Frequently Asked Questions:

Does acupuncture hurt?
No. The sensation most patients generally feel is a momentary dull achy sensation or slight heaviness around the acupuncture point, not pain. After needle placement a deep state of relaxation follows, which optimizes your healing potential. Upon request we provide “painless” needles for your comfort. In our experience, even self-described “needle phobic” patients are pleasantly surprised to find that the sensations are minimal and treatment itself is deeply relaxing and enjoyable.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
Insured patients are welcome. Acupuncture is covered for medical and health related expenses under HSA health savings accounts, HRA health reimbursement accounts and FSA flex spending and Flexcard accounts. A growing number of insurance companies cover acupuncture, but the coverage varies widely. It’s always best to call your insurer to learn the extent of your benefits. We supply insured patients with the proper documentation necessary for individual reimbursement.
What are the Benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is often effective with a wide range of complaints, including back pain, joint pain, infertility, menopausal complications, asthma, depression, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes and stress. Acupuncture is also helpful for many chronic illnesses and health concerns that have no clear origin or cause. Patients committed to a healthy lifestyle who receive ongoing acupuncture treatment for maintenance and health promotion often experience being sick less often and recovering more quickly, improvement of vitality and stamina, being able to take care of their own health, relationships with others becoming more harmonious and reductions in long term health care costs.

A recent survey of people who receive acupuncture, conducted by Claire Cassidy, Ph.D., indicates that they see their physicians less frequently and use fewer medications. In addition, over two thirds of those surveyed reported having avoided recommended surgery.

Are the needles safe?
Yes. For your safety, all needles are “sterile disposable single use” with FDA approval. They are only used once and then disposed of immediately.
What are the side effects of acupuncture?
Acupuncture rarely causes serious side effects, if done properly. Some risks include: bruising, fainting, muscle spasms, bleeding or potential nerve damage. Extreme side effects are rarely seen here in America, however they include: serious injury from the puncture of an organ such as the lung or infection from viral hepatitis.
Are Chinese herbs safe?
Yes. When prescribed and used correctly, Chinese herbal formulas rarely cause unwanted side-effects. Herbal manufacturing companies here in the U.S. select the highest quality herbs ensuring the safest standards of production along with adhering to strict quality assurance standards.
How frequently do I need to come to benefit from treatment?
The frequency of treatments varies with each individual and their various conditions. Individual needs vary widely and are dependent upon the patient’s state of health upon entering treatment. Broadly speaking, patients are often seen in weekly sessions for 6-8 visits. As patients experience stable improvement in their condition, treatments may be extended to every other week, every three weeks, monthly and eventually for maintenance with the change of the seasons.
How does acupuncture work?
Many studies in animals and humans have demonstrated that acupuncture can cause multiple physiological responses. These responses can occur locally at the site of application, or at a distance, by sensory neurons working in conjunction with the central nervous system. Current studies have focused attention on the role of endogenous opioids. Considerable evidence shows that opioid peptides are released during acupuncture, producing an analgesic (pain relieving) effect. Acupuncture has been shown to activate the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, resulting in a broad spectrum of systemic effects. Systemic changes such as the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and changes in the regulation of blood flow (both centrally and peripherally) have been clearly documented. There is also clear evidence that acupuncture produces positive changes in immune function.
Are there different styles of acupuncture?
Yes, there are many styles of acupuncture. The primary distinction is within the diagnostic process and the corresponding treatment plan. To discuss what is right for you and learn more about this distinction, call for your free 15 minute consultation.

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