1. Is acupuncture covered by insurance, and do you accept insurance?
Acupuncture is covered by insurances such as United Healthcare, Aetna, Cigna, BCBS, and others. As an out-of-network provider, we do not process insurance. Nonetheless, we offer a super bill that patients can submit themselves for reimbursement.
2. Is acupuncture painful, and how does it feel?
Acupuncture is generally not considered a painful procedure, but the sensations experienced vary from person to person. Some individuals may feel a slight pinch or a tingling sensation during needle insertion, while others may feel a dull ache or warmth around the needle site. Most people find acupuncture to be a relaxing and calming experience, but the level of sensation experienced can depend on various factors such as the individual's pain tolerance, the location of the needles, and the specific technique used by the acupuncturist.
3. What is the appropriate attire for an acupuncture session?
It is recommended to wear or bring loose clothing. Although it is not necessary to undress completely like for a massage, wearing loose clothes that allow rolling up the sleeves above elbows and pulling up the pant legs above the knees is recommended. In some cases, the acupuncturist may provide a patient gown. The acupuncturist will strategically drape the patient to expose only the necessary portion of the body to gain access during the treatment while ensuring proper draping for modesty.proper draping, an acupuncturist will strategically drape you to expose a portion of your body to gain access during the treatment.
4. How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works by stimulating specific points on the body that are believed to correspond with energy pathways called meridians. According to traditional Chinese medicine, these meridians are pathways through which the body's vital energy, or Qi, flows. By inserting thin needles into specific acupuncture points, the acupuncturist aims to balance the flow of Qi and restore the body's natural energy balance.
From a scientific perspective, acupuncture may work by stimulating the nervous system to release natural pain-relieving chemicals, such as endorphins, and by promoting the release of neurotransmitters and hormones that can help regulate various bodily functions, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and immune system activity. Also, acupuncture is believed to work by initiating nerve impulses through the insertion of needles, which then travel to the spinal cord and result in the local release of tissue mediators and neurotransmitters. This, in turn, causes vasodilation, which increases local blood flow and triggers anti-inflammatory reflex responses. These mediators also have potential growth-promoting effects, which can help speed up repair processes. Acupuncture also has an inhibiting effect on the processing of nociceptive pain control mechanisms. One of the key mediators involved in pain control is B-endorphins, which also help regulate mood, blood pressure, and body temperature.
Several studies have investigated the effects of acupuncture on various conditions, such as chronic pain, headaches, and nausea, and have found that it can be an effective treatment option for some people.
5. How many treatments will I need?
The frequency of acupuncture treatments required can vary depending on the individual. While some people may experience immediate relief, others may require several months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions generally take longer to resolve than acute ones. It is recommended to allow a minimum of a month to see significant changes.
The frequency of treatments will depend on several factors, such as your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem, and the quality and quantity of your Qi. Based on these factors, an acupuncturist may suggest weekly treatments, biweekly treatments, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal adjustments.