Questions and Answers

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is relatively painless.  Most people do not feel the needles when they are inserted, however some may experience a small discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin, it may be followed by a dull ache or tingling sensation.

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes. We use sterile needles that are discarded after each use.  This eliminates the risk of blood borne diseases.

 

How does acupuncture work?

By maintaining and restoring balance in our bodies which are made up of energy that flows in patterns of electricity. Our cells and tissues conduct and transfer this energy by protein molecules.

 

Eastern thought is that every organism is made up of energy.  The Chinese refer to this energy as Qi which flows through the body along channels or meridians.  Disease and pain occur when these channels become blocked.  The insertions of acupuncture needles help clear the blocked energy and restore balance to are body.

 

Western thought is that the insertion of the acupuncture needles stimulates sensory receptors that stimulate the nervous system to transmit impulses to the hypothalamus.  The main function of the hypothalamus is to maintain homeostasis.  It does this by regulating hormones and neurotransmitters, digestion, heart rate, and blood pressure to name a few.

 

What should I expect during treatment?

The acupuncture needles are placed in various places from head to toe.  Most patients find the experience very relaxing and some even fall asleep.

 

How will I feel after?

You may feel very calm after your treatment; some people may even feel tired or sleepy.

 

What if I am afraid of needles?

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin (about the size of a hair.  They are bendable, solid, and the tip of the needle is smooth.  They are designed not to cause tissue damage.  The hypodermic needles that people are accustomed to are firm, hollow, and the tips are serrated like a steak knife.  They are designed to cause tissue damage.

 

Let your acupuncturist know that you are fearful, so that they can allow you to take some deep breaths between needle insertions.  After the first couple of needles, most patients relax and have no problem.

 

How often should I come?

Most conditions require an average of 6 to 12 treatments, although some will respond well within 4 to 6 visits and others may require a longer series.  This depends on the severity and the chronic nature of the chief complaint.  For best results, it is recommended that you have 2 treatments per week for the first few weeks.

 

How long does a session last?

The first visit is about 60 to 90 minutes with follow up visits from 45 to 60 minutes.

 

What does it cost?

The initial visits for acupuncture averages between $75 and $125 for first time history and treatment and between $60 and $80 for follow up treatments.

 

Does my insurance cover acupuncture?

Some insurance companies do have policies that cover acupuncture.  You can find out if your insurance provides acupuncture benefits by calling your insurance company’s member services number located on the back of your card.  Most HSA accounts may be used for acupuncture.