Frequently Asked Questions

How old is Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine goes back over 3,000 years.

How does it work?

Chinese medicine uses tiny needles to access and activate qi (pronounced "chee" - most closely translated into Western thought as "vital energy"), which helps nurture the body back to health by healping resolve energy imbalances.

What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow like needles used by doctors. They are small and hair-thin and can literally be bent with your pinky.

Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it.

US FDA Regulation of Acupuncture Needles

In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the experimental status tag on acupuncture needles.The FDA reclassified acupuncture needles, regulating them as it does medical devices such as surgical scalpels and hypodermic syringes. Acupuncture needles must now be manufactured according to single-use standards of sterility.

Does it hurt?

People experience needling differently. There are different styles of needling. Acupuncture needles are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly adjusted if the patient feel's any discomfort. If any unpleasant sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy and biochemical responses in your bode in order to balance it. Often people describe their sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take great care to make my patients very comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment.

Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.

Do I have to believe in it for it to work?

No. Acupuncture works whether or not you think it will. Acupuncture is even used successfully on animals and children. They do not understand or believe in the process yet they get better anyway. Of course a positive attitude helps with any type of therapy but it is not necessary to believe in acupuncture (or to feel it working) for it to work.

Since positive expectations and belief in a particular therapy help to increase therapeutic results, I encourage you to raise any concerns or doubts you may have about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. I'd like to help you to better understand acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine so that you may have the most positive healing experience possible. You are invited to call me today, and I will personally respond to any questions or comments promptly.

How quickly can I expect to feel better?

In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 2-3 treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment, and may only need 3-5 treatments to resolve. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take many treatments to help resolve.

How often should I be treated?

Typically I treat patients once a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may want to do treatments 2-3 times per week for the first couple of weeks. The benefits of acupuncture treatments tend to hold longer as you receive treatments, so what typically happens is that my patients start to need to see me less and less, so after a while they come periodically for maintenance.

Does acupuncture always help?

No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after 3-5 treatments, then acupuncture may not work for you.

What should I wear for the treatment?

Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above your elbows and knees.

Please do not wear perfume or cologne to the clinic. Many patients are sensitive to strong odors.

Please do not wear heavy makeup during your acupuncture session; it stains the white sheets.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Please check with your insurance plan to see if your insurance plan covers acupuncture. Please call me after you verify with your insurance company that you have coverage. Co-pays and deductibles are due at time of service. Some insurance companies will reimburse me, some (like BCBS) will reimburse you. Some insurance companies (like United Healthcare) require prior authorization before the fist treatment. There are so many variables to insurance plans. Let's talk about your insurance coverage well before your treatment.

I will process an electronic claim form for those who have acupuncture coverage.

IRS Section 125 Cafeteria Plans or Flex Spending Plans cover acupuncture (excluding remedies and treatments prescribed by the acupuncturist). I will process the FSA and HSA savings cards

Does Medicare cover acupuncture?

  • Currently Medicare does not cover acupuncture. All I can say is "we are working on it." Please check out the latest information on the process from our national organization at www.aaaomonline.org.
  • I offer 10% cash discount to those patients covered by Medicare.