Q and A with Eugene Lee Mahoney, LAc, AEamp
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
Making people feel better and helping them to lead healthy lives is my
passion. It’s very special when someone discovers that they can be
pain free for the ﬁrst time. Some might have struggled for a long time
and only came to acupuncture as a last resort. The look and feeling
that comes over a healed patient is both exciting and heartbreaking.
Seeing satisﬁed patients with a mix of excitement, relief and even a
little grief at the discovery of their healing, is truly humbling. I can
relate to that healing experience and am glad to be of service to a
patient’s overall greater health team!
Talk about your personal style.
I am straightforward and honest when talking to someone about their
health. I am not in it to keep them coming back. I’m in it to get
results. Any medical professional worth their “salt” wants that - It is
how we keep doing what we love to do. If my patients feel better and
have a great experience they’ll tell their loved ones. Patient referrals
are our best form of praise!
I also believe in treating the person who is in front of me that minute
on that day. In acupuncture, approach is critical. Treating a person’s
condition as opposed to approaching their current situation isn’t very
eﬀective because it doesn’t account for the individual’s unique
circumstances. Patients who have the same Western medical
diagnosis won’t necessarily have a similar acupuncture treatment
plan. My goal is always to treat the whole person.
Why should someone come see you?
I think of myself as a partner in your health plan, and you, the patient,
are the most important member- the team captain so to speak. I
listen, assess and give you the information; ultimately you make the
decisions. Additionally, I understand that acupuncturists are often
working in tandem with other healthcare providers. The right ﬁt is
diﬀerent for everyone and very important for prognosis.
Ultimately, I think of myself as a good listener and my goal is to
provide a private, safe and comfortable environment where you feel
heard while you receive the care you need. If that sounds like what
you’re looking for, then we more than likely would be an excellent ﬁt.
What is the biggest misunderstanding people have about
One big misunderstanding for people who are unfamiliar with the
Eastern model of treatment is that, like a dosage of Tylenol, they will
have one acupuncture treatment and their symptoms should be gone.
Acupuncture generally doesn’t work that way. You will feel better after
a treatment, but the longest lasting results come from a regular
course of visits. Starting with more frequent visits, then scaling back
supports us in treating the root of the problem, which solves the
For example, the best-case scenario is seeing acupuncture patients
twice a week for the ﬁrst 2 to 3 weeks, for an acute symptom, and
then weekly for a couple of weeks. Once we have the symptoms
under control, maintenance visits every two to four weeks will help
solidify your progress, long term.
Symptoms are usually caused by environmental factors, i.e. diet,
lifestyle, allergens, etc. If the complicating factor isn’t identiﬁed and
addressed, then the problem will keep coming back. Identifying those
complicating factors is part of our practitioner and patient work,
Sometimes a patient comes in with a genetic or chronic condition
which of course requires a long-term strategy and treatment plan.
The main point is that acupuncture can and does work for many of
the conditions people suﬀer with these days.
Another thing to keep in mind is that everyone reacts to acupuncture
diﬀerently. I have patients who require only a few treatments to
address a condition they’ve suﬀered from for years. Conversely, there
are conditions that should be relatively simple to treat, but they turn
out requiring longer treatment plans. Of course, there are patients
who land between these two extremes. In short, each patient is
unique and will respond diﬀerently.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers for someone to seek
healthcare from an acupuncturist? What would you say to those
The biggest barriers I have noticed are (1) fear of needles, (2) not
knowing how acupuncture can help and (3) feeling like acupuncture is
just too alien a concept.
Believe it or not, acupuncture needles don’t hurt on insertion. The
needles are very tiny in circumference and are not hollow like
hypodermic needles- which are used for administering shots or for
taking blood samples. We manipulate the needles after insertion,
which sometimes elicits a physical response. Pain? no. Usually it’s a
dull sensation or a releasing feeling. Sometimes the pressure point
can feel “heavy” or like the tissue is seizing up. But typically, that
feeling is gone as fast as it shows up. If discomfort arises, an
adjustment of the needle’s depth or location ﬁxes the discomfort
quickly. Most people say they feel a releasing or “traveling” sensation
or a dull sensation that dissipates.
The other barrier for some is that they don’t understand how inserting
needles in the body can help them feel better. Well, the answer to that
is ﬁnally beginning to be understood by Western science. Recent
studies indicate that the body shows reduced inﬂammation, nerve
signal modulation, bio peizoelectric polar swapping, immune
regulation, vasodilation, stimulation of the part of the immune system
designated for tissue repair, increased intracellular ﬂuid ﬂow and
collagen production, when needles are inserted. Why? Scientists are
still ﬁguring that out, but current studies are looking at the role of the
network of collagen, peizoelectricity, the intracellular matrix and the
fascia of the body, just to name a few, for those answers.
Any last words?
Just that if there is anyone out there who is curious about
acupuncture and how acupuncture and herbal medicine can help
their health, please reach out, make that ﬁrst appointment. I would be
happy to review your health history and to discuss a treatment plan
that works best for you. It will be totally up to you to decide if you
would like to proceed or not. I would be glad to introduce you to this
centuries old, safe, noninvasive, non-addictive method of treatment