What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment that is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine which is simply a holistic form of health care used to balance the mind, body and spirit. The core of Chinese Medicine is Qi (chee), which is the natural energy that flows throughout our body. It flows through specific pathways (meridians), each connected to specific organ systems and glands that govern particular bodily functions. Achieving the proper balance and flow of Qi creates health and wellness, and maintains the dynamic balance of yin and yang. Physical, mental, and emotional stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle choices or accidents can lead to disease and symptoms.
To restore balance to qi, yin and yang, an acupuncturist inserts tiny hair-like needles (picture a cat whisker – and no, they do not hurt) at specific points along the channels, each of these points has a specific and unique function, to stimulate your body’s natural healing process. According to Western science, acupuncture affects the whole body, including the brain, nervous system, endocrine system and connective tissue. Along the locations of the channels and points there is an abundance of blood vessels, nerve and lymph tissue. Biological responses that occur during an acupuncture treatment include the release of serotonin, endorphins, hormones, and anti-inflammatory agents to help the body heal.
What are the acupuncture needles like?
Picture a cat whisker; they are very fine hair-like pins that do not hurt. Acupuncture needles are far different from the hypodermic needle used to give injections. The needles are solid stainless steel and are inserted into the skin a few millimeters up to a few inches, depending on the area of the body. They are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles. They are usually painless upon insertion, and most people feel nothing, but you may feel a slight prick, or a dull achy heavy sensation in the area around the needle, which is the desired response.
What are acupuncture points and meridians?
Acupuncture points are those areas on the body that have been shown to have an influence on pain or body function when stimulated by a needle, pressure, or heat. These points are quite small, and exact location is important for attaining maximum benefit from a given treatment. By inserting needles into points on the meridian pathways, the normal flow of energy may be restored and balanced. The points are organized into twelve classic meridians, which are named after the organ systems to which they correspond. There are also eight extra meridians which have distinct functions and address specific conditions.
How does acupuncture work?
Scientific research has discovered that acupuncture points show a variety of unique bioelectric properties. Stimulation of acupuncture points cause definite physiological reactions affecting brain activity, such as releasing pain killing endorphins, influencing blood pressure, enhancing the immune system, balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and enhancing the endocrine system. Most of all, acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural ability to heal itself and regain homeostasis.
What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. For a list of conditions please click here.
How many treatments are necessary?
It is usually recommended that a series of six to ten treatments be given, initially. However, every case is unique, and some can be resolved in only one or two treatments.
How long does a treatment take?
The initial visit usually lasts one and a half hours due to the time required to fill out paperwork, and for the extensive intake questions and examination. Follow-up treatments tend to take only forty-five minutes to one hour, but can vary depending on types of modalities used.
Is acupuncture painful and what will I feel during a treatment?
At the time the needle is inserted, some feel nothing, others a slight prick. Common qi (energy) sensations around the needles include tingling, electrical sensations, which may travel above or below the needle, or a sense of heaviness at the insertion site. Stimulation of needles can be done manually, or by attaching electrodes that transmit a weak current or pulsation. Most people feel very relaxed during the session, and many even fall asleep.
What should I do to prepare for my appointment?
To prepare for your first appointment make a list of all your major health complaints or symptoms, past surgeries, and supplements, herbs and medications that you are currently taking and bring it with you. Arrive to your scheduled appointment at least 15 minutes early to fill out the initial paperwork. Wear or bring loose, comfortable clothing, our office has gowns and sheets available for your comfort. Avoid coming to your appointment on an empty stomach, or after having a heavy meal, and avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar directly before or after treatment, as it can be too stimulating for your body. During your treatment make sure that you turn off your phone or other technology, so you can gain the full benefit of relaxing and focusing on your healing. There are really no restrictions after your appointments; however, it may be in your benefit to not do any strenuous activities the same day you have a treatment.
What will I feel like after a treatment?
Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed, or tired. If you experience discomfort during or after the treatment, it is usually mild and short term. Because the purpose of acupuncture is to balance your body, there are no long-term negative side effects or restrictions after treatment.
What are the side effects of acupuncture?
One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is the absence of serious side effects associated with its use. Rarely, there may be some slight bruising around the area where a needle was placed.
What forms of payment are accepted?
Our office accepts cash, check, all major credit cards, health savings account cards, and flexible spending account cards.
Do you accept insurance?
Yes! If you have a PPO plan, please call your company to verify that you have acupuncture benefits, for the specific health issue that you would be coming to treatment for. You will also want to find out how many treatment you have per calendar year, if you have a co-payment, if you have a deductible, if that deductible has been met yet, and if there are any exclusions that apply. If you are having trouble please fill out our insurance benefit form and we will let you know if your insurance plan has acupuncture benefits. I am in network with Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Our office accepts automobile insurance medical coverage (No Fault). No Fault covers 100% of necessary medical care for injuries sustained in automobile accidents, regardless of fault. Call your carrier to verify that this benefit is included in your policy, or let us check for you. You may also use your health savings account and flexible spending account cards for acupuncture treatment and to purchase supplements or herbal medicine. Call your company to verify that those are covered benefits. At this time, we do not accept worker’s compensation insurance.
- Please arrive to your appointments on time, haven eaten a healthy snack or light meal and well hydrated.
- All payments are due at the time of service. I accept cash, credit, check, Health Savings Accounts, and Flex Spending Accounts. (Please check that your account covers acupuncture)
- A 24 hour notice is required for all cancellations or a $25 charge will apply, billable by mail.
- A returned check is subject to a $25 processing charge, billable by mail.
- All clients are encouraged to continue regular care with their Western primary care physician(s).
- All prices and policies are subject to change without prior notice.