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1.    How did Esoteric Acupuncture come about? 

Esoteric Acupuncture is the Acupuncture system developed by Dr. Mikio Sankey and was initially published with his first book, “Esoteric Acupuncture Volume I: Gateway to Expanded Healing” in 1999. Dr. Sankey was awarded the 2006 Acupuncture author of the year by the National Acupuncture and Oriental Medical organization for his fourth book on Esoteric Acupuncture. To date, Dr. Sankey has published seven books on this system and produced several DVDs.

2.    What is Esoteric Acupuncture?

Esoteric Acupuncture is a form of Acupuncture that focuses on supporting and assisting our spiritual and energetic growth. This is achieved through specific needling patterns that were designed to balance Chakras while incorporating and integrating elements of Alchemy, astrology, sacred geometry, the Kabalistic tree of life, and the Chakra system with Traditional Chinese Acupuncture points and philosophies.

Michelle has found Esoteric Acupuncture beneficial for everyone, with an emphasis on individuals engaged in some type of spiritual or energetic practice. 

3.    What is the aim of Esoteric Acupuncture?

The aim is to treat an individual on a much deeper energetic level. E.A. can be used as a tune-up for the body, and it has been known to treat more long term or stubborn ailments that have impacted on the body. This can be especially effective if an issue is due to a psychological or emotional cause that is manifesting as a physical illness.

4.    What happens during an Esoteric Acupuncture treatment?

An Esoteric Acupuncture treatment begins with a standard discussion about your overall health and the reasons that an Esoteric Acupuncture session has been chosen. A Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis is then carried out along with an Esoteric Acupuncture diagnosis regarding which Chakras may be imbalanced.

A pattern is then chosen that is specific to your condition and the needles inserted in a particular order and sequence. The back of the body is often needled first, and then another pattern is chosen for the front of the body.

Esoteric Acupuncture uses even thinner and finer needles than Traditional Acupuncture, and the needles are often retained in the body for more extended periods of time.

5.    Can you combine Traditional Acupuncture with an Esoteric Acupuncture treatment?

During the Esoteric Acupuncture consultation, a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis is carried out, and usually, during the pattern on the front of the body, extra points will be added to balance out some physical ailments that may be present. This allows the treatment to have a more energetic (or spiritual focus) and a more physical focus with the Traditional Chinese Medicine component.

6.    What does Esoteric Acupuncture feel like?

Esoteric Acupuncture feels quite different from a Traditional Acupuncture session. It uses thinner needles that are often retained for more extended and inserted into the body more superficially then with Traditional Acupuncture. The points are inserted in a specific pattern that requires the needles to be inserted in a specific order and sequence depending on the energy or chakra of the pattern being applied. Generally speaking, an Esoteric Acupuncture treatment feels deeper than Traditional Acupuncture, with each pattern leading to a balanced state of well-being and harmony for the individual.

Everyone finds the Esoteric Acupuncture experience differently, with some individuals finding it quite relaxing with a great calming and anti-stress effect on the body. Some clients who are more sensitive and in-tune with their innate abilities have found that after Esoteric Acupuncture treatment, their ‘readings’ and interactions with their own clients were more accurate, centered, and left them with more energy at the end of a long day.

7.    Who will benefit from an Esoteric Acupuncture treatment?

Most people will find benefits from the effects of Esoteric Acupuncture as it allows the practitioner to balance and fine-tune the whole body on an energetic level. Being more specific, Esoteric Acupuncture will benefit individuals that are interested in the integrated connections of the mind, body, spirit, and emotions. Esoteric Acupuncture can be especially beneficial for those who want to start exploring their higher self or spiritual abilities and individuals that are already on a spiritual path and would like to clear blockages on a deeper level while allowing spiritual growth in a positive direction. It involves aligning the chakras and finer bodies into a harmonious, balanced state while focusing on supporting your own spiritual and energetic growth on a deeper and more spiritual level.

8.    What qualifications are there in Esoteric Acupuncture?

After reading Dr. Sankey's books and watching several DVD's on Esoteric Acupuncture, Michelle wanted to complete her certification  for Esoteric Acupuncture. Michelle Hawkins has completed the beginning, and advanced training sessions for Esoteric Acupuncture taught directly by Dr. Mikio Sankey  during intensive training sessions in Boulder Colorado. She was honored to learn and train directly from such a master of the art of Acupuncture and Esoteric Acupuncture. Completing the beginning and advanced levels of Esoteric Acupuncture allows Michelle to be identified as a practitioner of Esoteric Acupuncture and register on the official Esoteric Acupuncture practitioner list. 




1.    Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture rarely hurts, and most people find each treatment extremely relaxing, with many clients even dozing off. The needles used in Acupuncture are sterile, disposable, and are extremely fine, hair-thin needles. When most people think of needles, they immediately imagine hypodermic syringes used to take blood or give types of medicine in liquid form. Acupuncture needles are solid, extremely thin, and they are inserted gently into strategic points on the surface of the body’s skin.

2.    What does Acupuncture feel like?

Once the needle is inserted, there are various sensations the needle may elicit, including a feeling of warmth, heaviness, numbness, or energy moving throughout the body.

3.    What if I am scared of needles?

The term ‘needle’ often instantly exhibits a response of a syringe taking blood or giving a vaccination or medication of some sort. Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, flexible, and super smooth. The sensation of the needle being inserted initially into the skin can be likened to a light pinprick; however, most patients do not feel anything at all. When the needle is inserted sensations like numbness, distension, tingling, heaviness or warmth may be felt around the site of the needling. Acupuncture is extremely relaxing for many patients, and it is not uncommon for patients to doze off on the treatment table.

Patients should be relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire treatment, if a needle happens to become uncomfortable, please let the practitioner know and they will remove or loosen the point so that the highest level of comfort is maintained throughout the entire session.

4.    How deep are the needles inserted?

The depth of insertion can vary depending on the acupuncture point being needled and the location of that point. Generally speaking, if there is little muscle underneath the point, the needle can be inserted up to about 1/3 of an inch, while fleshy areas (such as calves or buttocks) can increase to 1 inch, depending on the location of the point.

5.    Is Acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is a safe, effective, drug-free therapy and can help with a wide variety of symptoms or ailments. All nationally registered acupuncturists have thousands of hours of training to ensure that each needle is inserted accurately, at the correct location, and with a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology to ensure the safety of each treatment.

6.    Does Acupuncture have any side effects?

It does not have any serious side effects, and this is one of the reasons that it has such a wide acceptance within the medical community. Only sterile and disposable stainless steel needles are used. After an Acupuncture treatment, it is possible, but uncommon, that you may experience tenderness, minor bleeding, and/or bruising at the needle sites.

There are occasions where the original symptoms may worsen for a short period of time before relief settles in and improvements in sleep, bowels, appetite, and your emotional state is a common occurrence. These are often simple indications that the treatment is beginning to work, and your body is starting to re-establish homeostasis and balance as it adjusts to each treatment.

7.    Who can receive Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is suitable for almost everyone, including children and the elderly. Michelle has experience in treating young children, as well as teens and young adults. 

8.    How long does a typical treatment take?

A standard Traditional Acupuncture session follows the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and will take about an hour. Please allow an extra fifteen minutes to fill out any necessary paperwork before the treatment commences.

An Esoteric Acupuncture treatment takes approximately an hour and a half. This time is needed to complete both the back and front needling pattern required for the session with enough time to retain those needles long enough for the Esoteric Acupuncture effect to be fully utilized.

9.    When should you avoid receiving an Acupuncture treatment?

It is generally not recommended to receive Acupuncture on an empty stomach after a big meal, when intoxicated or if the individual is unusually weak and debilitated. Any medications currently being taken must be discussed with the practitioner before treatment to determine if treatment is appropriate, and patients taking medication are advised to check with their primary care physician or treating specialist prior to starting a course of treatment. 

10. What do I wear, and how should I prepare for my Acupuncture session?

 I find that wearing loose, comfortable clothing is best as Acupuncture often involves the palpation and treatment of various parts of the body. Towels for draping is always provided to cover the client. Ideally, it is advised to remove any jewelry or metal objects (belt buckles, etc.) before receiving an Acupuncture treatment. It is also not ideal to have Acupuncture on an empty stomach or straight after a large meal.


11. How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments required depends mainly upon the severity and duration of your condition and your own goals for maintaining optimum health. The acute symptoms that are relatively recent with their onset may require two to four  treatments to be substantial, while with chronic or long-standing conditions, you may find that eight to 12  treatments may be necessary to start having some significant changes within your body.

Michelle may make recommendations such as dietary changes, essential oils, relaxation techniques, or supplements to help increase the efficiency of the Acupuncture treatments to maintain optimum health between treatments.

12. Do you do electro-acupuncture, cupping, spooning, massage, etc.?

Yes, if it is needed. Traditional Chinese Medicine works on a holistic framework and tailors each treatment to suit your own specific needs. With some muscle or sports injuries, electro-stimulation may be needed to apply constant stimulation to a specific region or acupuncture point. Likewise, if cupping, Tui Na massage, or other therapies are required, they are applied as needed throughout the session. 

13.   Can I have Acupuncture while pregnant?

Yes, you can have Acupuncture while you are pregnant. Acupuncture has been known to be effective for numerous conditions while pregnant. Being a fully trained and registered Acupuncturist makes you aware of the traditional points that are forbidden during pregnancy, enabling all experienced and registered Acupuncturists to treat all sorts of issues relating to infertility, pregnancy, and postnatal care.

14.   How frequently should I receive Acupuncture?

The frequency of Acupuncture depends largely on the condition being treated. Acute conditions can be treated two or three times a week or weekly during the initial stages of the injury or condition, and this is reduced as a patient improves. Chronic conditions are often treated weekly until the condition is under control. A very loose rule of thumb is about a month's worth of treatments (once a week) for every year the condition has been present. Every case is different, Michelle has been able to resolve complaints of many years with a single treatment, and she has had cases that took some time to resolve. 

Esoteric Acupuncture treatments are finer and can take a little longer to manifest and settle within the body. It is generally recommended that there is a three or four-week break between every Esoteric Acupuncture treatment.

15.  Will I have to have Acupuncture forever to keep my condition under control?

The aim of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture is not to have dependent clients that have an appointment each week. A client should reach a level where Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is used as maintenance to keep the body healthy periodically when the patient has improved and is in a stable condition. It is generally recommended at this point to maintain a follow-up/tune-up treatment in three months or if the patient feels that follow-up treatment is necessary.

16.  Can Acupuncture be combined with other treatments?

Acupuncture complements other treatment modalities as it looks at the body from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine rather than the standard western biomedical model.

 It is extremely important to inform any other practitioners, including your primary care physician re or taking any Chinese Herbal Medicines. Likewise, it is also important to inform your Acupuncturist of any other treatments you are having so that the Acupuncture session can be fully tailored to your situation.

17.  Where are common Acupuncture points located?

The most common Acupuncture points are located on the forearms from the elbow to the fingers and the legs from the knee to the toes. There are also some common points on and around the abdomen and all along with the muscles of your back alongside your spine. Some other relatively common points are located on your head and can be used for problems impacting the head and neck.

Ear acupuncture is also extremely common and is often used (in combination with traditional points) when treating addictions of any type, including drug and alcohol addiction.

18.  Are Acupuncture treatments covered by Health insurance?

There are cases where, if agreed to in advance, Michelle will bill your health insurance provider directly and collect co-pay at the time of service. 

Michelle is also able to provide you with the form needed to submit to your insurance carrier, and Acupuncture is generally covered by HSAs and HRAs. There are several caveats to this. As the patient and the person seeking care, you are ultimately responsible for the costs incurred. If your insurance carrier doesn’t cover your treatment, you are responsible for paying the amount billed. Michelle does offer a time of service discount for payment in full at the time of your appointment, and if there is a question of coverage, this can offer substantial savings over the course of treatment. 

Michelle also offers a few slots for sliding scale and pro-bono treatments each year. Please contact her to discuss your specific situation,  when affording treatment is a hardship. 

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