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?” Acupuncture needles are solid, flexible, and very, very thin (about the width of two hairs). There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. These may include slight cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild and temporary.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is widely acknowledged as one of the safest forms of medicine. Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Acupuncturists undergo extensive training and are regulated by the individual states’ medical board.
One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that it has virtually no side effects. Occasionally a small temporary bruise may appear at the site of an acupuncture needle. When compared to the laundry list of cautions and side effects for the average pharmaceutical drug, acupuncture is very low risk!
How often do I need to come in for treatment?
That depends on your medical condition. We will recommend a treatment plan for you at your first visit of either 5 or 10 acupuncture treatments. We recommend completing these treatments over the course of a few weeks to achieve the full benefits of acupuncture. After that, we recommend adding acupuncture to your regular lifestyle with several treatments per month. Many conditions respond more quickly to frequent acupuncture treatments, while other patients only need to come in once a week. Once your condition is stabilized, you won’t need to come in as frequently.
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 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 brings this about are unknown, but the effects are measurable.
Do you accept insurance?
No. But if you have health insurance that pays for acupuncture, we can 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. If you have an HSA or flexible health spending account, this will pay for acupuncture.