Frequently Asked Questions


Does acupuncture hurt?

The needles used in acupuncture are similar in size to a strand of hair. Most clients report feeling nothing or mild discomfort when the needles are inserted. Needles are often manipulated once in the patient’s body, which may bring a strong sensation to the area around the point. This subsides after a few seconds. The bulk of the treatment is usually very relaxing and many clients fall asleep.Mackenzie-2013-033-high-2334290484-O

Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. All needles come in single use, sterilized packages for the patient’s safety. As far as training is concerned, practitioners must undergo a 4- year program that includes mentorship with skilled instructors and hundreds of classroom hours to ensure that safety during needling is always a priority.

How many sessions will it require to see noticeable results?
This will differ with each client. Acute conditions will usually improve rapidly but require more visits in a short amount of time. Chronic conditions may respond slower and require more visits over a longer period of time. Part of each client’s assessment will include specific recommendations on what to do between sessions and how often they should come based on their situation.

Is acupuncture effective in treating mental and emotional issues?
Chinese medicine views each individual as a whole. Effective acupuncture treatments rely on the practitioner understanding the physical, mental and emotional aspects that make each client unique. Acupuncture works to balance the patients entire system so they are able to obtain optimal health inside and out. I have seen acupuncture work remarkably well with mental and emotional issues ranging from depression, anxiety, grief, anger and many more.

Does insurance cover acupuncture or naturopathic medicine at Nourish Natural Family Medicine?
We are in-network with most health plans available on the north coast, including Columbia Pacific (Medicaid).  You are required to understand your benefits before the initial appointment.  The easiest way to do this is call the customer service number on the back of the card and get a detailed explanation of what you specific plan covers.  Feel free to call the clinic if you have questions about this process.

What will a typical visit consist of?
Each session will begin with a short history followed by Chinese pulse and tongue diagnosis. All visits will consist of a mixture of acupuncture and bodywork/massage. The sessions will end with a patient specific treatment plan and a recommendation of the optimal follow-up date, if needed.


Naturopathic Medicine:

What kind of training is required to become a Naturopathic Physician?

A bachelor’s degree and premedical courses are required prior to admission to naturopathic medical school.  There are currently four institutions in the United States that license Naturopaths.  They offer accredited, 4-year programs that provide high quality classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.  Completion of state board medical exams is also a requirement.

Can I get lab work done through Nourish?  Is it affordable if I am not currently covered by insurance?

Yes, most laboratory testing can be obtained or ordered at Nourish.   Blood samples are drawn on site at the clinic. Other common tests we may order include salivary hormone panels, stool testing or heavy metal analysis. The labs we work with offer very affordable pricing for uninsured individuals or those who have poor coverage.Trav Williams, Broken Banjo Photography

What other types of diagnostic testing may my Naturopath use?

Naturopaths utilize all screening and diagnostic exams such as colonoscopy, ultrasound, EKG, mammogram, and bone mineral density test.  Early detection is a key feature in maintaining optimal health as well as the best way to insure a variety of treatment options.

Will Mackenzie provide adjunctive care with other medical providers?

Yes.  Many clients come to naturopathic physicians already having a primary care doctor.  We are more than happy to provide adjunctive services to complement your primary care in any way you see fit.

What can be expected in my first Naturopathic visit to Nourish?

The initial visit will usually last between 70 and 90 minutes.  We discuss past health history, family history and lifestyle habits.  A physical examination may be performed if indicated. The visit will be directed by your specific goals for health and wellness.