Sally Rappeport

Acupuncture & Chinese Herbs

THE BASICS – Acupuncture and Herbs

Acupuncture and herbal medicine are incredible tools for healing the body. While the principles of Chinese medicine are unfamiliar to many, they can be used successfully to treat conditions affecting all of us. Unlike Western medicine, Chinese medicine strengthens the body’s own resources and helps to resolve many medical problems, particularly chronic ones. Acupuncture can shift energetic blockages that cause pain. These blockages may occur as a result of stress, physical or emotional trauma or a combination of all three. The acupuncturist uses tiny needles to balance the energetic pathways of the body, also known as meridians, resulting in relief of pain and improvement in the flow of energy through these channels. Additional benefits of treatment include a greater connection to one’s body and an overall sense of wellbeing.

FAQs

What safety procedures are being implemented during the pandemic?

Things will be setup differently from the pre-COVID time in order for everyone to feel safe and stay healthy. In medicine, infectious disease protocol involves Universal Precautions – the assumption that everyone is infected.  Therefore, I will be ask you to comply with the following:
  1. I will be doing a telemedicine screening before your acupuncture appointment. This will be like the consult before we go into the treatment room. You will need to schedule it as a 15” telemedicine prescreen appointment preferably the day or two before you schedule to come in for acupuncture. When you schedule this, you will get a link to an app that you can use on your computer or phone. You should schedule both the screening and acupuncture at the same time (but separately) on the website.  Without the prescreen, I will be unable to see you for acupuncture. There is no separate fee for pre-screen appointments.
  2.  I will ask you to send me photos of your tongue both the top and bottom during the prescreen appointment. If possible take the photo outside in natural light or by a window. I prefer this so you can keep your mask on while you’re here.
  3.  During this screening appointment, if you will be receiving herbs, we will discuss it at this time. It  may be useful for you to set up a 30” consult for a new formula (i.e. a new condition).
  4. I will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) during your appointment including a mask and gloves.  Please wear a mask throughout your appointment. 
  5. When you enter the office, it is essential that you wash your hands immediately.  There will be hand sanitizer by the door. 
  6.  I ask that you then go directly into the treatment room with a stop in the restroom if necessary.
  7. I will only see one patient at a time.  There will be a ½ hour break between patients so that I can clean all surfaces and air out the office. Unfortunately this means that you cannot come more than 5” early and hang out in the office.  
  8. I have installed a HEPA air filter in the treatment room.  It is on at all times.
  9.  If you have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose or you’re sneezing, have lost your sense of taste or smell, or have acute digestive issues, please stay home.  I will be happy to switch your acupuncture appointment to a telemedicine herb consult for these conditions. Email sally@sallyrappeport.com or text me at 917-208-4730 as soon as possible.
  10. For herb patients, I will text you when your herbs are ready (like I did pre-COVID), and leave them in the mailbox. If you’re quarantined, I will do my best to drop them off or ask if you can send someone to pick them up.
  11. I will only accept contactless payments going forward. The systems that are easiest to use are Venmo or PayPal. You can find me on Venmo by my name with my business card instead of a photo. PayPal works with sally@sallyrappeport.com (please send as friend to avoid fees).

I think we will all feel safer about enjoying acupuncture treatment without feeling like we might be spreading or contracting the virus. It will take all of us a little while to get used to the new system (especially me!) so please be patient. If you have any questions, let me know by email sally@sallyrappeport.com.  As we work through this together, the protocol may change.

How many treatments will I need?

Acupuncture tends to have a cumulative effect. Several treatments are recommended fairly close together, usually weekly or biweekly. Often less frequent visits can be effective once the condition begins to improve. In gynecological conditions, treatments are most effective in conjunction with the timing of the menstrual cycle

What kind of lifestyle changes are involved?

For complex conditions, patients often need to become involved in lifestyle changes — needles and herbs are not always enough! I work with patients at their own pace, supporting their efforts to achieve a healthier lifestyle. This often involves a shift in eating habits, sleep patterns and exercise as well as incorporating stress-reduction techniques.

An extensive part of Chinese medicine involves dietary therapy. I will make recommendations to you types of foods to eat as well as how to prepare them. There is no ideal that works for everyone. These choices will enable you to support your health in the best way possible.

For musculoskeletal conditions, I suggest exercises or stretches to support the treatment’s effectiveness. If necessary, I recommend more extensive support from a physical therapist or other practitioner.

How do I take the herbs?

Herbs come in many different forms that differ considerably in price. My recommendations vary depending on what is best for your situation.

  • Granules involve simply adding boiling water. These are usually taken two times per day.  More detailed instructions will come with your first herb prescription. In general, I will give you a 1.5 gram scoop.  3 scoops approximately =  1 teaspoon.
  • Traditional soups involve the most preparation. The pharmacy I use in Chinatown will cook and vacuum pack them. If you choose to prepare them yourself, it takes about an hour every couple of days to cook them. They should be warmed up before drinking.
  • Pills, tinctures and tablets are usually taken three times per day.

The taste and aroma of Chinese herbs may take some getting used to. Herbs can be followed by another beverage to help with this; brushing your teeth after is also helpful. I recommend taking all herbs on an empty stomach unless you  have frequent indigestion or nausea and then take the herbs with food. I will give clear written directions with every prescription.

Where do I get the herbs?

I now have a small granular pharmacy in the office.  I am able to provide most patients with formulas from what I have in stock.  In addition, I have some tablets, pills, tinctures and topical preparations in the office as well as some nutritional supplements. Other herbs can be special ordered for pick up at the office. Vacuum pack formulas or herbs to be cooked can be picked up in Chinatown at Kamwo Pharmacy (211 Grand St. between Mott and Elizabeth) in Manhattan. Kamwo will also mail herbs for an additional fee.

Other questions:

Often questions arise during the process of treatment; feel free to contact me at anytime by email, text or phone.