FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a system of medicine developed over the last 5,000 years in China and other Asian countries. The acupuncture practitioner uses slender, filament-like needles to treat selected acupuncture points on the body.
How does acupuncture work?
Vital energy, known as “Qi” (pronounced “chee”), circulates throughout the body on 12 main pathways, called meridians. When the qi is flowing smoothly and in a balanced way in all the meridians, all aspects of the body, mind & spirit function well, and the body takes good care of itself. When the qi is not moving in a smooth & balanced way, symptoms arise.
The acupuncture practitioner gently inserts fine needles in precise acupuncture points to help the Qi return to its smooth & balanced flow.
Who can benefit from acupuncture?
Acupuncture is beneficial for all sorts of people. For people who are generally health, acupuncture can help you to maintain that balance, reduce the frequency of minor illnesses and allow you to recover more quickly when you do get sick. It is a powerful source of support in times of transition & growth. For people with chronic conditions, acupuncture can help reduce the severity of symptoms, including pain, and help you cope with your condition better. For people with life-threatening illness, acupuncture can help you maintain your spirits, improve the quality of your life and reduce the negative side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and other powerful medications.
What conditions can acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization in 1979, listed numerous conditions which lend themselves to treatment by acupuncture, including:
- Gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel, ulcers, indigestion, gastritis;
- Urinary & gynecological issues, such as incontinence, fibroids, sexual dysfunction, irregular or painful menstruation, infertility, morning sickness;
- Respiratory problems, such as sinusitis, asthma, allergies, tinnitus;
- Circulatory issues, such as hypertension, angina, arteriosclerosis, varicose veins.
- Psychological concerns, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, stress;
- Bones, Muscles, Joints & Nervous System issues, such as insomnia, headache, arthritis, dizziness, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, sciatica, tendonitis, post-operative pain, fibromyalgia.
Does acupuncture hurt?
The sensation experienced when an acupuncture point is needled varies from one person to another and from one point to another. Often the patient feels nothing at all. Sometimes there is a brief ache, pinch, or tingling. These sensations generally last only a few seconds.
Are the needles safe?
Yes. We use only pre-sterilized disposable needles and standard procedures developed by the professional to prevent any infections.
Are there any contraindications to acupuncture?
No. Anyone, regardless of age or medical diagnosis can safely receive acupuncture.
Should my doctor know?
Yes. Acupuncture can work in cooperation with other treatment you may be receiving and it is best that all your practitioners have knowledge of your care.
What will happen on my first visit?
The first sessions lasts one and a half to two hours and is the time for your concerns to be heard and understood. The acupuncture practitioner inquires into many aspects of your life and health to assess how the balance and flow of your vital energy (Qi). You will also receive a physical examination in the Chinese tradition. You may or may not receive acupuncture treatment during this first diagnostic visit.
Subsequent visits will last 45 minutes to an hour and will include needling. The practitioner may supplement the needle treatment with moxa, a smoldering herb used to warm acupuncture points to encourage the smooth flow of Qi.
How do I prepare for my treatment?
Where comfortable clothing and eat a light meal an hour or two before your visits.
How do I get the most out of each treatment?
If you can, schedule your day, so you can take it easy after an appointment. Don’t plan strenuous physical, mental or emotional work for the rest of the day. Avoid consuming alcohol for 24 hours before and after each treatment.
How frequently do I need to come for treatment?
The frequency of visits varies from patient to patient. In general, the longer a problem has existed, the more treatments it takes to alleviate it. Often I recommend weekly visits for several weeks at the beginning of your care. Later we are able to space the treatments further apart. Often patients choose to continue to come on a seasonal basis to stay “tuned up.”
Are you a licensed acupuncturist?
Yes. I hold a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture from the Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, Maryland. I am licensed in both Pennsylvania and Maryland, and am a Diplomate in Acupuncture, certified by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
Some insurance plans are covering or partially covering acupuncture. Check with your employee insurance representative to find out about your particular plan. I am a participating provider with the Federal Employee Blue Cross plans. I do not participate with any other insurances, but can provide appropriate receipts for you to submit to your insurer.