Frequently Asked Questions for TCM and Acupuncture


What TCM modalities are used at Striving for Health?

At Striving for Health,  the TCM treatments can include herbal and/or dietary therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, moxibustion, cupping, or gua sha. 


What can be treated with acupuncture?

There are a multitude of symptoms, conditions and syndromes that are helped, relieved or resolved with acupuncture.  Currently The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes over 250 illnesses successfully treated by acupuncture.

Just to name a few:

Pre-menstrual syndrome, Anxiety, Gastro-intestinal disorders, stress, fatigue, tension, allergies, arthritis, joint problems, sinusitis, sciatica, gynecological disorders, headaches, adrenal support, infections, immune support, pain, injury recovery, muscular-skeletal disorders, etc.

At Striving for Health, we treat a wide variety of symptoms and conditions but our favorite things to treat are gastro-intestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, low immune function, acute colds, food and environmental sensitivities and allergies. 

We don't specialize in treating musculoskeletal issues but we can give you a great referral if this is what you need. 


What are meridians?

Meridians run throughout the body and integrates all of the body’s systems and functions into a unified whole.  The meridians begin deep in the body and flow internally and externally to connect the different organ systems. Internally, they connect with all the organs, tissues and systems of the body. Externally, they flow along the layers of the skin, where they can be accessed through the acupoints.


What are acupoints?

Acupoints are points along the meridians that connect the area on the surface of the body with the meridian below.  The points are stimulated with a needle to initiate change in the corresponding organ system’s meridian.  There are over 300 points on the main meridians.  Each point has its own unique characteristics for a variety of treatment possibilities.


Does the insertion of the acupuncture needle hurt?

At Striving for Health, we pride ourselves on a pain free visit.  The needles that are used are the smallest gauge available.  In fact, they are so small that 10-20 of them can fit in the end of an 18 gauge hypodermic needle, the kind most commonly used for taking blood.  The needles do not cause any discomfort as most people do not even feel them being inserted.  Only disposable, single use, sterile needles are used for each client.    


Can I get a treatment without needles?

Yes.  There are a variety of things that can be done without needles.  

For adults the focus of the treatment can move to a more dietary and herbal approach with less emphasis on the acupuncture or just different stimulation for the points.

For young children, where it is typical to not use needles during the treatment, other stimulation can be used.   

In cases where needles are not used, the points can be stimulated with different types of pressure instead of needles.  Press pellets or moxa can also be used on the points to stimulate the points. 


How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments needed will vary from person to person as many factors can contribute to the length of therapy.   The duration, severity and nature of the complaint are all important as well as the person’s constitution, overall health, compliance and their response to treatment.  Many people respond very quickly while others can take several treatments before improvement is seen. After the initial evaluation and treatment the practitioner will have a better idea of the amount of treatments that may be needed.  We strive to get client’s health issues resolved in as few treatments as possible.

Generally, within two to three visits a person will have a sense of whether they will receive benefits from acupuncture. Those with acute conditions may only need a few treatments, while those with chronic or complex conditions may benefit from regular sessions over a longer period of time.  Acupuncture may be combined with diet and herbal therapy along with other lifestyle recommendations for the most rapid results.


What qualifications does the acupuncturist have?

DeBritt is a fully credentialed acupuncturist, is Nationally Board Certified (NCCAOM) and licensed through the Board of Medicine to practice acupuncture in the state of Virginia.  She has been practicing for over 19 years.  


What type of Moxa therapy is used?

We use a Japanese style moxa that is very easy to use.  It can be placed directly on the skin as it sits on a small sticky base that keeps it in place and keeps the moxa from directly touching the skin.  Once the moxa burns down to the base of the platform, it is replaced. This is repeated until the desired affect is achieved.   

Most people find moxa therapy to be very relaxing and it is not uncommon for them to fall asleep during the treatment.


Do I need to do anything before my Acupuncture treatment?

Patients should arrive 10 - 15 minutes prior to the Initial Session to complete the necessary forms. Alternatively, the forms can be downloaded and filled out ahead of time. The forms can be found by clicking on the BOOKINGS button at the top of the website. 

Please wear comfortable and looser fitting clothing. Points on the extremities are used during treatment so the clothing will be rolling up or pushed out of the way.


How much does it cost and what is included?

The initial session is $170, which includes an assessment and one acupuncture treatment. 

Follow up treatments are $150.   


Do you take health insurance for the acupuncture treatments?

No.  We do not take health insurance.



Yes, the forms can be found by clicking on the BOOKINGS button at the top of the website. 


How do I make an appointment?

You can make an appointment online by going to the BOOKINGS button at the top of this website or by calling the clinic directly at 703.707.7777.  You do not need a doctor’s referral.