Acupuncture: FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture is a 2000 year old system of medicine. It is based on the understanding of Qi. Qi is the internal energy that circulates throughout the body along pathways known as meridians. While Western Anatomy and Physiology does not presently acknowledge the existence of qi, electromagnetic research has confirmed the location of meridians. Acupuncture is an effective method of promoting the body’s natural healing mechanisms to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Thin sterile needles are inserted at precise locations on the body, in order to establish and maintain a balance in the flow of qi. Acupuncture stimulates the release of pain reducing neurotransmitters and regulates levels of hormones associated with the body’s healing process.

 

Do the needles hurt?

Single-use, sterile, disposable needles are used. Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are ultra thin and flexible- five to six acupuncture needles fit inside of a typical hypodermic needle. The thinness of the needles permits a nearly painless insertion. After insertion, patients may feel some heaviness, distention, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling along the affected meridian. Generally patients feel relaxed and sometimes a bit sleepy once the needles are inserted.

Are there any side effects?

Harmful side effects to acupuncture are very rare. Occasionally there may be a small drop of blood when the needles are removed, and slight bruising may infrequently occur at the point of the needle insertion.

 

How deep are the needles inserted?

The depth of the needles depends on the nature of the problem and the location of the points. Usually, needles are inserted from 1/4 to 1 inch in depth.

 

Do I need to do to prepare for an acupuncture treatment?

Before you come to the office, make sure to eat a light meal and drink enough water. Wear loose fitting clothes. If necessary, patient gowns are available but usually if you are not wearing a one piece dress it is not necessary to completely undress during treatment. Also, bring the names and dosages of all medications and dietary supplements that you are taking.

 

How long will treatments take?

The initial consultation and treatment will take two hours. A complete medical history will be acquired, followed by a comprehensive evaluation, and treatment administration. It is important to answer all questions the practitioner asks even if they do not seem related to your condition. Because Traditional Medicine has a system of evaluating patients that is different from allopathic medicine even seemingly unrelated symptoms are relevant. Follow up visits typically take an hour.

 

 

Can I combine acupuncture with other medical treatment?

Acupuncture can be used in conjunction with conventional western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important to inform your acupuncturist of all other treatments.

 

How many treatments will I need?

Because each person is unique and types of conditions differ, the number of treatments varies. Generally, chronic conditions require one or two treatments per week for several months. However, improvements in conditions are usually seen within 3-4 treatments. Those with acute illnesses can expect a change within a few visits.

 

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Some insurance companies currently pay for acupuncture costs. The Center For Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine will provide documentation to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement, but does not bill insurance directly.

 

Will acupuncture help me?

Because the method of diagnosis in Traditional Chinese Medicine is different from western allopathic medicine we are able to safely treat most imbalances in the body even when a Western diagnosis has not been made. We are always happy to discuss your condition with you either by phone or in the office at a free consultation. Of course there are some conditions that are not appropriate for acupuncture and your practitioner will let you know if that is the case.

Presently the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture and oriental medicine’s effectiveness in treating a wide range of disorders including but not limited to:

 

Digestive disorders: food allergies, gastritis, hyperacidity, digestive weakness, constipation, diarrhea, and ulcers.

Respiratory Conditions: allergies, sinusitis, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma.

Neurological & muscular disorders: migraine, stroke, facial paralysis, neck and shoulder pain, tendonitis, sciatica, arthritis, back pain, neuralgia, dizziness.

Urinary, menstrual, and reproductive dysfunction: urinary tract infections, sexual dysfunction, PMS, infertility, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea.

Stress Related Conditions: High blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia.