Q: What is acupuncture and how does it work?
A: Simply put, acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterile needles into specific points on the body. There are more than 300 main points. The majority of them are located along channels of energy, often referred to as meridians, which are connected to various internal organs. By stimulating these points with needles, acupuncture can remove blockages and restore vitality and the natural flow of energy to the body and mind.
According to classical Chinese medical theory, each internal organ governs particular aspects of a person's psychology. This means that the way a person thinks and feels -whether it is depressed or elated, agitated or calm- is actually a result of the state of her/his internal organs. The fact that acupuncture addresses this relationship between one's mental-emotional experience and the internal organs is one of the reasons it is often very effective in helping people deal with issues such as anxiety, irritability, and depression.
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: Yes. Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most widely practiced systems of medicine in the world. When practiced by a licensed, well-trained professional, acupuncture is absolutely safe.
Q: What kinds of conditions can acupuncture treat?
A: Acupuncture is a holistic form of medicine that aims to treat the underlying imbalances that cause disease. In contrast to mainstream Western medicine, classical acupuncture looks beyond merely lessening the symptoms associated with a disease. Acupuncture is primarily concerned with correcting the imbalance that is the root cause of illness.
Acupuncture also increases overall vitality and is therefore capable of helping the body heal from nearly any affliction. With the exception of serious acute injuries, acupuncture is an appropriate medical treatment for all types of disharmony in the body.
It is also important to understand that acupuncture is excellent preventative medicine. In fact, many people with no overt symptoms find enormous benefit from receiving regular acupuncture treatment in that it supports a much greater sense of balance, harmony, and ease in life. All people deserve to thrive at their fullest potential and enjoy a long, beautiful, and meaningful life.
Acupuncture is a great way to help make that happen!
Q: Is all acupuncture the same?
A: Definitely not. There are MANY different styles of acupuncture and many different approaches to treatment. Some styles of acupuncture, such as those commonly practiced in so-called 'community' acupuncture clinics, tend to be rather brief when it comes to process of diagnosis and treatment planning. Such styles also typically focus on issues that exist at a much more superficial level. Classical Five-Element Acupuncture, on the other hand, generally involves a much more in-depth diagnostic process and aims to address imbalances at a much deeper level.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: Acupuncture usually produces some sensation. However, the vast majority of people find that the pain is very short in duration, easily tolerated, and well worth the results of treatment. Unlike some styles of acupuncture, Classical Five-Element Acupuncture emphasizes very precise point location, which greatly reduces the risk of unnecessary pain.
Q: How often do I need to get acupuncture?
A: The answer to this question varies greatly from person to person. For example, someone with a significant level of imbalance in the body and severe symptoms may benefit most from consistent, long-term treatment. On the other hand, a person with just a few mild complaints may only require occasional treatment for optimal results. However, many people receive acupuncture regularly as an effective way to support overall wellness, with or without the presence of symptoms. For most people, weekly sessions are highly recommended for the first one or two months of treatment, after which the frequency of treatment is usually spaced out and eventually reduced to a seasonal schedule.
Q: How long does treatment take and what does it cost?
A: The first session, which consists of an intake examination and an acupuncture treatment, takes up to 2 hours. Subsequent treatments take approximately 1 hour. All sessions cost $90. (Please see next question for details)
Q: Do you offer a sliding scale?
A: Yes. While I strongly believe in the high value of the acupuncture treatment I provide, I recognize that many people struggle with the costs of quality healthcare. I do everything I can to accommodate people with financial constraints and will not turn anyone away over the inability to pay the full rate. Please contact me for details regarding payment options.
Q: What should I expect at the first session.?
A: The first session involves an extensive interview during which you will have the opportunity to tell me about the issues you would like to address. This time is also spent gathering the information necessary to make a diagnosis. Once that is done an acupuncture treatment will be given, after which any remaining questions will be answered and lifestyle recommendations will be made. It is important that you come to the first session wearing comfortable clothes and having recently eaten.
Q: Do you accept insurance?
A: Yes, but we do not bill your insurance directly. If your insurance covers acupuncture, you will be given an industry standard insurance form, called a superbill, to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. All charges are due at the time of service.