Frequently Asked Questions

What is acupuncture?


Acupuncture is a medical practice that aids the body in reaching and maintaining homeostasis.  To accomplish this, it uses access points and channels throughout the body, needles, bodywork, external and internal herbal applications, scraping, cupping and moxibustion. To help the practitioner determine which points and techniques to use, a differential diagnosis is made which informs the practitioner’s treatment plan.  Although the use of needles is one of the primary techniques used to help the body, it is by no means the only mode of treatment.


Does acupuncture hurt?


Acupuncture needles are very thin, as thin as a hair, are not hollow, and are unlike hypodermic needles in every way.  They are carefully inserted into the body at points that are skillfully chosen by the practitioner.  The insertion of the needle is relatively pain-free and any sensation that is felt goes away as quickly as it came.  Often the practitioner will advance the needle further to stimulate the point. While it isn’t painful, it can illicit sensations that are unusual for most people in the United States. These sensations are called “De Qi” in Chinese, and can be described as a “warm releasing” or “spreading” sensation running away from the point, a slight zing that comes and goes, a “heaviness” that dissipates, a “strong releasing” sensation, or a “dull aching” feeling.  These are quite normal and considered beneficial for the patient and helpful for the success of the treatment. 


How does it work?


There are many explanations as to how acupuncture stimulates the body to heal itself.  It has been the source of much research for decades, but with recent advances in technology scientists are able to view in real time the changes taking place within the body.  Stimulation of acupuncture points helps the body reach homeostasis by causing vasodilation, mediating immune system response, modulating the neuro-endocrine system, stimulating new tissue growth, and enhancing nervous system conduction while helping to modulate the signal. Acupuncture treatment also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the most beneficial state for encouraging healing. This is especially true for moderating systemic or local inflammation and generating new tissue. 


How often should I get treated?


This is a complex question to answer because the presentation is different for every patient. Acute cases generally take fewer treatments. The longer the patient has experienced the condition, the longer the treatment plan will be.  Similarly, the prescribed frequency of treatments will depend on whether the condition is chronic or acute in nature.

This can also be moderated by treatments such as taking or applying Chinese herbs, bodywork, guasha, cupping, or moxibustion.  What is consistent for everyone in our clinic is that we will make a treatment plan, share that plan with you up front, and work with you to develop a timeline that includes the frequency of visits necessary.


Why do you needle my hand/arm/leg/foot vs where it hurts…?


The acupuncturist accesses channels that run throughout the body, for example, from the head to the ends of our four limbs. These channels, or meridians, are areas that transport important resources and signals to all parts of the body. That being the case, it is not necessary and often less beneficial to needle directly into the painful area. We thus use both local and distal points to influence the body into homeostasis. The goal, no matter where the needle is inserted, is to encourage relief from your symptoms. 


How long does it take to work?


Acupuncture is a very personalized medicine.  Two people coming in for the same Western diagnosed condition will not always be treated for the same pattern in any acupuncture office.  Their bodies may not respond to a treatment in the same way either.  Typically, it takes a few consistent and frequent treatments to determine the length of time it will take to treat your condition.  We recommend 4 to 6 visits initially.

Once we have finished the initial treatment phase we determine how fast your body is responding and moving towards homeostasis.  Two people being treated for similar conditions may have completely different treatment schedules depending how quickly their bodies respond.  The response time typically runs on a bell curve.  A few people respond rapidly and require very little time to be treated after the initial introductory treatment phase.  Most, require regular treatments for a set number of weeks to reach their health goals. Some patients will not respond strongly or at all to the treatments.  That is why an initial treatment phase is so important in determining how many will be necessary for you.


How long will the results last?


This depends on the goals of the patient and the condition being treated. For most acute conditions, a patient is treated over a relatively short period of time and with careful and consistent lifestyle changes their health goals are met and sustained with few to no recurring symptoms.

For chronic pain and systemic inflammation, the goal of the practitioner is to eliminate the condition, however this is not always a practical goal.  Sometimes for systemic pain and inflammation the goal must be to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration during “flared” up or active phases.  The additional goal is to reduce the amount of time the patient feels any symptoms. 


Is acupuncture right for me?


Acupuncture is right for most people.  There is a small percentage of patients who might not respond to this type of treatment and that is what the initial phase treatments (4 to 6 treatments) help to determine. For most, acupuncture is right for them because they respond well to it and notice either rapid or gradual changes.  Our goal at White Center Wellness Clinic is to help you to feel better as soon as possible.

We treat patients with pain, injuries, upper respiratory conditions (cough, asthma, bronchitis, etc), colds, flus, infertility, digestive problems (constipation, diarrhea), menstrual irregularity (painful period, cramping, heavy bleeding, light or no period, cysts, heavy clotting, pms, menopause, etc), urological conditions (frequent, painful, infrequent, difficult starting, incomplete urination, etc).

We also treat patients who are diagnosed with and being treated for cancer, auto-immune conditions, neurological conditions, endocrine system difficulties, or immune system conditions.

Feel free to ask us if you are curious about a particular condition and whether or not acupuncture would be a good treatment option. Let’s work together to make you feel better!

White Center Wellness at the Walk to Cure Arthritis!

As acupuncturists, we're always excited to participate in community health events and connect with people while advocating for health and wellness.

That's why we were thrilled to be invited to participate in the Arthritis Foundation fundraising event in Renton on May 20th! It was a glorious day and we enjoyed meeting supporters of the Arthritis Foundation, practitioners in the treatment field, and many folks affected by arthritis along with thier families and friends. It was gratifying to connect with them one on one, hear their stories and learn more about their experiences with arthritis. We were glad to share information about acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbal medicine and how these methods help patients find relief from the daily discomfort of arthritis. 

At White Center Wellness Clinic our treatments work to help manage the pain and reduce the inflammation caused by arthritis. For those with Rheumatoid or Psoriatic arthritis, regular treatments can help reduce the intensity and length of the active inflammatory phase, while increasing the length of time of the non-active phase.

Thanks again to the Arthritis Foundation for including us!


Ellaina Lewis and Lee Mahoney

Licensed Acupuncturists and Owners of White Center Wellness Clinic LLP

Proud SIOM Alumni, Class of 2016

Contact us at to find out how we can help you! We offer online booking at and for those unable to visit the clinic, in-home care is available.

Call us at (206) 693-2499 to scheudule an acupuncture appointment in the comfort of your own home for yourself or a loved one.

In-Home Care

A part of our practice at White Center Wellness Clinic is the offering of in-home care. We bring everything needed for a personalized acupuncture treatment, including a mobile treatment table. If you prefer, you may receive your treatment on your favorite reclining chair or sofa. The choice is yours!

We have treated patients recovering from surgeries, recuperating after giving birth, suffering from chronic illness, and seniors unable to arrange transportation to the clinic. This service is provided with the notion that these are often the times when patients are most in need of treatment. Whatever your reason, our in-home care is available to you.

The cost of treatment is $80 plus travel fee based on location. If you are interested in booking an in-­home care appointment or would like additional information please call us at (206) 693­ 2499. All in­-home care appointments must be made over the phone to confirm availability with a practitioner.


Along with adjusting the clocks and noticing the gradual lengthening of daylight hours, comes the start of another very significant change in the seasonal cycle. The fourth Jie Qi * of the year, Chun Fen, which is translated as “Spring Equinox”, begins on Monday, March 20th and lasts for fifteen days. The beginning of Chun Fen is significant because day and night are of equal duration (for the Northern climates).  This is an important indicator for us because it means that light as well as warmth are becoming a more dominant aspect of the day. From Chun Fen on, daylight hours will increase until the Summer Equinox arrives on June 21st, when daylight will be at its zenith.  

How Does This Affect Your Health?

The nature of Chun Fen is dynamic like the wind itself, and as such there can be rapid weather shifts from one hour to the next. It is important to pay attention to weather forecasts and to dress in layers, making appropriate adjustments throughout the day.  Attempt to stay dry and out of the wind as much as possible to help guard against catching a springtime cold. Because of the stresses imposed by this natural phenomenon, our bodies are at greater risk for catching colds, fatigue, allergies, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.  


Self-care During Chun Fen

Chun Fen and Exercise

The Jie Qi of Chun Fen can be a time of unpredictable storms and shifts in the barometer and it welcomes back the migratory songbirds, arriving in waves. Chinese medicine, closely linked to natural rhythms, says that this indicates a need for increased movement for us as well.  It is important, for our own health that we become more physically active and spend time outdoors, dressed to protect from the elements, as much as possible. In addition, we prescribe gentle stretching as an ideal way to keep the muscles and tendons healthy. These tissues function best with our support and attention as they experience the transition from morning cold to afternoon warmth each day.  

Chun Fen and Diet

In Chinese medicine Springtime is the time of the Liver.  This regulating organ is responsible for the smooth movement of just about every system in the body.  Therefore, we advise minimizing fried foods or those high in fat, as well as spicy foods during Chun Fen especially. Enjoy light nutritious meals including whole grains, beans, and squash. Jasmine is a warming floral herb that can be taken as a tea. Focusing on a diet appropriate to the season helps you to stay healthy and staves off allergies, injuries, digestive issues, fatigue, and depression.

Chun Fen and Lifestyle

Indulge in activities that give you joy, especially those that promote laughter. This will not only help to boost your emotional state, but it will increase the immune function.  As the Liver is the associated organ of Chun Fen, so the eyes are the sensory organs related to the Liver. During Chun Fen, to avoid over taxation of the Liver, the Chinese doctors recommend reducing activities that stress the eyes, such as screen time and reading in low light. Waking up and going to bed early are important for good health during Chun Fen. Prepare to be asleep by 11 PM, which, in addition to proper diet and exercise, will further support the Liver system.  


White Center Wellness Can Help

During Chun Fen, which is a season of equilibrium, it is important to keep the muscles and tendons supple and warmed through gentle movement. It is also vital to keep oneself protected from the constantly changing elements.  If you notice that you are already suffering from the ailments that can be pervasive during Chun Fen such as digestive distress, depression, seasonal allergies, and anxiety, schedule an appointment today.  We at White Center Wellness Clinic can help return your body to a state of health through acupuncture, medicinal herbs and bodywork. We can help to restore equilibrium to your system, allowing you to meet the demands of this very dynamic season. The brightening hours and music of the birds invigorate and inspire, leaving you eager for the day ahead.  Consider us your partners in restoring and maintaining a healthy balance.  Book an appointment today!

*To learn more about Jie Qi click here!*