Dr. Lana Farson, D.A.C.M., M.S., L.Ac., Doctor of Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine
Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of training does Lana have?
After completing a bachelor's degree, pre-med classes, and 1.5 years of Chinese and Japanese language, Lana entered a four year Master's of Science degree program at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco, which involved over 3000 hours of education & training. Upon graduation in 1999, she passed the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam with top scores. She also completed additional training privately with several teachers in the fields of gynecology, dermatology, as well as paralysis and stroke rehabilitation.

What does Acupuncture feel like?
People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar, but very pleasant and relaxing. Different sensations may be felt, such as tingling, itchiness, lightness, warmth, soreness, numbness, and pressure. The vast majority of acupuncture points can be stimulated painlessly, while for certain locations there might be a slight initial pinch. Any discomfort usually disappears within seconds. The sensation is much less painful than the feeling of getting a shot. I tend to start with the gentlest points first and then let the client decide if they want to try any spots that feel more energetic. Once the fine needles are removed, there is often no mark.

How long does the treatment take?
The first visit takes about 1 – 1 ½ hours. Follow-up visits are 45 minutes to 1 hour. The needles are usually retained for about 15 - 20 minutes.

What should I wear to my treatment and where are the needles placed?
You should wear loose, comfortable clothing. It is often unnecessary to remove any clothing for an acupuncture treatment. Although, it can be helpful to have on a tank top or camisole, especially if back or shoulder points are needed. The number of acu-points varies for each case and individual. Typically, 4 - 12 points are used at a single visit. Each acu-point has its own particular function and groups of points are combined in various ways according to a patient’s needs.

Are acupuncture needles safe?
Yes! Licensed acupuncturists use only sterile and disposable needles approved by the FDA.

How thin are the needles?
The most common acupuncture needles are gauge 32 or 34, which is about as thin as a human hair.

How many sessions do I need for treatment?
Since each person is unique, the number of treatments required will vary, depending on the type of condition, whether it’s chronic or acute, as well as the overall health of the individual. Keep in mind, dramatic results are unusual after a single treatment. Most patients will experience a gradual relief of their symptoms over days, weeks or months.

Should I stop other medications?
No. You should continue to follow your current physician's instructions. Do, however, let me know what medications, herbs and supplements you are taking, so I can consider any interactions. Some herbs can complement Western medications, either by helping to eliminate their side-effects or by boosting the body’s immune system. The regular use of herbs may eventually reduce the body’s need for western drugs.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?
Occasionally the original symptoms worsen for a few days, which is part of the healing. You may notice changes in appetite, energy, sleep, emotions or bowel and urination patterns. These should not cause concern; they are usually indications that the body is rebalancing itself.

Is there anything I should know about or do before my appointment?
Yes! Some tips appear here.

Do you have a question for Lana?
Email Lana if you have a question that is not listed here.