FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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What will the acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Information is then organized to create a diagnosis of where qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process an agreed upon course of treatment will be established. The style, techniques used and number of treatments needed will vary from person to person.

What should I expect during treatment?

The acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body. This activates the body’s qi and promotes natural healing. Once the needles are in place they are left to do their work for anywhere from 10 minutes to as long as 45 minutes depending on the issues being addressed. The practitioner may stay in the room with you and incorporate other Oriental medicine techniques or most usually will leave you to rest peacefully for a period of time.

Sometimes people experience a sensation of energy spreading and moving around the needle. Some people occasionally experience a vague numbness, tingling or heaviness. All these reactions are good and it is a sign that the treatment is working. After treatment you may feel energized or you may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.

Do the needles hurt?

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The needles are tiny, just a little larger than a cat’s whisker or a human hair. The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies. A momentary prick may be felt around the needle as it is inserted, possibly creating a dull pressure or tingling around the area during the treatment. Some people feel a slight discomfort as the needles are inserted, but most people feel no pain at all.

Most people are amazed at how easy the process is and how relaxed they feel during and after the treatment. This can only occur if the treatment is comfortable and gentle. Very typically, clients will fall asleep and nap soon after needles are inserted!

What is Qi?

The best English translation for qi is “life force” or “vital energy”. At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that "qi" (pronounced "chee") flows throughout the body. Qi helps to maintain and protect the body from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of qi.

When qi flows freely throughout the body, one enjoys good physical, mental and emotional well-being. An obstruction of qi anywhere in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow in one area and restricting it in others. This blockage can hinder the distribution of the nourishment that the body requires to function optimally.

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What can affect Qi?

Many things influence the quality, quantity and balance of qi. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, diet, accidents or excessive activity can lead to a blockage or imbalance of qi.

Normally, when this imbalance occurs, the body naturally bounces back, returning to a balanced state of health and well-being. When the disruption to qi is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, then illness, pain or disease can set in.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is recognized by the World Health Organization and The National Institute of Health as a safe and effective treatment for a variety of health problems.

It is an all-natural, drug-free, therapy, yielding the positive side-effects of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

An NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists); LAc. (Licensed Acupuncturist); Dipl.Ac. (Diplomat of Acupuncture) DOM (Dr. of Oriental Medicine) OMD (Oriental medical Doctor) will have a minimum of four years training equivalent to a Master’s Degree. Be sure to ask for credentials.

What can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in treating a wide variety of medical problems. Here is a list of a few health concerns that acupuncture has been effective in treating.

Addiction Fertility Seasonal Affective Morning Sickness
Anxiety Fibromyalgia Disorder - (SAD) Osteoarthritis
Arthritis Hiccough Shoulder Pain Pain
Asthma Headache Sinusitis PMS
Bronchitis Incontinence Sleep Disturbances Tennis Elbow
Carpal tunnel Indigestion Smoking Cessation Tonsillitis
Chronic Fatigue Irritable Bowel (IBS) Depression Tooth Pain
Colitis Low Back Pain Diarrhea Trigeminal Neuralgia
Common Cold Neck Pain Dizziness Urinary Tract
Constipation Pneumonia Emotional Imbalances Infections
Dental Pain Reproductive issues Eye Problems Wrist Pain
Facial palsy/tics Rhinitis Menstrual Problems
Fatigue Sciatica Migraine

How many treatments will I need?

Varies by patient - this will depend on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint as well as your overall health. Some issues can quickly resolve in one to three visits. Other more chronic issues may require a series of five to fifteen treatments.

Some degenerative and more complicated conditions may require many treatments over time. Two treatments a week is not unusual with severe symptoms. Once a week is usual, although we will set up a protocol for your specific needs.

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The results of treatment are unique to every individual. Patients often experience the most dramatic results in the first few treatments as the acute aspect of an issue is resolved. Some experience substantial relief of their pain or other symptoms.

This relief may last for various periods of time. Additional visits then help to treat more chronic and underlying issues. The better you are at reporting results, the better we are able to tailor your treatment plan.

What can I expect after treatment?

After a person receives acupuncture treatment, he or she will experience a sense of general well-being and relaxation. It is reported that an individual feels an improvement in sleep quality, digestion and overall energy levels.

Since acupuncture heals the body through natural techniques, side-effects are very rare. Occasionally mild exacerbation of conditions may be felt after a first treatment, but subside with additional treatments.

Acupuncture is safe for persons of all ages including children and the elderly, although treatment for the elderly is usually done to reduce discomfort and manage a stable condition.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Actual insurance coverage and benefits can vary quite a lot. However, most private insurance companies do offer an acupuncture benefit. Medicare does not cover acupuncture.

Here are a few questions to ask:

  1. Will my plan cover acupuncture?
  2. How many visits per calendar year?
  3. Do I need a referral?
  4. Do I have a co-pay?
  5. Do I have a deductible? If yes, has it been met?
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