What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a healing technique it has been studied and utilized for more than 2,500 years. Using ancient scientific principles, acupuncture treats illness by bringing a person’s body into harmony and balance. Acupuncture therapy is aimed at naturally promoting health and alleviating sickness by restoring the energetic balance of the body. It is a holistic way of stimulating the innate biological intelligence of the body by creating balance in the flow of Qi (energy, pronounced chee).This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked. Acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from where it is in excess. This is achieved through the stimulation of very specific anatomical points, known as acupuncture points that are mainly found at specified locations along the meridians.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture’s effects are explained by how it influences Qi (energy). Qi is believed to flow through ‘meridians’ or ‘channels’. The word ‘meridian’ comes from the French translation of the Chinese term jing-luo, which means “to go through” and “something that connects". According to TCM theory, the body maintains a state of balance when Qi is moving smoothly through the meridians. If the movement of Qi is deficient, obstructed, or in excess, the body may be in a diseased state or more susceptible to illness. Acupuncture is used to stimulate points along the meridians to correct the imbalance. An acupuncturist will diagnose and treat the ‘root’ and ‘branches’ or the underlying imbalance and symptoms of the disease or disorder. In this way, acupuncture treats not only the symptoms, but addresses the root cause of the underlying problem and may also prevent further illness.
What can acupuncture treat?
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has been proven effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions.To view a list of conditions we commonly treat, please see our Conditions Treated page.
Does acupuncture hurt?
What does acupuncture feel like? For most people, acupuncture causes minimal to no pain. Acupuncture needles are flexible and as fine as a human hair. In most cases, insertion by a skilled practitioner is performed with a minimum of discomfort. A patient may feel a slight prick similar to a mosquito bite when the needle is first inserted. At times, a tingling, numbness, distension, dull ache, or electric sensation either around the needle or travelling up or down the meridian. This is a desired affect and should not be uncomfortable. Often most patients find the treatments very relaxing and may fall asleep during the treatments.
Is acupuncture safe?
When administered by a licensed practitioner, acupuncture is a safe and effective natural therapy that is used to heal illness, prevent disease and improve well-being. Professional acupuncturists are trained in safe needle insertion and are always aware of the body structures. Tiny, hair-thin needles are inserted into specific points in the body, where they are gently stimulated to trigger the body's natural healing response. Acupuncture needles are factory-sterilized and placed in sterile packets. Once needles have been used they are disposed of to prevent contamination. There is virtually no chance of infection from needles.
How many treatments will I need and how often will I need them?
The number of treatments needed varies from person to person. That depends on your condition and how well you respond to treatment. As a general rule, acute conditions require less treatment than chronic conditions.Once per week is the minimum treatment frequency during the active healing phase. For severe or chronic conditions, it is advisable to start with two or three treatments per week for the first couple weeks until relief is felt, then transition to the once per week. An “average” course of treatment consists of 10-12 sessions. After symptoms are under control, monthly maintenance visits are recommended.
Will my insurance cover acupuncture?
Acupuncture is covered by most extended insurances. The best thing to do is to call your insurance company to find out if your plan includes acupuncture benefits. Insurance companies are much more likely to cover acupuncture now than the past, due to increasing evidence that acupuncture works well and is a very cost-effective modality. Here are some questions you can ask them when calling our acupuncture clinic about acupuncture:
1.Does your insurance policy cover acupuncture care?
2.How many visits are allowed per year?
3. What is the dollar limit?
4.Will I need a doctor's referral?
5.What is my deductible?