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Frequently Asked Questions

Kate Quinn Stewart, L.Ac. displays tiny acupuncture needles.What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles are extremely fine, only as thick as a few human hairs. They are much smaller than needles used for shots or IV’s.

I use only pre-sterilized, single-use, disposable needles which are discarded immediately after they are removed.  This ensures that there is no risk of contamination or disease transmission.

What does acupuncture feel like?

The peaceful feeling you get after an acupuncture treatment with Kate Quinn Stewart, L.Ac.You may feel nothing when the needles are inserted, or there may be a very brief sharp sensation that is gone within a second or two.  Once the needles are in place, you will barely notice them, if at all. Many of my patients become so relaxed that they actually fall asleep while the needles are in place.

During the treatment you may sometimes experience various sensations caused by energy starting to move in areas where it has been blocked. This may occur at the acupuncture points being treated or in other parts of the body. Patients often describe a sense of tingling, movement, pulsation, or temperature change, or simply an increased awareness of the area that has been treated.  As your body re-regulates the flow of energy, these sensations diminish and disappear.

First-time patients are sometimes anxious about the needles. My needling style is very gentle, though, and their anxiety usually fades after I have treated a point or two. If you are concerned about the needles, please let me know.  I am happy to teach you relaxation and breathing techniques that will help you feel more at ease.

What happens at a typical acupuncture appointment?

Your first appointment will include a 1 hour health history intake conversation, which is done virtually as a telemedicine appointment, followed by a 1 hour new patient office visit, which is when you will receive your first acupuncture treatment.

During the virtual intake, we will have a thorough conversation about your health history, your current state of health, and your goals for improving your health. As we talk, I will share with you the Chinese medicine perspective on your health concerns and make suggestions for self-care that will support the effects of your acupuncture treatments. At the beginning of our office visit, I will feel your pulse on both wrists and examine your tongue. These are traditional methods of diagnosis in Chinese medicine that give me more information about the state of your qi and internal organs. You will then receive an acupuncture treatment tailored to your specific needs.

Follow-up appointments are 1 hour long. I will check in with you about how you are feeling, what you noticed after the previous treatment, and what has changed in your health. You will then receive a customized acupuncture treatment and any new self-care strategies or coaching that may be needed to serve your continued healing.  

How should I prepare for a treatment?

Wear comfortable, two-piece clothing. Sleeves and pant legs should be loose enough to allow you to uncover your arms to the elbows and your legs to just above the knees.

It is ideal to have eaten an hour or more before treatment. Skipping meals before a treatment may cause you to feel faint due to low blood sugar; eating a large meal shortly beforehand may cause you to feel uncomfortable lying down.

Once you have made your appointment, it is helpful to pay close attention to the symptoms you would like to address with acupuncture. Please consider when they began, how often they occur, how intense they are, what parts of your body they affect, what makes them better or worse, and whether they happen at any particular time of day or in response to any particular trigger. Having this sort of detailed information is extremely helpful to me in assessing your condition accurately and designing an effective treatment plan.

What should I expect after a treatment?

FAQ's - Nurturing Spirit Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont CircleSome people feel deeply relaxed after a treatment, while others feel
energized. Some of my patients notice that their symptoms shift immediately, while others notice improvements over the next few days. In general, patients report better sleep, improved digestion, less stress over the things that usually bother them, and an overall sense of well-being.

Sometimes in the 24-48 hours after the first or second treatment, patients may notice that current symptoms briefly intensify and then diminish, old thoughts or emotionally significant events come to mind, or that they temporarily feel mild aches at the sites of old injuries. These occurrences last only a short time and are almost always a sign that the treatment is working.

These healing reactions are opportunities for the body to finish healing from issues that were not completely resolved in the past. If this occurs, you can trust that your body is completing this unfinished healing business so that you can move on more fully from past health problems.

Not everyone experiences this sort of healing reaction, but I always let my patients know that they are possible and are not a cause for worry. If you have any concerns about how you are feeling after a treatment, please contact me right away.

How long will it take to see results?

This varies according to the patient and the condition being treated. Some people begin to notice changes in their symptoms during or after the first treatment or two. For others, it takes a few more sessions.

Generally, the younger the patient and the more recent the health condition, the faster the healing happens. Elderly or very debilitated patients or conditions that have been present for many years usually take longer to heal.

Good self-care and healthy lifestyle choices also enhance and prolong the benefits of acupuncture treatment. Starting at the initial consultation, I will educate you about specific self-care strategies that are uniquely suited to improving your particular condition.  

How often should I come for treatment?

Kate Quinn Stewart offers Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont CircleI recommend that my patients start by coming for acupuncture once a week for the first four to six weeks. That allows us to build some momentum and reinforce the positive changes we are creating in the body.

Often, after that first four to six weeks, patients are feeling that the benefits of treatment are persisting from one session to the next. At that point, we know that we can start to treat less frequently.

Once my patients chief health concerns are significantly improved or resolved, they often choose to come in for treatments at some regular interval (e.g. biweekly, monthly, or once a season) for maintenance. While acupuncture is wonderful for treating health issues that are already full blown, it is even better at keeping the body regulated and preventing small problems from becoming bigger ones. Those nagging discomforts that your doctors "watch and wait" are exactly the sorts of things that acupuncture can correct before they develop into something more serious.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

While coverage varies from plan to plan, insurers are increasingly covering acupuncture. Please check with your company to find out what your policy covers and whether they require a diagnostic code indicating the condition(s) to be treated.

While Nurturing Spirit Acupuncture does not submit insurance claims, I am happy to provide you with a medical receipt which you can submit directly to your insurance company for reimbursement.  If your insurance company requires a diagnostic code, please obtain one from your doctor and bring me a copy so that it can be placed in your file and added to your medical receipts.

Nurturing Spirit Acupuncture offers safe, effective Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont Circle

FAQ's - Nurturing Spirit Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont Circle

Kate Quinn Stewart offers Acupuncture in Washington, DC, Dupont Circle


1633 Q
1633 Q St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20009
Dupont Circle Metro, Q St. exit

Office Visits:
Mondays, Wednesdays,
Thursdays & Fridays
1:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Virtual Sessions:
1:00 pm - 6:30 pm