How does acupuncture work?
In Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by balancing the body’s Qi. Qi can be described as a form of bioenergy 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.
The most frequently asked questions from patients include:
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 give the painful sensation is because they’re very, very thin in comparison to the hypodermic needles used to give injections. Forty acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of one standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle.
There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, which are known as De Qi (pronounced “Te-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 is very 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.
Do I have to believe in it for it to work? Does acupuncture always work?
Acupuncture and herbs work whether you believe in them or not. Good results are seen in the majority of cases. When all other treatment methods have failed, this indicates a systematic imbalance – exactly what acupuncture and herbs excel at treating.
What Should I Expect On My First Visit?
During your first office visit, we ask a lot of questions. In addition, well-trained acupuncturists glance through your energy field and can identify major causes of blockages. 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 specific symptoms you may have.
After initial diagnosis session, an acupuncture treatment quickly follows. Initial visit lasts about an hour and a half including an acupuncture treatment.
How often would I need to come in for treatment?
Typically acupuncture treatments are given once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, treatments may be given 2-3 times per week until the condition starts to come under control. The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Some insurers cover acupuncture. You can usually find out by calling the number on your insurance card. We provide a “superbill” that provides all the information you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is a standardized form which insurers expect.