How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture points are specific areas on the body just beyond the surface of the skin. They have high concentrations of nerve endings, mast cells, lymphatic vessels, and capillaries. When an acupuncture needle is inserted into an acupuncture point, it stimulates the sensory receptor, which in turn stimulates the nerve, which then transmits impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system. 


This complex system of interactions (often called a “feedback loop”) between the brain, hormones, and glands is responsible for regulating a number of bodily processes. Because acupuncture helps to regulate the various feedback loops in your body, it actually allows your body to heal itself of whatever is wrong. This amazing trait is unique to nearly every other medical system, and has sustained acupuncture as a complete system of medicine for over 5,000 years.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture needles are hair-thin and are inserted gently. While each person experiences acupuncture differently, most people feel only a minimal amount of sensation as the needles are inserted. Once the needles are in place, most of our patients find that they experience a feeling of relaxation and well-being that lasts for many hours after the treatment. Many are even able to grab a cat nap during their visit!

What Can I Expect From My Initial Visit?

The first time you visit us at Firefly you will receive a comprehensive assessment and then an acupuncture treatment and Chinese herbs where applicable. One of our experienced practitioners will go through your medical history with you and will determine the best course of treatment and provide you with a plan that may include acupuncture, herbals, and lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

No labs or medical documentation are necessary, but our practitioners are more than happy to look over any information that you’d like to bring. Once your practitioner has completed the intake, they will begin the acupuncture treatment. 


An Initial Visit at Firefly lasts approximately 60 minutes. Follow Up Treatments will last approximately 45 minutes and Herbal Consultations will last approximately 20-30 minutes.

Can I Schedule a Consultation Only?

Yes! All prospective patients must complete an initial phone consultation, which is free of charge.

During this call you will have a brief one-on-one conversation regarding the history of your condition, health goals and a brief overview of what your treatment plan will entail.

This is to ensure that you are a good candidate for treatment at the clinic, and that you are familiar and comfortable with our approaches and care plans.

At the conclusion of your free consultation, you will have the opportunity to schedule your first visit with us, which will include a full assessment and initial appointment.

At your intake, our clinician will go over your case and medical history in detail, develop a comprehensive treatment plan that may include acupuncture, herbal medicine and dietary and lifestyle changes


Once you submit your consultation request, we’ll contact you within 48 hours. 


I'm interested in an herbal treatment plan. Can I schedule an appointment without acupuncture?

Absolutely. We also offer Herbal Consultations in our office or via Telehealth video chats. These consultations are an opportunity to speak with our practitioners in more depth and to establish an herbal treatment plan, you will go over your health history and they will prescribe you an herbal formula as well as offer any dietary/lifestyle advice they may have for you.

How Early Should I Arrive?

For your Initial Consultation, we ask that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled appointment time to fill out the necessary paperwork and consent forms, if you haven't done so online before your visit.

Save time and fill out most of your paperwork electronically through our website before your scheduled visit!


For Follow Up Treatments, we recommend arriving 5 minutes before your appointment. Before every appointment, make sure to check in with the Front Desk. After they’ve let your practitioner know you have arrived, you can relax in our waiting room with some water or tea before your treatment.

​​How Do I Refill My Herbal Prescriptions?

You may pick up herbals during our normal business hours. Feel free pick them up during a scheduled visit or call or email us so we can set your items aside for your convenience.

Due to the fresh premium quality of the botanicals we keep on hand, they are occasionally back ordered or may take 3-4 business days to be delivered.

It is always a good idea to contact us before stopping by to ensure we have your remedy on hand.

How Often Will I Need to Come in for Acupuncture Before I See Results?

Most of our patients see us biweekly for 2-3 weeks, then weekly for a period of time. However, each case is unique. Your practitioner will craft a clear treatment plan for you and will tell you how often you should have treatment to maximize effectiveness and consistently support the healing process.

Everyone responds to treatment differently so your results will depend on your particular situation. There are certain issues that can be addressed in a few visits; these are most commonly recent and mild to moderate issues that haven't had time to settle in.


Other, more chronic longer-term cases might require more treatments until your goal is met, often a few months for more complex and compounding to severe conditions. Your practitioner will be able to guide you during the process.

Acupuncture works cumulatively, and it is very rare that one treatment is all you will need to feel better. It is essential to get treatments close to each other at first because each treatment gains momentum on the last. If treatments are too far apart, we can lose momentum and erase the progress we've done through treatments.


A typical treatment course for chronic conditions may be around 10-15 treatments in 6-8 weeks, and for acute conditions it may look more like 6-8 treatments in 4-6 weeks.


Because each treatment builds on the last, expect to feel progressively better with each treatment. It is also important to schedule a session immediately if you ever start to feel yourself “backsliding,” and your next scheduled appointment isn't for a couple of days or longer.

Generally speaking, as you gain steady improvement you will be able to space treatments further and further apart as long as you keep steadily improving with each treatment (and stay at that level between visits to the clinic).


Often, patients will notice relief from a specific symptom straight away, though we may need more time to work on the underlying root of the issue to gain relief and keep it stable.

Maintenance sessions are often recommended every 6-8 weeks or around seasonal changes to keep your body in a healthy, joyful, and balanced state.

What Should I Wear?

Loose, comfortable clothing is always best for treatments, as it provides easy access to your knees and elbows, and it provides you an even greater chance for complete relaxation. Feel free to wear pajamas to your treatment, if those are what you feel comfortable in.


If you are unable to wear loose clothing, sheets and blankets are always available to cover up, should you need to remove constricting clothing for your treatment.

Do You Accept Insurance?

We do not process insurance in-house; however, we are happy to provide you with a receipt that has the necessary coding for you to submit to your provider.

We recommend checking with your insurance company to see if you are covered for acupuncture and, if so, what specific conditions your insurance company covers acupuncture for.


You may also use an HSA or FSA card.

Services Fees and Time of Payment

Patients are responsible for payment in full at the time of service. Fees will vary depending on the individuals prescribed treatment plan. Rates for acupuncture range between $165-$95, please see our rates on our Services page for more information.

What Payments Do You Accept?






What is Your Missed Appointment and Cancellation Policy?

If you need to cancel or reschedule, please contact the Front Desk as soon as you can by phone or by emailing Info@FireflyAcuAndWellness.com.


We do have a 24-hour cancellation policy, appointments altered within 24 hours of the scheduled treatment time will result in a fee.

Appointments must be canceled within 24 HOURS or you will be charged a $50 cancellation fee. Please remember we are not in the office Tuesdays or the weekend but you may leave a message or email and we will see it when we return.

If you cancel your appointment on the SAME DAY, or do not show for your appointment, you will be billed the full amount of your appointment fee.

Appointment Reminders

Our scheduling system will send appointment reminders to the email address we have on file. If you do not receive the reminder you are still responsible for keeping your appointment or rescheduling it.

How Do I Contact My Practitioner?

We are available during business hours for non-urgent questions by phone or email.

Our office staff is happy to help!


Phone Calls and Email:

Appointments for telephone consultations are available for existing patients during regular business hours. In general, there is no charge for brief, uncomplicated questions.

Calls or emails that take over 10 minutes will be billed at the same rate as a 20-minute phone/Skype consultation.

For non-urgent matters that would be best attended to during an appointment, we recommend that you schedule an appointment. 

20600 Gordon Park Square #130, Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 263-2142

©2019 by Firefly Acupuncture and Wellness