Header Image SpacerMarch 26, 2018
Find answers to common questions about acupuncture. If you can't find the answer you were looking for, please Contact Us.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years. It involves the insertion and stimulation of very thin sterile needles in specific points on the body to encourage natural healing and alleviate pain. According to traditional Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by regulating the flow of energy through the body referenced as qi. Qi travels through meridians and these meridians are accessed through specific points on the body, otherwise known as acupuncture points. Disruptions or blocks in the flow of qi is said to be the origin of disease and pathology. Furthermore, acupuncture is also about bringing the body back into homeostasis by correcting the imbalances in the energy of the body. Acupuncture can be used for a variety of conditions including emotional, musculoskeletal, digestive, and neurological.
Is acupuncture safe?
If done by a qualified and licensed acupuncturist, acupuncture is safe, effective and generally has minimal undesirable side effects.
Does acupuncture hurt?
No. Acupuncture needles are about as thick as a human hair. In fact, about 35 acupuncture needles can be fit into a hypodermic needle (the needle used for blood tests). You may feel a brief prick at the insertion site or you may feel nothing at all when the needles are inserted. This is all followed by a dull, heavy sensation that is very calming. Patients are often surprised how relaxing an acupuncture treatment is. In fact, many patients actually fall asleep on the table during a treatment.
How long is a treatment?
An initial treatment lasts about 90 minutes. It involves an extensive look into your health history and condition, followed by an initial treatment. Follow-up treatments last anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
What should I expect during my first treatment?
At your initial treatment, we will sit down and discuss your goals for treatment. I will go over your health history and ask you a series of questions about your main complaint and medical history. I will come up with a personalized treatment plan and we will begin treatment. I will have you lay on the treatment table and I will insert needles in specific places depending on your main complaint. I will then let you rest with the needles in for anywhere from 15-40 minutes. I may also do some supplemental treatments, such as cupping therapy, moxibustion, tuina, etc. More information on these therapies can be found on the home page.
What training does your acupuncturist have?
- B.S. in Natural Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh
- Masters of Acupuncture from the New England School of Acupuncture (3-year program)
- Licensed and board certified by the NCCAOM (National Commission and Council for acupuncture and Oriental medicine)
- Licensed acupuncturist in the state of Pennsylvania
- 630 clinical hours and 358 patient visits
- Clean Needle Technique certified by the Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM)
- Certified in Auriculotherapy by the Auriculotherapy Certification Institute
How should I dress?
You should wear or bring loose fitting, comfortable clothing to your treatment. Drapes and sheets will be provided if needed.
How should I prepare for an acupuncture treatment?
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before your appointment, avoid sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, and be sure to eat at least two hours before your treatment.
How many treatments do I need and how often?
Both depend on the severity and duration of your condition. The average treatment plan consists of 4-6 treatments followed by reassessment of your condition. Treatments can vary from 2x/week to 1x/ week.
When will I notice a change?
Most people notice a change in their condition after the first treatment, however not everyone does. Some people will notice a positive change in their sleep, digestion, or anxiety before their main complaint. Most of the time, if you haven’t noticed a change in your condition after 3-5 treatments, acupuncture may not be the best treatment modality for you.
Do you accept insurance?
No, we do not accept health insurance at this time, however we now accept some motor vehicle accident (MVA) claims. Please call for more information and to see if you have coverage. For all other patients, we only accept cash and check. However, we can give you your receipts and you can submit it to your health insurance company for reimbursement.