What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment method in Traditional Chinese Medicine, in which the practitioner inserts tiny needles in certain areas of the body that have a specific function to stimulate the body’s natural healing process.
According to Western science, acupuncture affects the whole body, including the brain, nervous system, endocrine system, muscular system, and connective tissue. It increases the circulation of blood flow, and stimulates the nervous system to release neurotransmitters and hormones into the brain, spinal cord, and muscles to reduce inflammation, stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities, restore proper function, and promote physical, mental and emotional well-being.
What are the acupuncture needles like?
Picture a cat whisker, acupuncture needles are very fine and “hair-like”. No, they do not hurt. They are solid medical grade stainless steel, pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. They are usually painless upon insertion, but you may feel a slight prick, or a dull achy heavy sensation in the area around the needle, which is the desired response. Most people feel very relaxed during the session, and many even fall asleep.
How does acupuncture work?
Scientific research has discovered that inserting acupuncture needles into specific points creates a variety of unique bioelectric properties. Stimulation of the acupuncture points cause 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?
In my experience acupuncture either works well or it doesn’t. We will need to treat you for at least 5-10 sessions depending on whether your issue is acute or chronic to see how your body responds to acupuncture, and how quickly. We expect to see some change and improvement in your symptoms in that time, but for most people it is usually recommended that a series of 10+ treatments be given initially. Acupuncture is a process, not a procedure. Each session is cumulative and builds upon the last.
How long does a treatment take?
The initial visit is about one hour, we will go over your health concerns and make our best recommendation for treatment, and then you will receive a treatment. Please complete your paperwork before your appointment, and arrive 15 minutes early.
Follow-up treatments can be anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour, it can vary depending on types of modalities used. Please arrive 5 minutes early.
What should I do to prepare for my appointment?
Before your appointment: Please complete all your paperwork before your appointment using the link in your email, you may also arrange to complete it at the office on our ipad. Arrive at least 15 minutes early so you have time to find the office and use the restroom. You may bring your medication list, supplement list, surgery list, and any medical reports (MRI, CT scan, X-ray, etc.) so we can make a copy for your chart. Please call your insurance before your appointment to verify if you do or do not have coverage.
During your appointment: Please wear or bring loose, comfortable clothing. Each room is stocked with gowns, sheets, pillows and blankets available for your comfort. Please bring anything else you may need to be comfortable (ex: ear plugs, headphones, etc.). Please keep your phone on silent at all times.
After your appointment: Most people feel relaxed after a session, but some feel energized. There are really no restrictions after your appointments but it is recommended to listen to your body and adjust your activity accordingly.
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. Occasionally, you may be sore in any area where manual therapies were used.
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. As of 2019 we are listed as providers with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Independent Health, and Cigna. 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, co-insurance, and/or a deductible, if that deductible has been met, and if there are any exclusions that apply. If you are having trouble please call the office and we will help you to find out if your insurance plan has acupuncture benefits.