ACUPUNCTURE FAQs

How does acupuncture work?

This highly effective system of medicine 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 not moving well, imbalance begins to surface in the form of specific symptoms. 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 of chi energy, help restore harmony. In the presence of this subtle yet profound intervention, symptoms often resolve and patients frequently experience renewed vitality.

How frequently do I need to come to benefit from treatment?

The frequency of treatments varies with each individual. It is best for you to come in for at least 4-6 weekly visits in the beginning in order to achieve optimal results. After those treatments, together we will discuss the frequency necessary for your individual course of continued treatment. Many patients continue to get regular acupuncture treatments for general well-being even after their symptoms have resolved.

Do I have to be ill to benefit from acupuncture?

Absolutely not. Acupuncture was originally developed thousands of years ago as a way to maintain good health and well-being, not just to heal illnesses. 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.

Are there different styles of acupuncture?

There are many styles of acupuncture. The primary distinction exists within the diagnostic process and the corresponding treatment planning process. Relying on natural laws, acupuncture recognizes that the health of a person’s entire body, mind and spirit must be taken into account in order to fully diagnose the cause of an illness. Only then can the most effective help be offered so that people can regain their balance and health on all levels. This is one of the safest, most comprehensive and far- reaching systems of healing in the world.

Are the needles safe?

Yes. The needles used are extremely thin, about the thickness of two human hairs. The needles are sterile, individually packaged and disposed of after each use. This eliminates any risk of disease transmission.

Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

A significant number of insurance companies now reimburse for acupuncture treatments. Consult your insurer for the terms of coverage on your policy. You will want to ask your insurance company what their “acupuncture benefit” is.

Payment is due at the time of service however, our office will be happy to provide you with a medical receipt.  Beginning in September 2015, we will also be able to immediately submit your claim electronically to your insurance carrier so that you will be reimbursed more quickly!

Why should you choose a National Board Certified Acupuncturist?

Comprehensive training in traditional differential diagnosis and proper treatment methods requires that a Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) completes three to four academic years of education at the masters degree level in an acupuncture program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM).  In  addition to graduation from an ACAOM accredited program, a Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM) must demonstrate professional competency by passing the certification examination in Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Biomedicine.  The NCCAOM Diplomate training and competency verification is in sharp contrast to the acupuncture training of other healthcare professions such as chiropractors or registered nurses or even medical doctors who typically receive 100-300 hours of abbreviated training. Board certified (and licensed) acupuncturists are also trained in standard medical history gathering, safety and ethics, and recognition of when to refer patients to other heath care professionals or consult with other medical practitioners.

(reprinted from NCCAOM’s acupuncture brochure 2009)