Heather Romano
M.S., L.Ac.

By Appointment Only:
631-261-2077 (TEL)
631-261-2047 (FAX)

(Call for availability)

East Northport Location:
517 Larkfield Rd
East Northport, NY 11731
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri

West Islip Location:
Tues and Fri

Other sites with valuable information:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the modalities of Oriental medicine.  Although what is called acupuncture in the West comprises several different therapies, (such as moxibustion and cupping), mostly it consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems.  These points have been mapped by the Chinese over a period of 2,000 years, and there are more than 1,000 known acupoints.  In the past three decades, electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and location of these points.


What is Qi?
Qi, "ch-ee", or vital energy, flows along meridians, or paths, in our bodies when we are in balance — when we are in good health.


Which types of acupuncture are offered?
Pagoda Acupuncture and Herbal Healing Center offers the following forms of acupuncture to best suit your needs: Auricular Acupuncture; Five-Element Acupuncture; Japanese Style Acupuncture; Scalp Acupuncture; Traditional Chinese Acupuncture.


How does acupuncture work?

Modern Western medicine cannot yet explain how acupuncture works.  Traditional Asian acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of qi, (a fine, essential substance which nourishes and constructs the body), through distinct channels that cover the body somewhat like the nerves and blood vessels.  According to this theory, acupuncture adjusts the flow of qi in the body, leading it to areas where it is insufficient and draining it from areas where it is stuck and/or superabundant.  In this way, acupuncture restores the harmonious balance of the body and its parts. In Chinese, there is a saying, "If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow, there is no pain." Acupuncture promotes and reestablishes the free flow of qi.


Is acupuncture safe?

When performed by a competently trained, licensed professional, acupuncture is extremely safe.  All licensed acupuncturists today use individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles.  So there is virtually no chance of infection or contagion.


Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a hair, and their insertion is practically painless.  It is nothing like receiving an ordinary injection.  In some cases, you will not even know the needles are in place.  In others, there may be some tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of the qi moving up and down the channels.  Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing, and many fall asleep during treatment.


How many treatments will I need?

That depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint.  You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition.  A series of 5-10 treatments may resolve many chronic problems.  Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time.  To help reduce the number of treatments, your practitioner may suggest dietary modifications, specific exercise regimens, relaxation techniques, self-massage, and/or Chinese herbal medicine, all of which may help to increase the efficacy of acupuncture.


Are there different styles of acupuncture?

Acupuncture originated in China but has spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, and America.  In different countries, different styles have developed based on differing opinions as to theory and technique.  Patients should talk to their practitioner about his or her particular style and learn as much as possible about the treatment being proposed.


What should I know about the proposed treatments?

Your practitioner will explain the nature of your problem in Oriental medical terms and what treatment he or she is recommending.  Your practitioner will tell you what benefits and risks there are to the proposed treatment and what other treatment options are available to you through this practitioner or by referral to another practitioner or physician.


What criteria should I use in choosing an acupuncture?

Prospective patients should ask about where the practitioner trained and for how long he or she has been in practice, and most importantly, what experience that practitioner has had in treating your specific ailment.  Acupuncture is a licensed and regulated health care profession in over 40 states in the U.S.  In addition, the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certifies both acupuncturists and Chinese herbal practitioners.  Acupuncturists who have passed the NCCAOM exam are entitled to ass Dipl. Ac. (Diplomate of Acupuncture) after their name.


Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment?

The following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment:

  • Wear loose clothing.
  • Women should not wear one piece dresses.
  • Avoid wearing stockings.
  • Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset, or shortly after sex.


Is there anything I need to do while receiving acupuncture?

Relax.  There is no need to be frightened.  Ask your practiced any questions you have along the way so that you can get the most benefit possible from the treatment. Do not change your position or move suddenly.  If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.


What can I expect after treatment?

Patients often experience dramatic results in the first treatment.  Some patients experience an immediate total or partial relief of their pain or other symptoms.  this relief may last or some pain may return.  In a few cases, there may be no immediate relief only to notice the pain diminish over the next couple of days.  Generally, you should expect to feel better.


What’s the difference between Western folk herbalism and Chinese herbal medicine?

Western folk herbalism primarily treats diseases or symptoms, such as headaches, runny nose, menstrual pain, etc.  Chinese herbal medicine, when practiced as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is based on an individual pattern diagnosis as well as disease diagnosis.  This means the TCM patient receives a custom-written herbal prescription designed to treat both the symptom or disease and also their individual pattern.  A TCM pattern identifies a person’s emotional temperament and bodily constitution as well a their signs and symptoms.


Are there any other differences?

Western folk herbalism primarily uses single herbs or groups of herbs to treat the same symptom or disease for everyone.  TCM formulas include 6-8 herbs and include herbs addressing a person’s main symptoms as well as their particular pattern.


Are all the "herbs" vegetable in origin?

Although called Chinese herbal medicine, TCM practitioners use ingredients from all three kingdoms: vegetable, animal, and mineral.  However, the majority are from vegetable sources. Leaves, flowers, twigs, stems, tubers, rhizomes, and barks are some of the many vegetable parts used.


Do all the herbs come form China?

15-20% of the standard Chinese repertoire of the 500 ingredients originated from outside China.  The Chinese have adopted and incorporated into their materia medica herbs from all over the world.  What makes these "Chinese" herbs is that they are prescribed according to Chinese medical theory and a TCM pattern diagnosis.


How are Chinese herbs taken?

The most common method of taking Chinese herbal medicine is as a decoction. This means that the herbs are boiled for 30 minutes to an hour or more and then strained and drunk 2-3 times per day.  However, there are also herbal; pills, tinctures, and powdered extracts for those who do not have the time or taste for traditional decoctions.


Does Chinese herbal medicine have side effects?

No, not if the formula has been correctly chosen and written.  Most of the medicinals in the Chinese materia medica have very low toxicity compared to common, over-the-counter Western drugs.  When they are prescribed according to a correct TCM pattern diagnosis, they should have no side effects, only beneficial healing results.  If a patient experiences any discomfort while taking Chinese herbs, they should tell their practitioner, who will then modify their formula until there are no side effects or adjust the dose to be more tolerable.


What is Chinese herbal medicine good for?

Chinese herbal medicine treats the full range of human disease. It treats acute diseases, like intestinal flu and the common cold, as well as chronic diseases, such as allergies, gynecological disorders, autoimmune diseases, chronic viral diseases, and degenerative disease due to aging.  In particular, Chinese herbal medicine is especially good for promoting the body’s ability to heal and recuperate.


How long does it take to see results with Chinese herbal medicine?

In acute conditions, results can be expected in a matter of minutes.  In chronic conditions, some results should be seen within two weeks.  Although chronic conditions may require taking Chinese herbal medicine for a long time, nonetheless, signs that the medicine is working should be apparent to the patient and the practitioner almost from the very start.


How do I know if a practitioner is professionally trained in Chinese herbal medicine?



In some states, such as California, all acupuncturists must pass a licensing test that includes Chinese herbal medicine.  In addition, National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has created a certification process for Chinese herbal medicine.  Practitioners who have passed that certification process are entitled to add the abbreviation Dipl. C.H. for Diplomate of Chinese Herbology after their name.  If they have been certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, in some states they may append Dipl. O.M., (Diplomate of Oriental Medicine), after their name.  Although Chinese herbs are safe when professionally prescribed by a trained, knowledgeable practitioner, they are strong medicine nevertheless.  Therefore, it is important that a practitioner be adequately schooled and experienced in their use. A prospective patient should feel free to ask about the training and credentials of a potential practitioner.





Pagoda Acupuncture and Herbal Healing Center

By Appointment Only:
(Call for availability)

Skincare and Waxing Specialist
Tracy Lundman
631-708-9097 (TEL)

Maura Grillo, LCSW-R
631-786-3182 (TEL)

Massage Therapist
Maria Cortese, L.M.T.
631-871-8902 (TEL)