The Top 9 “Stupid” Questions I Get About Acupuncture

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” -- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?” -- Scott Adams, Dilbert

They say March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. Or, if you’re in New York City, it enters like you’re in a beautiful snow globe and exits like climbing over mountains of dirty ice covered in garbage while cursing that you’re late for work. I’m sure that’s what Dickens meant. As I wait for the sweeter days of Spring to arrive, I’ve been mulling over the “stupid questions” people love to ask me about acupuncture. Since I realize you are already naked and vulnerable as you are lying on my table awaiting the needles, I thought I’d take this opportunity to clear up a lot of misconceptions and ease your fears on a few things you may be confused about. But first -- let’s talk about the sweet potato. Despite Monday’s calendar flip into spring, it is still bitterly cold out. Nothing is really in season in the grocery store, so let’s stick to the root vegetables. The sweet potato is a nutritional powerhouse. I’m sorry, if you don’t like ‘em, we really can’t be friends!

Just look at her. Orange can be beautiful. (via)

Just kidding about that. But it would be best if you got on board the sweet potato train. They are delicious, cheap, and really good for you. Secretly all yams sold in the USA are actually sweet potatoes with reddish flesh. The more you know!


Sweet potatoes are nourishing on the body yet cooling in nature. They strengthen the yin in your body, which in turn benefits dry and inflamed conditions. They also promote qi energy, increase the quantity of milk in lactating mothers, remove toxins from the body, and are rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and naturally slows the aging process. Now, who doesn’t want that?? Also, in my studies I found that if a child swallows a metallic object (such as a coin), feed them plenty of sweet potato. It will stick to the object and will allow it to come out easier in the feces. Now that is handy!!! Back to the dumb questions. Without further adieu…

The Top 9 “Stupid” Questions I Get About Acupuncture

1. Do you reuse needles? Only if the person looks clean. OMG, I’m kidding!! No, every needle that is used on your body is sterile, disposable, and brand-spanking-new. 2. Can I move with the needles in? About 10 years ago, one of my patients really really had to pee. I walked in to see her standing there, covered in needles, not really sure what to do. That’s when I figured I had to come up with a way for patients to be able to let me know if they needed to get up, go to the bathroom, that the lamp is too hot, etc. In my practice, you’ll notice I place a buzzer into your hand now before I exit the room! This is for you to let me know if I need to come and assist you. Overall, I don’t recommend you move with the needles in. Will it kill you? No. You can probably scratch your itch and live. But best if you let me know if you need anything at all. That is what I’m here for! 3. Do the needles go into my organs? No! Needles are placed in specific channels to open them up. Usually they are not going in further than a few millimeters. In certain cases, they may go in further, but never deep enough to get anywhere near an organ. 4. Is it possible for a needle to be put on a point that will paralyze me? No, it’s absolutely not possible. That’s just in Kung Fu Panda. 5. Is this the worst / grossest thing you’ve ever seen? Hahahahahaha. NO. I spent a year and a half in China studying at the Chengdu Hospital for Traditional Chinese Medicine, where I worked in Gynecology and Gastroenterology. We’re talking prolapses of the rectum and uterus. You don’t want to know what these eyes have seen. 6. If I cough or fart do the needles go flying? Ok, now these are getting ridiculous. The needles may fall out if you cough. They will not fly across the room. And if your gas is so bad you’re worried about flying needles, well...we need to talk. 7. Do you put needles in the garbage? Good question! NEVER. The needles go in a special sharps container, never to be seen again. Bye bye needle! (via) 8. OUCH! IS THAT SUPPOSED TO HURT? Occasionally, a needle may give you a little pinch or “zing.” If it’s brief, we know we’ve struck gold on a good acupuncture spot for you. Ideally, this will subside in a flash and is actually a good sign! If the pain is sharp or burning, this is a sign that it is not “sitting” well. Please let me know and I will remove it immediately and find a better spot. You should never be lying there in pain. This is supposed to be relaxing! ALWAYS let me know if something hurts or even feels “not right.” 9. Can I put needles on myself like Steven Seagal? No. Please leave the placement of needles to licensed acupuncturists. (That’s me!) Hopefully this helped clear a few things up for you! If you have any questions that were not addressed on this list, please do not hesitate to contact me or schedule an appointment at or (212) 473-3750.