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FAQ’s: Medical Acupuncture

Acupuncturists diagnoste the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi  (chee) flowing within your body. Specific diagnosis may involve one or more of these techniques:

Pulse diagnosis.
Over 26 subtle variations in the quality of the pulse are felt at nine different positions on each wrist.

Visual check.
A person’s appearance, demeanor and one of voice, as well as the color, shape, and size of the tongue, provide an acupuncturist with vital clues about internal health.

Assessment.
By asking questions, information is gathered about past medical history, present health, lifestyle and emotional state.

Physical examination.
Palpation of specific areas and acupuncture points can reveal imbalances.

Acupuncturists are trained to find and remove the blockage in the Qi (flow of blood), which then allows your tissues and organs to heal. This sets the stage for the body to repair itself and maintain its own health. Good health depends on a balanced circulation of Qi throughout your meridians.

Acupuncture has an excellent safety profile. It is healthy, drug-free treatment for improving and maintaining your body’s health by using the body’s energy rather than any medications. Acupuncturists use individually packaged, sterile, disposable needles so there is virtually no chance of infection.

 

Acupuncture needles are not much thicker than a strand of hair. Insertion is practically painless. It is nothing like receiving an ordinary injection. In most cases you will not even feel the needles; other times you may feel some tingling, warmth, heaviness, or a feeling of the Qi (vital energy) moving up and down your meridian channels.  Most people find acupuncture extremely relaxing and many fall asleep during treatment.

This depends on the age, duration, severity and nature of your complaint. You may need a single treatment for an acute condition.  A series of 5-10 treatments may resolve many chronic problems. Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time.  To help reduce the number of treatments your provider may suggest dietary modifications, specific exercises, relaxation techniques, massage, and/or Chinese herbal medicines, all of which may help to increase the efficacy of acupuncture.

  1. Relief and repair. During this stage, the objective is to have you feel 40-50 percent better within the first five treatments. Your appointments may be more frequent, usually once a week or even more frequently in severe cases.
  2. Restoration and regeneration. As your body begins to heal and you move toward regaining your normal function and activity, treatments are less frequent, usually every 2 to 3 weeks.
  3. Realignment and revitalization. Once your health is renewed, you need treatment less often. Once the body is in balance most patients only need one treatment every month, every other month, or once a year.

Yes. Acupuncture can be used along with Western medicine, overlapping and enhancing the effectiveness of each system. This integrative approach is an excellent option to help resolve illness and sustain good health.

Acupuncture and Heart Disease
Acupuncture is very useful for improving stress response and sleep quality, decreasing tension, anxiety and pain, as well as promoting a healthy metabolism. It is therefore very helpful in reducing blood pressure and reducing accumulation of excessive amounts of substances like cholesterols, triglycerides, and glucose. Acupuncture stimulates detoxification of the body and purifies the blood by promoting healthy liver functions and increasing waste elimination through bowel movements, urination, and sweating.

Acupuncture and Stroke Intervention
Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in America.  Stroke survivors have to cope with various degrees of physical, cognitive, and emotional deficits.  In addition to medications and other therapeutic interventions in conventional post-stroke rehabilitation program, acupuncture is another valuable tool for stroke intervention.  It has been demonstrated to have the following beneficial effects:

  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Increase muscle strength and range of motion
  • Improve speech function
  • Improve swallowing mechanism
  • Reduce pain and spasticity
  • Promote quality of sleep, reduce anxiety

 

Acupuncture can also help with the risk factors of stroke to prevent recurrences.  It has been shown to promote general relaxation and stress reduction, lowers blood pressure, improves blood circulation, and aid smoking cessation. Time is a crucial factor in the degree of stroke recovery with acupuncture treatment.  Acupuncture has exceptional value in the first 3 to 72 hours.  It is recommended to start treatment as soon as vital signs are stable.  A typical treatment plan is as follows:

  • Treatment daily until patient is able to function independently, followed by
  • Treatment 2-3 times a week until near-full or full recovery

An integrative approach of combining both eastern and western medicine can bring greater recovery for stroke survivors.

Acupuncture points can affect blood circulation, nerves, muscles and the hormonal system. Acupuncture helps increase blood flow to the uterus, decreases stress, and can help ease bloating and other possible side effects of fertility medications.

Yes. A recent study printed in Fertility and Sterility magazine quotes a study which concluded: “Acupuncture before and after embryo transfer results in higher pregnancy rates.” In this recent study, the clinical pregnancy rate for the acupuncture group was 42.5%, while the control group was significantly lower at 26.3%. Acupuncturists have also noticed an increased success rate when patients have treatments 60-90 days prior to having the IVF procedure.

When you have a serious underlying medical condition, you’ll need to notify your treating physician that you’re seeking acupuncture. Included in your new patient packet is a form that shows the conditions that require your doctor’s authorization prior to your first treatment. Our staff can also help you reach them to ensure acupuncture is right for you.


We accept Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna and VA insurances. We do not accept Medicaid or Medicare, unless you carry a supplemental policy with any of these designated carriers. We also accept Health Savings Account (HSA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards and CareCredit.

To verify your acupuncture insurance coverage, please click on the link below and complete the insurance verification of coverage form. On completion you can expect an email response typically within 48 to 72 hours outlining your policy coverage. 


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