Here is an FAQ answering some common questions from people considering acupuncture:
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: No. Acupuncture needles are so fine that it takes 15 of them to equal the size of 1 hypodermic needle. Most people hardly feel their insertion, and report a feeling of relaxation shortly after.
Q: Does Medicare cover acupuncture?
A: Unfortunately, no. Neither Medicare nor its supplemental carriers cover acupuncture. Please call to inquire about our discounted rates for patients paying at time of service.
Q: Are the needles reused?
A: No. We use sterilized, single-use needles. Afterward they are discarded into a Sharps container and treated as bio-hazard waste.
Q: Is acupuncture inserted into nerves?
A: No. We avoid the nerves, as this would be quite painful. Acupuncture uses preset locations all over the body, called acupoints. These points communicate a variety of signals to the brain.
Q: Should I wear particular clothing for acupuncture?
A: Soft, loose clothing is best, as we often need access to elbows and knees. If clothing needs to be removed in order to gain access to the problem area, you will be given privacy to undress and a sheet to be covered with.
Q: How long are the acupuncture appointments?
A: The first appointment is 2 hours, to give us time to go over a very thorough health history. The following appointments are generally 60 minutes.
Q: How long do you leave the needles in for?
A: 25 – 30 minutes. We will dim the lights and play soft, relaxing music as you float in a meditative, blissful state.
Q: How will I feel after acupuncture?
A: This varies widely from person to person. Some people report a reduction in their pain symptoms immediately after the needles are removed, while others say it isn’t until that night or the next day that they notice their symptoms are reduced. Almost everyone reports that they feel very relaxed and calm after acupuncture.
Q: How often do you have to come in for acupuncture?
A: The effectiveness of acupuncture builds over time. It is important to have the first few appointments fairly close together, in order to build momentum—we usually advise coming in twice a week for 2 or 3 weeks. Then we drop down to once a week, and then space them out further, as needed. Generally we advise patients that for every year they have had the problem, they will require a month of regular treatment. Nevertheless, we expect to see some improvement of symptoms by the 5th treatment
Q: Does acupuncture always work?
A: The effectiveness of acupuncture varies, and depends on the overall health of the patient. A person who is physically fit, sleeps well, and has a healthy diet will most likely respond more quickly than someone who is in poor health. People whose symptoms come and go, or haven’t had their symptoms very long, have a better prognosis than someone whose symptoms are very fixed and have been going on for a long time.
Q: I am curious about acupuncture, but don’t really have any major health problems. Is it ok if I come in anyway?
A: YES!!! Ideally, acupuncture is meant to be a preventative medicine. Regular acupuncture keeps your organs detoxified, boosts immune function, and clears out any internal inflammation, which is known to be the root of all disease. We recommend acupuncture once a month to maintain vibrant good health.