Here are the most frequently asked questions about Acupuncture, our clinic’s insurance information, and the details of Traditional Chinese Medicine. If your question about acupuncture treatment is not listed below, feel free to contact us to get clarification!
FAQs about Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
What is TCM?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a broad range of medicine practices sharing common concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage (tui na), exercise (qigong), and dietary therapy.
What is acupuncture good for?
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Just like modern western medicine, we can treat a variety of conditions and illnesses. Below are just some of the health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:
What will my insurance cover?
Insurance coverage varies from state to state. It is your responsibility to contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. However, here are a few questions to ask that will help that process:
- Will my plan cover acupuncture?
- How many visits per calendar year?
- Do I need a referral?
- Do I have a co-pay?
- Do I have a deductible?
- If yes, has it been met?
Why do you suggest herbs?
Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build, and support the body, or clear any excess problems like a cold, fever, or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.
About Acupuncture vs Dry-Needling
Acupuncture is a complementary medical practice rooted in traditional Chinese medicine that entails stimulating certain points on the body – most often with a needle penetrating the skin – to alleviate pain and most importantly help treat various health conditions. This training is attained through an extensive and comprehensive four-year graduate program at nationally certified schools.
Dry needling is a technique employed by some physical therapists and chiropractors where the amount of training required to practice this form of treatment is approximately 54 hours. Dry needling is where a needle is pushed into the skin/muscle and then pulled back out several times. This can result in only temporary relief and even the worsening of symptoms. In the long run, this form of treatment is not only less effective, but can be more painful and result in bleeding at the place where the needle was pushed in and even bruising.
The primary difference between acupuncture and dry needling (besides the length of training and education) is that acupuncture treats for the purpose of altering the flow of Qi (or energy) along traditional Chinese meridians to get actual long term results for a large variety of health conditions. Individuals practicing Dry needling, only follow recommended “point” locations and dosages for the treatment of a limited set of specific conditions related to the tissue within muscles.
What is Qi?
At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain, and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive treatment method to help millions of people become well and stay well.
Acupuncture promotes natural healing. It can enhance recuperative power and immunity, support physical and emotional health, and improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless, and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
Number of acupuncture treatments?
The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal tune ups.
Is this safe for children?
Yes. In some instances, children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points instead. This is called acupressure or tuina.
Are Acupuncturists Educated?
Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state. Acupuncturists are specialized practitioners that focus on the health and well-being of the patient and give them quality results through actual acupuncture and Chinese medicinal treatments.
How to prepare for 1st visit
- Write down and bring any questions you have about acupuncture. We are here to help you.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
- Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.
- Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs, or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
- Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
- Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
How is Qi disrupted?
Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are fourteen main meridians inside the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs and glands.
Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants, and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue, and muscle in the body.
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs, and glands.
This creates an imbalance within your body’s system that causes a chain reaction of issues to surface. Physical and emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, accidents, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi.
Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being. However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.
Acupuncturists locate and diagnose the root cause is within your body that is blocking the flow of blood and Qi. They then use Chinese medicinal methods such as acupuncture to help unblock and reroute the flow to the affected area. So instead of treating the symptoms of an individual’s condition, they target the problem and re-correct it for longer-lasting results.