What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one branch of a comprehensive health care system called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is a method of balancing the circulation of energy and blood in the body. A common concept in China is: "If there is pain, there is no free flow; if there is free flow, there is no pain". TCM works to reestablish free flow in the body, resulting in a more balanced life with less pain.

The first question many patients have about acupuncture is whether or not the treatment will hurt. It is important to realize that acupuncture needles are very different from the hypodermic needles used for Western medical procedures.

Hypodermic needles are large in diameter, stiff, and hollow. They are used for injecting fluid into muscle tissue or drawing blood. This is in contrast to an acupuncture needle, which is extremely fine (about the diameter of a human hair) and flexible.

Most people feel little, if any, sensation when the needles are inserted. Once the needle is in place, it is stimulated by turning or manipulating it depending on the desired action. Normal sensations felt by the patient during stimulation include a release of tension, heaviness at the site of insertion, warmth, tingling, or an electric sensation. The vast majority of patients feel extremely relaxed and very often take a nap during the treatment.

All acupuncture needles are standardized as sterile, disposable, one-time use needles and are discarded after the treatment into a biohazard container.

For more in-depth information about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, please take a look at the Links page. Here you can find links to medical research papers, newspaper articles, and informative videos about acupuncture and complimentary alternative medicine.

How many treatments will I need?

This depends on many factors including the severity, duration, and nature of your complaint. For acute symptoms, it is possible that one or two treatments will provide significant relief. For more chronic issues, it will generally take 5-10 treatments to see significant progress. There are many other factors that can influence the efficacy of your treatments, which include herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and lifestyle changes.

What can Chinese Medicine treat?

Traditional Chinese Medicine has successfully taken care of billions of people for over 2000 years. As a result, almost any condition that requires relief can be effectively treated. Please take a moment and visit the World Health Organization website for a complete list of conditions that are effectively treated by acupuncture.

How should I prepare for a treatment?

First you should be confident that you are in good hands. Acupuncture is safe for almost everyone, including children, elderly, and everyone in between. You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes. You should not come in for treatment on an empty stomach or under the influence of any intoxicants.

Are treatments covered by insurance?

We do not accept direct insurance payments at this time, however we are happy to provide you with a receipt that you can submit for reimbursement. While there are some insurance policies that cover acupuncture, most will only cover treatments for pain related disorders. In this time of rapidly changing healthcare plans and policies, it is best to check with your insurance company first if you would like to have your treatments covered.