediatric patient privately at MCA

Community style acupuncture (CSA) refers to the layout and design of the acupuncture office and not to a specific style of acupuncture.  CSA like Montpelier Community Acupuncture seeks to provide accessible and affordable care. For many conditions it is important to come weekly for a treatment course in order to see real progress. Our affordable fee structure makes the possible. There is over 2,000 years of documented clinical history that supports the idea of frequent treatments to maximize the patient’s success in treatment.

As a community style clinic, MCA is designed so that the acupuncturist can see a greater number of patients per week. This business and care model translates to less expensive care for patients. 

Chinese medicine can treat a wide range of conditions. We are trained in the treatment of many conditions. Our patients seek help for pain conditions, women’s health, emotional issues, digestive disorders as well as many other disorders. Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as effective in treating these conditions:

During your first visit we will take a health history. After the first treatment we will discuss a treatment plan. Most conditions respond within the first few visits. Each patient responds differently. Six treatments is a solid amount of time that we would expect to see some significant changes. At that time, if patient has not seen any beneficial changes, then acupuncture might not be the right treatment for them at that time and for that condition. However, many conditions begin to respond immediately. Often patients may come 1-2x week at first.

This is very common in the beginning. An illness or pain that has been around for many years, may take some time to resolve. Your pain may fade but it also may move around to different locations or change its nature. If the pain was once sharp it might be more dull or achy. Please communicate these changes with us. Even if the relief was short this is taken as a good sign for more lasting relief in the future.

MCA offers treatments in a group setting, one large room. Our clinic has six comfy recliners and one treatment table. Generally, patients only interact in our waiting room so that our treatment room stays quiet and peaceful. We have some relaxing music playing or you can bring your own headphones. You may hear us speaking with another patient but generally it is very quiet and many people take a nap while their needles are in. If you are a new patient we will sit and talk about your health history, the nature of your main complaint for about 15-20 minutes.

There is no one thing you should experience when you have acupuncture. Some people feel heavy and sleepy, others feel weightless and refreshed. Most people feel very relaxed. Some patients feel an achy or heavy feeling around some of the needles or in their limbs. This is actually a good sign. If the feeling around the needled area has a painful sensation that does not fade and keeps you from closing your eyes to nap, then it means the location of the needle is not ideal and you need to let us know so we can make a change. Please let us know if something is painful.


Yes. Many people fall asleep during their treatment but if you do not you are still benefiting from the treatment.

Most often you will not notice any bleeding when the needles are taken out. Occasionally there may be a drop of blood due to a tiny vessel unseen just under the skin’s surface. This bleeding can be quickly stopped with light pressure from a Q-tip.

Licensed acupuncturists have completed a Master’s of Science degree in Acupuncture. This degree is usually 3-4 years of full time training, over 3,000 hours of training. The training includes extensive coursework in western biomedical sciences as well as oriental medicine. Acupuncture programs require clinical internships during which students are supervised while treating patients at many different sites including hospitals, pain clinics, addiction centers, elderly care facilities etc.