FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Many insurance policies include acupuncture coverage today. While acupuncture is a covered benefit by many carriers, herbs are not a covered benefit with any insurance policy at this time. If you’d like for us to verify your insurance benefits, please contact us with your insurance information and our billing office will be happy to verify your coverage for you. Verification usually takes 1-2 business days as our billing office handles multiple patient accounts at a time. We appreciate your patience.
Do acupuncture needles hurt?
Most people barely feel a thing when needles are inserted. Some people feel a slight pinch, and others ask, “Is it in yet?” The reason acupuncture needles don’t cause the painful sensation you might expect is because they’re very, very thin in comparison to the hypodermic needles used to give injections. Hypodermic needles are hollow by necessity so that the shot can be injected. They also have a very blunt point (actually a wedge shape) in comparison to an acupuncture needle.
There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, which are known as de qi (pronounced “day-chee”). These may include slight cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture needles are extremely safe, because they are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Every practitioner gets extensive training in anatomy so as to avoid accidentally inserting a needle in a place that can cause damage.
How does acupuncture work?
In Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by balancing the body’s vital energy called Qi. Qi can be described as a form of bioenergy (electromagnetic fields) that runs along 12 major meridians. If Qi gets blocked, it shows up as an imbalance or illness. Basically, if you have a health condition, some part of your body’s system is out of whack. Chinese medical theory allows us to diagnose the imbalance… and balance it.
In Western medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating parts of the brain. It also stimulates the body to release natural biomolecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. The exact mechanisms which bring this about are unknown, but the effects are measurable.
What should I expect on my first visit?
During your first office visit, we spend a lot of time getting a complete picture of your health and lifestyle. We examine the condition of your tongue (is it cracked, coated, excessively pink? etc.), and check your pulse on both wrists (the quality of your pulse gives information about possible imbalances). We’ll also ask questions about your emotional state, and any specific symptoms you may have.
This is done because we treat the whole person instead of focusing on the symptoms of your condition. The first visit can last up to an hour and a half, including an acupuncture treatment along with the consultation. Your subsequent visits will be much faster – usually an hour long. We’ll make a short review of your progress followed by an acupuncture treatment.