What should I expect on my first visit?
The first time you visit our practitioner you will begin treatment with a half hour consultation. During this time, you will be asked about your condition and medical history. Because the tongue’s color and coating can reveal a lot about a person’s overall health, it may be examined as well. A diagnosis will then be given and a treatment plan discussed. The treatment itself will last about an hour and may include any combination of TCM techniques depending on your specific needs.
Who is the practitioner I will be seeing?
Our office staff can talk with you in depth about your practitioner's background, education, and experience. Give us a call, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
What is the cost for treatment?
There is a one-time consultation fee of and an charge per visit for the treatment itself. We do offer discounts for ACAC Members, students, and seniors. Please let us know if you fall into any of these categories and we can discuss them with you.
Does insurance cover treatment?
Unfortunately, the majority of insurance companies do not cover acupuncture and related techniques. However, there are a few exceptions. If you are unsure of your benefits, we encourage you to call your insurance company prior to your first visit. If you do have coverage, payment will still be required at the time of treatment. We will provide an invoice, indicating procedure codes and treatments performed, to submit to your insurance company in order to be reimbursed.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a catalyst for healing the body. Embracing Daoism principles, this very ancient system of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been in practice for more than 2000 years. Acupuncture practitioners insert extremely fine, disposable needles with rounded tips just below the surface of the skin. This stimulates qi, the body’s cyclic energy flow (pronounced “chee” or “chi”). By balancing and redirecting qi, an acupuncture practitioner encourages the body’s natural capacity for self-healing. In turn, this improves the way the body functions.
How does acupuncture work?
Qi flows through the body along channels known as meridians. The body contains nearly 300 different acupuncture points located along these meridians. Modern science has actually shown that the body gives off slight electrical charges at these points. An imbalance or blockage in the flow of qi at these points can cause many ailments that can be caused by stress, anxiety, anger, fear, poor nutrition, and even changes in the weather. Acupuncturists concentrate on stimulating the body’s energy flow by unblocking these meridians. By restoring qi balance and flow, acupuncture allows the body to heal itself naturally, rather than through the more invasive use of synthetic drugs and injections via the bloodstream.
What conditions does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can treat a variety of conditions. It can affect blood pressure, circulation, the heart’s rhythm and stroke volume. It can also regulate the secretion of gastric acid and hormones and stimulate the production of red and white blood cells. Acupuncture has even been known to lower cholesterol. Through the stimulation of qi, acupuncture practitioners can restore balance to the body’s internal energy system, promoting energy, good health and healing. If your specific condition is not mentioned on our website, please give us a call and our practitioner can tell you if they treat it.
Is acupuncture painful?
Most patients find acupuncture painless and soothing. Some even fall asleep during treatment. Acupuncture needles are very small and made from a special metal. Often, their insertion is not even noticeable, just a light prick. One must stay still, however, while needles are in position. A bell, which allows you to call the practitioner at any time, is given to each person during treatment. Afterwards, when the therapist stimulates the needles, one may sense a reaction in the form of a tugging, pressure or vibration, which emanate from the conditions along the energy pathways or meridians. These reactions, the “deqi” are by all means desirable from a therapeutic standpoint.
Are there risks or side effects?
Acupuncture, practiced by well educated and experienced practitioners, has very minimal side effects and risks in comparison to other therapies. At the most, one may feel somewhat tired after a therapy session, or sometimes the symptoms increase at first before they subside. The application of cupping glasses, during treatment, may leave behind round, red or blue marks, which clear after a few days. Nausea is occasionally experienced by some if herbal therapy is prescribed.
Is acupuncture hygienic?
Yes, acupuncture is completely hygienic. Only sterilized, single use, disposable needles are used at all times.
How deep do the needles go?
Needles may be inserted one quarter of an inch or more below the skin's surface, depending on the location of the acupuncture point on the body and the condition being treated. The patient's size, age and health is considered when determining how deeply the needles will penetrate the skin.
How long will the needles be in place?
This varies with each patient. Typically needles are inserted for 20-30 minutes at a time.
How many treatments does it take?
Depending on the condition being treated, a course of acupuncture treatments can last from one week to several months, or longer. Many acupuncture patients begin by receiving treatments 2 or 3 times a week, while some require daily attention. As a patient’s condition improves, treatments become less frequent.
When will I feel better?
Depending on a patient’s condition and how their body responds to acupuncture, it can take up to six treatments before the patient notices a marked change in the way they feel.
Some patients feel better after one treatment. Other patients need five or six treatments before they feel better.
I have a cold. Should I still come in for treatment?
A cold is an ailment which responds particularly well to treatment in its first days. Therefore it is especially worthwhile to keep your scheduled appointment. If you are unsure, call us prior to your appointment, so we can confer with your practitioner.
Herbs can only be customized after a diagnosis and treatment. Therefore, prescriptions are only issued after the treatment has taken place. If you have run out of your herbs prior to your next scheduled appointment, please call us to find out if a refill is needed. In most cases, the practitioner will wait until your next appointment to write a modified prescription.
If you experience unexpected or unpleasant reactions after the treatment, please notify us. We will confer with your practitioner and inform you as to how you should proceed.