Frequently Asked Questions: Acupuncture

Common Acupuncture Questions

What is traditional Chinese medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the idea that pathways of energy, or “qi”, run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These channels are called meridians and they flow like rivers through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that backs up, creating imbalance and pain. Acupuncture works with the body’s innate ability to heal itself; once pathways have been unblocked, the body’s natural healing response can take place.

What should I expect from my first acupuncture treatment?
The first treatment is my opportunity to get to know you better; I will complete a detailed intake in order to learn more about your symptoms and how they many be interrelated. Even the smallest detail may shed light on the root cause of your condition. In addition to listening, my other diagnostic tools are observation and palpating the body, particularly the pulse. We have time for questions, explanations, and a discussion of your treatment plan, especially if it is your first experience with acupuncture. When you are comfortable, I will insert the needles and then allow you to relax for about 20 to 30 minutes. The entire visit lasts about one and a half hours.

What does it feel like? Does acupuncture hurt?
Because every person is made up of such a complex array of life experiences, it is no wonder that people feel and respond to needling in very different ways. The typical description includes feeling a slight pinch or pressure, which is then accompanied by warmth, tingling, or a heavy sensation at the site of the needle. Many people experience a deep sense of release and relaxation during and at the end of the treatment.

For needle-shy patients we may start off our treatments with non-insertive techniques, therapeutic essential oils, and acupressure until we build enough trust to use needles. There are always options in the event that the fear of needles cannot be overcome.

Is acupuncture safe?
The needles are all sterile, pre-packaged and used one time only. The needles are hair-fine, with a solid center unlike the hollow hypodermic needles used to take blood. There is usually no marking on the skin after the needles are removed.

What about insurance coverage?
We are an in-network provider for some insurance companies. Even if we are not on your health insurance panel, there are many health insurance plans that cover acupuncture and you may have these benefits. We highly recommend that you give our office a call so that we can help verify your benefits. Our office will bill your insurance company directly, provided that you have sufficient acupuncture coverage.

What methods of payment are accepted?

Our office accepts cash, checks, Visa, and Mastercard. If you have any more questions concerning our payment policies, please contact our office directly.

Do you have more Acupuncture Questions?  We are committed to helping you make informed decisions about your healthcare, and we are here to serve you.