Acupuncture

Medical Services offers acupuncture in partnership with the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. Columbia students enrolled in Columbia Health may receive up to five sessions at Medical Services, when referred by their Medical Services provider. To obtain a referral, students should make an appointment with their Medical Services provider to discuss their needs for acupuncture services.

Acupuncture services are held one to two mornings per week depending on the semester and are administered by college interns, who are supervised by a licensed acupuncturist. The first visit will include a comprehensive evaluation and may take up to one hour. Each additional session is typically one hour.

Frequently Asked Questions

Typically, an acupuncturist will begin by taking a complete history, asking numerous questions about your primary complaint as well as more general health issues. An acupuncturist physical exam may resemble a more conventional exam, including measuring vital signs such as weight, temperature, and blood pressure. It is also likely to include a more detailed examination and analysis of the pulse and tongue as well as abdominal palpation and facial diagnosis. After arriving at a working diagnosis, the acupuncturist will place you in a comfortable position to insert needles. You may be seated although it is more common to lie down. Ten to 20 needles may be inserted although more or less is not uncommon. Once you are comfortable, you will relax in the treatment room for 15 to 20 minutes, with the acupuncturist checking on you periodically.

Most health problems take more than one treatment to resolve. Expect to have four treatments before reassessment or an outside referral is given.

Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable, sterile needles in strategic points near the body surface.

Acupuncture needles are much finer than the familiar hypodermic needle.

Some acupuncture patients are initially wary of the claim that acupuncture doesn't hurt, but they soon discover that the experience is quite pleasurable.