Frequently Asked Questions

How does Acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is one of the key elements used in Oriental Medicine.  A fine, solid, sterile, disposable needle is gently inserted into the skin at specific points often on unseen channels called meridians. The needle stimulates Qi, which is the body’s vital energy, to move and send responses to various systems in the body. 

Acupuncture is a natural way to facilitate the body to heal and balance itself.  The exact “how” it works is still not fully known but several theories have been noted in Western medicine about the way acupuncture affects our body systems:

It stimulates the release of endorphins (which occurs in pain relief).
It influences the release of neurotransmitters which send nerve impulses to the brain.
It influences the autonomic nervous system.
It stimulates blood and body fluid circulation.
It influences electrical currents of the body.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is done with sterile, disposable, one-time use needles, which are individually packaged with essentially no chance of contagion. It is important to always go to a licensed acupuncturist who is NCCAOM certified. Currently, a licensed practitioner with a master’s degree from an accredited college is trained with at least 3,000 hours of didactic and clinical training an can effectively diagnose and treat their patients. Students are trained to know the anatomy of the body and the safest depth for each point.

Is Acupuncture Painful?

Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterile, disposable needles into specific points on the body along energy pathways (meridians) to balance the flow of energy (qi). Acupuncture needles are NOT like hypodermic needles and feel nothing like a shot or injection. Upon needle insertion there may be an initial sensation of slight pinching, tingling, or warmth in different areas of the body. This means the qi has been activated, and is a positive sign of qi movement through the meridians.

What to Expect?

The first treatment is a thorough evaluation that will last 1 ½ hours. Subsequent treatments will be approximately 60 minutes. We will spend the time necessary to form a complete picture of your health… past, present and future. 
By learning about your past and current health, an acupuncturist can see trends in your health and figure out your constitution to better help your body achieve and maintain balance and harmony. Part of this assessment will include looking at your tongue and feeling your pulse. This helps in your diagnosis. Your tongue is an internal map of the inside of your body. Your pulse relates to your general well being and tells us about each of the different organ systems. I treat according to where the imbalance is on the day of your treatment, which shifts as your equilibrium changes. 
Next you will receive an acupuncture treatment. Very thin needles will be inserted in specific points depending on your individual constitution and health needs. You will get to lie there, while your body falls into a deep relaxed state, many fall asleep.

The goal is to help your body heal and I may make additional suggestions that are made to be empowering such as dietary advice, lifestyle modifications, stretches, exercises, and/or referrals to other medical specialists.

Preparing For A Treatment

Wear loose fitting comfortable clothing with no stockings. Make sure to eat and drink water before your treatment so you are not hungry or dehydrated. Please bring the names of other healthcare practitioners you are seeing.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Each person is unique with an individualized treatment plan. No two conditions or people respond exactly the same. The length of treatment depends on the type, severity, and duration of the condition, and the physical state at the time of treatment. Both the examination and your response can give us an idea. Each time you come in I reassess your progress and treatment plan. The best therapeutic results are attained by following the treatment plan and recommendations. It is important to complete the course of therapy for best and longest lasting results.

Ongoing treatments for health maintenance are designed and aimed to prevent disease and promote health and longevity, as well as vitality and a better quality of life. It can help your threshold to handle life’s everyday stressors and the imbalances created by the common day lifestyle.

Is Acupuncture Covered By Insurance?

With growing demand more and more insurance companies are covering acupuncture.  However, not all companies do.  Upon request, I will gladly provide the patient with a super-bill to be sent to their insurance company for reimbursement.

Please note: not all insurance plans cover acupuncture. Please check with your insurance provider’s customer service department to find out if your treatments will be reimbursed.

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