Frequently Asked Questions

Acupuncture-FAQWhy would I see an Acupuncturist?
Many patients begin acupuncture treatment to find relief from a wide range of physical conditions. The World Health Organization recognizes the ability of acupuncture and traditional Oriental medicine to treat over 43 common disorders including; Gastrointestinal Disorders, Uro-genital Disorders, Gynecological Disorders, Respiratory Disorders, Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System, Circulatory Disorders, Emotional and Psychological Disorders, Addictions, Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders. Acupuncture has also been effective in treating other chronic and painful debilitating disorders, which have no clear explanation or origin. Many who are not experiencing dis-ease also seek treatment to maximize their wellness and maintain balance. The greatest reason to begin acupuncture treatment is to cultivate vitality and radiant health and to stimulate the tremendous healing power of the body, mind and spirit.

Is Acupuncture covered by insurance?
Insurance companies are recognizing acupuncture as a covered benefit. As a service to our patients we are happy to verify your insurance and as a courtesy we offer in house insurance billing to all patients who have acupuncture benefits. We currently bill insurance for patients who have acupuncture benefits with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Johns Hopkins, and United Health Care. Call us today to find out about your acupuncture coverage.

What should I expect at the first appointment?
Patients spend an hour and a half with an acupuncturist during the initial visit. During this time the patient has the opportunity to speak at length about his/her health concerns. This time is designed to enable the acupuncturist to assess the underlying cause of the patient's condition. This will be done through an interview covering health, personal histories, and a physical exam. Following the exam an acupuncture treatment is performed. The sessions are always conducted in complete confidentiality. In the beginning, patients are seen in weekly, forty-five minute to one-hour sessions. Usually after 3-4 weeks, internal harmony is created and the patient experiences improvement in their condition and enjoys a greater sense of ease in life, after 4-6 weeks, treatments will be spaced out to every other week, every three weeks, monthly, and eventually seasonally. This will vary for each individual. Please download and complete the Acupuncture Intake Form and for your initial acupuncture appointment.

What about needles?
Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, no thicker than two human hairs. The needles have no resemblance to a hypodermic syringe. The needles are individually packaged, sterilized, and disposed of after each use. Most needles are inserted just beneath the skin. Sensations vary from person to person, ranging from nothing at all to a brief ache or feeling of pressure in the area being needled. Some points are more sensitive than others. By and large patients describe the sensations as fleeting and the treatment experience as deeply relaxing.

What is that Smell? What is Moxa?
Moxa is made from the herb Mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris and is used in conjunction with acupuncture needles. The plant is dried, powdered and then formed into a wool-like substance. It is then burned on or above the skin to release its therapeutic properties at the location of acupuncture points. This practice is called Moxabustion. When burned moxa penetrates the acupuncture channels, increasing warmth, energy (Qi), blood flow, circulation, eliminating cold and the accumulations of fluids. Modern research has shown that Moxa increases the production of white and red blood cells improving blood and lymph circulation and is extremely effective for long standing chronic disease of the internal organs. Burning moxa has a distinct odor that patients generally report as having a pleasant and relaxing smell. The essential oils in the plant have a significant effect as a form of aromatherapy or medicinal incense. A large part of its healing ability is not just the warmth it provides but also the smell of the burning oils.

Do I have to be ill to benefit from Acupuncture?
Absolutely not. Many patients come for regular treatments to achieve increased effectiveness and enjoyment in life. Acupuncture can also be a powerful preventative measure to keep patients healthy throughout the year. In China an acupuncturist's job was to keep their patients well. Acupuncturists would get paid only when his/her patients were well. When their patients were sick they wouldn't get paid as it was looked at as if they weren't doing their job.

What do patients report after receiving ongoing Acupuncture treatments?
Patients report having less physical pain, improved quality of sleep, being sick less often and recovering more quickly, improvement of vitality and stamina, relationships with others deepening and becoming more harmonious, and reductions in long term health care costs. A recent survey of people who receive acupuncture, conducted by Claire Cassidy, Ph.D., indicates that they see their physicians less frequently and use fewer medications. In addition, over two thirds of those surveyed reported having avoided recommended surgery.

How does Acupuncture work?
This highly effective system of medical care is based on natural laws, which govern the movement of vital life giving energy, both in nature and in the body. This energy, called "chi", moves through the body in precise channels supporting functions of the body, mind and spirit. When the chi is moving disharmoniously, imbalance begins to surface in the form of symptoms like pain. To address the underlying cause of a condition, these symptoms are viewed in relationship to the totality of a person. The gentle insertion of hair thin needles at specific points along the channels, help restore harmony. In the presence of this subtle yet profound intervention, symptoms often resolve and patients frequently experience renewed vitality. Acupuncture treats the deeper underlying cause as well as the symptoms.