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Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

What will happen at my first appointment

Your initial visit is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. We will carefully go over an extensive health history, an evaluation of your current condition, and the development of a treatment plan for moving forward. We will also utilize traditional tongue and pulse taking to facilitate a TCM diagnosis, and go over any recent lab work or test results. Lastly, your first treatment will include an acupuncture session, and a detailed discussion about nutrition, recommended herbs and supplements, and lifestyle modifications if relevant. Please plan for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

How many treatments will I need?

While it is difficult to gauge the exact number of treatments a patient will need to resolve their issue/s, we do know that the more chronic and severe the condition is, the longer it usually takes to heal.  Short-term acute conditions, such as colds and flus, can often be resolved within one treatment and a few days of taking herbs and supplements.  Long-standing problems, such as chronic digestive issues or skin conditions, may take several weeks to a few months to fully heal.  In our initial visit, I will assess your recommended number of treatments, and a timeline for optimal results.

Do you take insurance?

We are not associated with any health insurance company. However, if your insurance plan allows for out-of-network acupuncture benefits, services may be partly covered. We are happy to provide a superbill for partial reimbursement on request. Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:
Do I have out-of-network acupuncture benefits?
What is my out-of-network deductible and has it been met?
How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
What is the coverage amount per acupuncture session?

How should I prepare for my appointment?

Please wear or have with you comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.  Ideally, you should not be too hungry or too full when you come for acupuncture.  Eating a light snack and being well hydrated is advisable.  Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine for at least 2-3 hours prior to your treatment.  Also please bring along any recent lab work or test results.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin and flexible, quite unlike hypodermic needles used to give “shots” or take blood.  Oftentimes, you cannot feel them being inserted, however at times they might produce a slight pricking sensation.  It is typical to occasionally experience a heavy or mild aching feeling in the area around an acupuncture point.  Please notify me if you are experiencing sharp pain, burning sensation, or numbness and tingling after the acupuncture needle has been inserted.

Are there any side effects?

Most patients report a sense of deep relaxation and rejuvenation after acupuncture, and can continue about their day with no restrictions. Occasionally, some patients may report feeling light-headed, dizzy, tired, or nauseous after a treatment. Symptoms usually disappear within 10-30 minutes, but it is always advisable to listen to your body and rest if you need to. Slight bruising or residual muscle ache at the needle insertion site may also be experienced.

When will I feel better after a treatment?

Your relief may be immediate, come on after a few hours, or may be noticeable within a few days. This relief may be permanent, or may last days, weeks or months. Depending on your condition, and how severe or chronic your symptoms have become, you may begin to experience relief after one or several treatments.
In rare instances, symptoms may briefly become worse or “flare-up” after a treatment. The post-treatment flare-up is self-limiting, and usually resolves within 24 hours. If you notice an exacerbation of symptoms after your treatment, please notify me for support about how to manage the flare-up.

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