How does acupuncture work?

Most everything that happens in your body is occurring because neurons are conducting electrical signals between the brain and every cell in you body. Your body is magnificent at keeping itself alive and functioning. However, due to hazards such as physical trauma, poor diet, emotional duress, chronic stress, or toxic chemicals, our bodies are not always able to fully self correct. They sometimes need help! The Chinese have long recognized that energy in the body tends to follow specific pathways or "meridians". These meridians are really no more complicated than what we in the West recognize as a higher concentration of nerve impulses and blood flow. When the body is not functioning properly it is usually because the energy in these meridians is either flowing too much or too little. By inserting stainless and disposable needles in the key points on the body along the course of the meridians, we encourage the body to re-establish its normal, healthy flow of energy. Symptoms then begin to disappear

How many treatments are needed?

This is a difficult question to answer. Usually one or two treatments per week, but it depends on the nature of the disorder and how long the patient has experienced it. Some people respond very suddenly, some people take several treatments before getting the results they want, and still others must come in frequently to maintain the level of health and comfort they are seeking. Usually, acute conditions respond much faster; chronic illnesses may require treatment for several weeks or longer. As in any form of medical care, the patient's attitude, diet, determination, and lifestyle will affect the outcome and course of treatment. I always endeavor to get results right away and often the results are very substantial. For instance, it is very common that someone arrives in a great deal of pain and leaves with a 50-100% reduction of pain. Often the pain will return to some degree, but with follow-up treatments, the pain usually continues to diminish and their level of health continues to improve. Most of the time, when health has been restored, the patient does not need to return for regular treatments. The health improvements they receive are theirs to keep.

What happens during an acupuncture treatment?

In order to make a diagnosis and plan treatment, your practitioner will need to take detailed case history, asking about present and past health problems. Careful visual inspection of the tongue, and detailed reading of wrist pulses are also made. According to the diagnosis, very fine, thin (about the sized of a human hair) disposable needles are inserted into the acupuncture points. The procedure is usually quite painless. It is normal to experience a dull, heavy, or a tingling or warm sensation, once the needles have been inserted. The needles are usually left in place for about twenty minutes. Many people become very relaxed during the treatment.

What will I feel after a treatment?

It is very common to feel relaxed and possibly a bit groggy after a treatment, so we suggest avoiding strenuous activity and recommend drinking plenty of water. Some patients report feeling residual sensations where the needles were placed, and this is a good sign, as it means that the acupuncture point is still being stimulated. It is also possible to have a slight "flare-up" of a condition after a treatment, but this will quickly diminish as the body readjusts itself. You may feel more energy, less pain, and a heightened sense of well-being. 

How long does an appointment last?

It depends on your condition and the treatment plan. Acupuncture treatment takes about 45 mins to 1 hour. As a new patient, you should be aware that your first treatment, with its careful diagnosis and interview process, may take as long as 1 hour and 15 mins.

Are acupuncture needles sterile and safe?

Yes. We use pre-sterilized and disposable acupuncture needles exclusively. Pre-sterilized acupuncture needles are manufactured, packaged, and shipped in sterilized containers to ensure compliance with very strict sterilization requirement.

How about Chinese herbal medicine?

Chinese herbal medicine is an extremely important and highly specialized component of Classical Chinese Medicine. Herbal medicine allows the individual to access healing on a daily basis while receiving periodic acupuncture treatment. It has over 2000-year history, augmented by modern scientific research. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is imperative to treat the person not just the symptoms. Therefore, herbal formulas are individualized and five patients with the same symptoms of headaches would very likely be prescribed five different herbal combinations, each directed to the specific source of the headache. There are different forms of herbs, such as bulk herbs, powder granules, patent pills, patent capsules, herbal ointment and tinctures, syrups and topical herbal patches.

What is cupping?

Cupping is a method of stimulating Acupuncture points or regions by applying suction through a metal, wood or glass jar, in which a partial vacuum has been created. This technique draws blood closer to the skin surface, stimulates the flow of blood, balances the flow of qi and removes congestions. Cupping is used for low backache, sprains, soft tissue injuries, and helping relieve fluid from the lungs in chronic bronchitis.

I am under a doctor's care. Will they approve?

Acupuncture does not interfere with your doctor's care. We may work in conjunction with your doctor to make sure that you are getting the best care possible. Some doctors are strong supporters of alternative methods like acupuncture and others know little about it. Rest assured, acupuncture will not hurt any program that you have with your doctor.

Is Acupuncture covered with Insurance?

There are some insurance policies that do cover acupuncture. It can be fully covered, or limited coverage depending on your policy. We will be happy to call your insurance company to find out for you. Acupuncture is not covered by Medicare. The good news is that even if your health insurance does not cover it, acupuncture does qualify under flex spending and health savings accounts (HSA).