How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is scientifically proven for more than 300 health conditions. Decades of research studies show the efficacy of acupuncture versus a placebo (not to mention centuries of empirical evidence). Recent research has shown us more about how acupuncture works physiologically. In traditional Chinese acupuncture, there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body. Needles inserted in specific combinations at these points interact with the fascial network (our internal messenger system) to alter brain chemistry. For example to reduce pain, acupuncture points will tell your brain to increase endorphins (aka the body’s natural painkillers). Acupuncture can also balance hormone levels or regulate cortisol, better known as the fight or flight response triggered by stress and anxiety. 

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient system of complementary medicine that’s worked to keep people healthy for over 2,500 years. Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of hair-thin needles at key points on the body. These needles interact with the fascial network (our internal messenger system) to alter brain chemistry and stimulate internal responses, such as regulating hormones like cortisol, releasing pain-relieving endorphins, increasing circulation, reducing inflammation and more. Primary acupuncture benefits include managing pain, digestion, sleep and hormone-related health--as well as mental health issues like stress, anxiety and depression. Acupuncture not only has the potential to help you feel better, but it can also help you look better. It’s an ancient Chinese beauty secret known to reduce wrinkles and inflammation while boosting collagen and elastin.  

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?

TCM naturally heals humans using three keys: acupuncture, herbal remedies and cupping therapy. Though commonly used together as a powerful holistic approach, each can be just as dynamic on their own. TCM believes the processes of the human body are interrelated and connected to the surrounding environment. And so, it treats the underlying root of health issues rather than the symptoms on the surface--all while strengthening the body’s internal defenses and enhancing its ability to sustain optimal health.

What is acupuncture good for?

Acupuncture for anxiety. Acupuncture for migraines. Acupuncture for depression. Acupuncture for lower back pain. Acupuncture for fertility. The list goes on and on--with over 300 use cases in total, according to the World Health Organization. At WTHN, we break it down to three major categories: Prevent, Heal + Glow:

○ PREVENT // Let’s start by busting a myth. You don’t need to be sick or injured to see some serious benefits from acupuncture. In fact, regular maintenance is a powerful way of keeping you healthy. If you’re busy and always on the go with zero time to get sick, acupuncture is a great way to ward off fatigue, soothe sore muscles, minimize stress and anxiety and majorly boost immunity.

○ HEAL // Acupuncture has healed for millennia, and been clinically proven to treat hundreds of medical conditions. Major areas that can be healed by acupuncture: pain (literally from head to toe, but more commonly neck, back + shoulder pain plus migraines), women’s health (PMS, fertility + menopause), digestion, insomnia and men’s health (sex drive + erectile dysfunction).

○ GLOW // You want to feel your best, why not look your best while you’re at it? Facial rejuvenation acupuncture is an ancient Chinese beauty secret that reduces inflammation, lifts sagging facial muscles and boosts collagen to reduce wrinkles and fine lines--and gives your skin an overall fresh-faced radiance from WTHN. Go on, give it a glow!

Do the acupuncture needles hurt?

We get it. Fear of needles is very, very real. And we’ve all felt the sharp pain of getting vaccinated or getting blood drawn. But keep in mind, those are hypodermic needles. And they are BIG–40 acupuncture needles can fit inside a single hypodermic needle! Acupuncture needles are ultra-fine, the width of a single strand of hair. So no, acupuncture needles really don’t hurt. Once you’ve had your first treatment, you may even find yourself rethinking your relationship with needles…

What does acupuncture feel like?

Our treatments are designed with your comfort and relaxation in mind. When the needles are put in, it’s common to feel nothing at all. Sometimes, there’s a brief dull ache or warm sensation. Most people report how relaxed they are during the treatment, often falling asleep. We encourage you to find out for yourself, but personally we feel that an acupuncture nap is the nap to end all naps! Be warned: you may never nap this well again… When the treatment is over, you’ll barely notice when the needles come out. And chances are you’ll be so blissed out you won’t even feel it at all. Post-treatment, you should feel calm and relaxed at a minimum--and pat yourself on the back for taking the time to invest in your health. The rest of how it will feel depends on your particular health needs and treatment.

What kind of training do acupuncturists have?

Acupuncturists have a minimum of a three-year Master’s degree with rigorous scientific coursework and clinical practicum. To practice acupuncture, acupuncturists must be licensed by the state in which they work. All of our Healers are Licensed Acupuncturists (LAC), and some have completed additional study to be a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM). In addition, our Healers actively participate in a rigorous, proprietary training program designed and delivered by WTHN Co-founder + Chief Healing Officer Dr. Shari Auth.

Is it safe?

Relatively few complications from using acupuncture have been reported. Complications can result from use of nonsterile needles and improper delivery of treatments. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices for use by licensed practitioners and requires that needles be manufactured and labeled according to certain standards. For example, the FDA requires that needles be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. When not delivered properly, acupuncture can cause serious adverse effects, including infections, punctured organs, collapsed lungs, and injury to the central nervous system (National Institute of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health).

What are those balls left on my ear after treatment?

They’re ear beads! Ear beads are tiny, barely-there metal balls on a clear plastic sticker, placed on points that correspond to pain, stress relief, etc. All WTHN treatments include ear beads as a takeaway that should increase and extend your treatment results. WTHN Co-founder Michelle loves to gently press on the beads during phone calls, which can increase their efficacy. They should only last a couple days and fall off naturally. If not, please take them off after five days.

How often should I get acupuncture?

You can’t OD on acupuncture. In general once a week, every other week, will do the trick. Get acupuncture once a month at a minimum to keep up the effects and use it preventatively. Our Healers will work with you to formulate your custom plan.

What is tongue diagnosis?

We know it sounds wild, but it’s true. Acupuncturists are trained to read tongues to gather important health information, like if a client’s tired, has insomnia or where they’re at in their menstrual cycle. Tongue diagnosis isn’t mandatory, it just provides extra information based on certain health complaints. Open up and say ahhhh!

What is pulse diagnosis?

A traditional Chinese medical practice where the Healer will feel the pulse for health information. It’s not only about the frequency of the pulse, but also the quality. Pulse diagnosis isn’t mandatory, but it can help shed more light. In certain cases, our Healers may ask to read your Pulse.

Can I get acupuncture if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

Yes! In fact, we encourage it during pregnancy because it can help with nausea, morning sickness, lower back pain, anxiety, insomnia and pre-baby jitters--not to mention that it’s a much-needed moment of “me time.” Acupuncture is also great after pregnancy for exhaustion, balancing hormone levels, depression and anxiety. It’s the perfect little escape for mamas and mamas-to-be.

Facial Rejuvenation

How many sessions until I see results?

We recommend 10 sessions either weekly or bi-weekly, then you can back off to bi-monthly for maintenance. This will be determined based on your consultation with your expert Healer the recommended amount of sessions. If you pair facial rejuvenation with LED, its a double threat to maximize results, and you can start to see the effects sooner…

How long do results last for?

Acupuncture may stop the paralytic effects of Botox, but luckily it will create its own desired effect of relaxing the muscles. So we don’t recommend doing Botox and facial rejuve. It’s a great solution if you’re looking for a more natural solution, a way to transition out of botox as the results start to wear off into your natural lifestyle.


What is cupping?

Cupping therapy uses suction to put negative pressure on connective tissue and muscles to increase circulation and relax stiff muscles. Many say it feels like a reverse massage--and that it’s like sucking out all the bad stuff!

How is cupping done?

Historically, Chinese cupping was performed with glass cups and a flame to create a vacuum. At WTHN--for ease and safety and to get the amount of pressure just right--we use plastic cups and a suction gun instead.

What is it good for?

Cupping therapy works wonders for pain, stiffness, detoxing, phlegm in the lungs, relaxing or fast forwarding through the symptoms when you’re under the weather…

What’s up with those crazy marks?

While cup marks are technically a bruise, it’s important to know that unlike when you bang your body into something--and get a sore, tender and bluish-black bruise--cup marks aren’t tender or painful at all. They vary in color from light pink to a deep red. The lighter the mark, the faster it fades. And some people won’t see any marks at all. To make them go away faster: drink lots of water, get a massage, apply arnica, do some cardio or relax in a hot bath with Epsom salts.

Herbal Supplements

What are herbs?

Herbs have treated body + mind together for thousands of years. Simply put, herbs are natural products (aka plant parts) with therapeutic properties.

How much should I take? What’s the proper dosage?

Since herbs are a whole food--and can’t be magically condensed into a super pill like in the pharmaceutical world--the quantity you take is usually higher. One dose of a WTHN herbal supplement is typically 2-3 tablets. When deciding whether to take a smaller or larger dose, consider these factors: the severity of your symptoms, your body weight and your level of sensitivity. If you’re looking to transform your overall health, a larger, more frequent dose could be a good idea for you. If you’re looking to maintain your health, you may not need as much of a dose. If you’re not seeing any effects, stick with a higher dose. But if the herbs feel too strong, lessen the dose. Here’s an example: if you’re taking Run The World but don’t feel any difference, up the dose. If you’re taking Run The World and you’re so chilled out you don’t want to work at all, take less.

When do I have to take them?

Each formula is different, so please see the What Works Best section for specific instructions. Some are taken regularly in the morning and afternoon, some at night and some only as needed.

How do herbs work with food? Is it a bad idea to take them with food?

It’s okay to take herbs on an empty stomach. In fact, herbs works fastest between meals when they’re not competing with what’s already in your system. Herbs won’t irritate the gut, and tend to assimilate faster on an empty stomach. Of course, if you only remember to take them while you’re eating or prefer to take them with food, that’s totally fine too. They will absolutely still work, so no worries. The important thing is to take your herbs. With a littler water, to help swallow the tablet.

Do I have to take herbs regularly to see results?

Herbs only work if you take them. It’s true, for best results take your herbs regularly. Get in the habit of packing the pill container so your afternoon dose is convenient--or get two bottles, one for home and one for the office. If you forget a dose, don’t beat yourself up. Just remember the next one!

What kind of results can I expect to see?

Herbs have a cumulative effect. So it can take time to feel results--how much time depends on how long you’ve felt the way you do and the severity of your symptoms. With pharmaceuticals, the effects are usually more immediate but over time your tolerance will build. Herbs tend to be the exact opposite--the effects are actually felt over time. This is why consistency with taking your herbs is so key.

Can I take herbs and vitamins together?

Generally, herbs and vitamins are compatible. The only difference is herbs do well on an empty stomach. With vitamins, usually you want something in your stomach.

Can I take herbs and prescription meds together?

We mainly choose herbs that are rated by the American Herbal Products Association as Interaction Class 1, meaning they have no known negative interactions. Some of our herbs lower blood sugar and blood pressure. For most people, this is a great thing. But if you’re on medications for high blood sugar or blood pressure, then these herbal formulas aren’t the best choice for you. If you are on prescription medication, we recommend that you consult with your prescribing practitioner before taking any WTHN herbal supplements.

Can I take herbs… with other herbs?

For the most part, yes. In fact, often it’s even recommended to combine formulas, especially those that have similar or non-competing effects. Look for formula pairing suggestions under each blend, usually under What To Expect. We’ll also give you some advice on when not to pair, and times of the day or situations when a formula shouldn’t be taken (like if you have a full-blown cold, it’s best to stop taking a daily tonic and just take a cold formula).

Can I take herbs if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

For each of our formulas, please note the contra-indications Warning on the product pages just under the What To Expect section. In general, most herbs have not been tested on women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, so we feel it’s best to stay safe and avoid them. But stay tuned! Formulas for a healthy pregnancy, morning sickness and milk production are in the works...

So how do you combine ancient wisdom with modern science?

This is how we do things. It’s our proprietary process. Dr. Auth formulates every blend by starting with traditional knowledge of healing herbs and then supercharging it with modern add-ins inspired by cutting-edge scientific research. Our favorite is when both the traditional wisdom and the modern research come to the exact same conclusion. It’s just the best.

Everything Else

How do I cancel my session?

More than 24 hours notice - no problem! You can either give us a call or login online to cancel.

Within 24 hours - we get it - things come up at the last minute! Do your best to let us know as soon as you can (you can either give us a call or email, and we’ll help you reschedule within the next 7 business days to avoid a late cancellation fee. If you’re unable to reschedule, please note there is a $25 penalty for cancellations made within 24 hours of an appointment.

What if I'm running late for my appointment?

This is Manhattan and things pop up, trains are delayed, meetings run over - we get it. So we’ll do our best to help you keep your appointment, but no guarantees if you’re more than five minutes late. Please note there is a late fee of $25 if you don’t reschedule. If you ghost us, no-shows are charged in full. Please see our Policy page for more information.

What do I get with a membership?

In addition to your minimum one monthly acupuncture session, you'll receive unlimited monthly sessions at the membership price as well as complimentary LED Light Therapy + Cupping Therapy.

Is there a minimum commitment time for the membership?

All WTHN memberships require a 6 month commitment. Cancellations within 6 months have a $100 cancellation fee. If you need to cancel anytime after that, please refer to the Terms & Conditions page. Email us at

How will I be charged for the membership?

Your credit card on file will be automatically charged on the anniversary of your membership month for the minimum of one session. Any additional sessions will be billed on the day in which the service is received.

Can I put my membership on hold?

We know work, travel, and life can come up. You may freeze your membership once a year for up to 3 consecutive months.

What if I have a membership and miss my appointment?

At least one monthly treatment is what keeps you healthy and feeling your best. Missed services will be forfeited. If you know you won’t be able to make it into the studio at least once this month ahead of time, email us and we will freeze you for that month.