Will My Health Insurance pay for Acupuncture?
Some Insurance companies will cover acupuncture treatments. My office will contact your insurance company for you. We will also handle the billing to the insurance company. The best way to answer this question is to read your policy and/or ask your agent or employer. If your insurance doesn’t cover acupuncture, find out why not. More insurance companies are paying for acupuncture now, but if yours doesn’t, you may be able to switch plans or companies.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is safe and without any serious side effects, one of the reasons for its acceptance. The stainless steel needles themselves are pre-sterilized, and they are disposed of after each treatment.
Acupuncture has been used by millions of Americans and is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices, and rates them in the category of “safe and effective.” The National Institutes of Health finished a two and one-half year study of acupuncture, electrical acupuncture and microcurrent therapies last year, and published their Consensus Statement in November, 1977. The Consensus Statement from the NIH states that, “While it is often thought that there is substantial research evidence to support conventional medical practices; this is frequently not the case. This does not mean that these treatments are ineffective. The data in support of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same conditions.”
The complete document from the NIH may be found at: National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, 1997
Will acupuncture fix my problem immediately?
Acupuncture is not a miracle cure, nor a “quick fix.” Remember that acupuncture is addressing the underlying cause of a problem rather than fixing a symptom, therefore it takes time to have an effect. You may experience immediate results, especially if the problem is not too chronic, but you may not notice any progress until later in the course of treatment. It requires a trust and an acceptance of the process.
How does it work?
Contemporary Western medicine has developed more than 17 different ways of explaining different aspects of acupuncture effects, but no unified theory. The traditional understanding of acupuncture provides a unified framework for clinical evaluation and treatment (the channel system, five-phase theory, yin/yang theory). Western and Chinese medicine agree on the fact that it really works, and that formal studies, using techniques ranging from blood serum analysis to MRI, have documented acupuncture’s efficacy in ways that are compatible with Western scientific methodology. The outcomes of many studies suggest that acupuncture is more effective when applied by a skillful practitioner using traditional theories.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, it is very safe when practiced by a qualified practitioner. Disposable sterile needles and clean needling protocols make the risk of infection negligible. With distal-point styles of treatment, risks are reduced to an occasional small bruise. Acupuncture, as practiced throughout North America, has one of the best safety records of any form of health care.
What does acupuncture feel like/does it hurt?
A pinch, followed by “qi sensation,” a feeling of warmth, or aching around the point, and often above and below it as well, along the course of the channel. Many styles of traditional acupuncture consider the qi sensation a prerequisite to effective treatment. Western research has so far supported this notion. Some people feel the insertion, some don’t. The sensations of acupuncture vary widely among individuals.
How big are those needles, anyway?
They’re not very big. The typical Chinese fine needle measures .25 to .30 millimeters in diameter, and 30-50 millimeters in length. Acupuncture needles, unlike hypodermic needles, are neither hollow nor rigid, and the tip is shaped to increase the patient’s comfort during insertion. It has often been stated that anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen acupuncture needles will fit inside the bore of a hypodermic needle; this depends, of course, on the diameter of all needles under consideration. Some Japanese-made needles are quite a bit finer than their Chinese counterparts. Interestingly enough, needle diameter has very little to do with insertion comfort; needling technique and needle tip shape are much bigger factors.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture?
Acupuncture’s theoretical models are not based on faith. Acupuncture works on horses, dogs, babies, and people in comas. Its world view arises from empirical observation, and the acid test for the validity of the view is the result of its application by skillful practitioners. Simply put: faith is not a requirement.
What will happen on my first visit?
Your first consultation may be longer than subsequent sessions. The acupuncturist needs to assess your general state of health, in order to identify the underlying pattern of disharmony and give you the most effective treatment.
You will be asked about your current symptoms and what treatment you .have received so far, your medical history and that of your close family, your diet, digestive system, sleeping patterns and emotional state. To discover how the energies are flowing in your body, the acupuncturist is likely to feel your pulses on both wrists, noting their quality; rhythm and strength. The structure, color and coating of your tongue also give a good guide to your physical health.
Once enough information has been gathered to determine the likely causes of your problems, the acupuncturist can select the most appropriate treatment. The aim is to discover which energy channels need adjusting for your specific complaint to improve, and which require treatment to boost your overall energy and vitality.
There are around 500 recognized acupuncture points on the body, of which about 100 are most commonly used. Stimulation of specific areas on the skin affects the functioning of certain organs in the body. However, those areas may not be close to the part of the body where the problem is experienced. For example, although you may suffer from headaches, needles may be inserted in your foot or hand.
The acupuncturist may supplement the needle treatment with moxa, a smouldering herb which is used to warm acupuncture points to encourage the body’s energy to flow smoothly Other methods of stimulating acupuncture points include using lasers or electro-acupuncture. Massage or tapping with a rounded probe are techniques particularly suitable for small children or for people with a fear of needles.
How often will I need treatment?
A traditional acupuncture philosophy each person is considered as unique, and therefore the number of treatments required depends on the individual. Some change is usually felt after five treatments. Normally you are recommended to visit your acupuncturist once or twice a week at first, although some conditions may need less frequent attention.
Sometimes the effects of the treatment are dramatic, and only-one or two treatments are required. With other patients, the effects are more subtle and they may need treatment over several months.
What conditions can Acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organisation states that Acupuncture is effective in treating a wide range of conditions.
Acupuncture provides drug-free pain relief and is very popular for treating painful conditions like arthritis, sports injuries, back pain, sciatica, menstrual disorders, headaches, migraine to name but a few.
Often people come for Acupuncture when they are experiencing increased stresses, lack of energy or simply feeling run down but may not be suffering from an actual illness or disease.
How should I prepare for my treatment?
Please bring all medication you are taking, Wear comfortable clothes, Avoid alcohol and stimulants like coffee the day before.
Ensure you have eaten something some time before the treatment. As Acupuncture uses the bodies’ energy, patients can sometimes report feeling very tired, faint, or weak if they have a treatment after having eaten nothing for hours beforehand. However I would also recommend not having a treatment on a very full stomach
Relax and look forward to the treatment if you have any questions I will be happy to answer them at the consultation.
How big are the needles and are they sterile?
Some people fear injections and as a result fear Acupuncture.
However Acupuncture needles are not hollow and they do not inject fluid into the body or take blood out therefore they are tiny in comparison to a standard hypodermic needle.
Acupuncture needles are very fine and hair thin in diameter. However they are strong, sterile, single use [used one needle per point and then disposed of], and meet European hygiene standards.
Is Acupuncture painful?
Frequently people will report a tingling feeling, a dull sensation or a numbness but not pain.
It is important to remember that if pain is felt, it is experienced when the needle is being inserted which only lasts for a second, and not for the duration of the treatment.
While the person rests with the needles inserted they do not experience pain, many feel deeply relaxed and sleep during the treatment. The Acupuncturist has trained at inserting the needles in a pain free manor.
Are the Acupuncture treatments confidential?
All information given during Acupuncture treatments remains totally confidential between the Acupuncture Practitioner and the patient.
Information is not shared without the consent of the patient.
How will I feel after my Acupuncture Treatment?
People react differently to the treatments; some will have more energy and feel pain relief the same day or the following day. Some people will feel a little tired after treatment – for some it’s immediate and for others it will be later in the day or the next day that they may tire.
I advise rest and relaxation, allow the body to heal and you will get better results. Some patients will experience greater energy after the treatment. Occasionally after treatments the patients may experience a slight aggravation of their original symptoms; this is not seen as an undesirable reaction as it is showing that the body is responding to the treatment. However in the rare possibility of the aggravation causing discomfort contact the Acupuncturist for advice.
Can I continue with medication?
Please continue as advised by your doctor.
As Acupuncture is a natural therapy it will rarely interfere with your medication.
However people taking blood thinning medication like Warfarin need to be cautious when using Acupuncture. This is why the Acupuncturist will take a full medical history to ensure patient safety.
Why is it possible for Acupuncture to treat such a wide range of conditions?
Acupuncture works by using the body’s own energy to promote self healing and this is why it can be applied to many diseases and illnesses. People will come for Acupuncture often when they are unwell but are unable to find a medical cause for their pain and discomfort.
Although it is always advisable to get a medical diagnosis from your doctor, Acupuncture can benefit such conditions.
What is Facial Rejuvenation [Facial Acupuncture]?
Facial Rejuvenation is a form of Acupuncture which provides a non–surgical and chemical free method of treatment for the face to reduce the signs of ageing.
The benefits of Facial Rejuvenation;
• Reduce the signs of ageing
• Increase collagen production
• Promote circulation, tightens skin and pores and improve muscle tone
• Help eliminate fines lines and diminish larger wrinkles
• Improve hormonal balance and hormonal acne
This is different to a normal Acupuncture treatment as it uses many tiny needles on the face and it is not suitable for everyone, especially people experiencing any problems with bleeding, bruising, thyroiditis, cosmetic surgery, migraines, epilepsy, hypertension, dizziness, tinnitus, or any serious health condition. It is also unsuitable during pregnancy, cold, flu and/or fatigue. You will not be permitted to have Facial Rejuvenation if the treatment is not suitable for you and medically safe. The treatment length is longer than a standard treatment and therefore is more expensive.