1. What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the modalities of Chinese Medicine, a complete system for regaining and maintaining health in body, mind and spirit. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this non-invasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy. An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points on the body. This activates the body’s qi (pronounced “chee”) and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It can also improve overall function and well-being. It’s a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.
2. What happens at my first treatment?
At your initial appointment, we will discuss your current issue, your symptoms, previous treatments and your expectations. I’ll also ask a lot of questions about your history, your life, your health and some family history. I may do a physical examination of the problem area, or related areas on your body. All this information is used to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment. You will then receive an acupuncture treatment. The first visit usually takes 60 – 90 minutes and follow-up appointments usually take about 60 minutes.
3. How much does it cost?
Rates vary from practitioner to practitioner. Here is a link to the list of Services for Summit Acupuncture.
4. Is it safe for children?
Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If the needles are an issue for your child, there are other options, such as massage at the acupuncture points.
5. How many treatments will I need?
The number and frequency of treatments varies from patient to patient, depending on severity and duration of the problem, their constitution and the quality and quantity of their qi. Some people experience immediate relief; other may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Discuss with your acupuncturist what your expectations are and together arrive at a plan that fits your schedule, your budget and your health.
6. Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Insurance coverage varies from plan to plan and state to state. Our experience has been that very few plans cover acupuncture. However, many of the FSA and HSA plans do cover our acupuncture services. Medicare does NOT cover anything we do, nor does Medicaid.
7. Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, with no real side-effects, just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once and then discarded.
8. Does it hurt? What can I expect during the treatment?
The needles are about the size of a cat’s whisker. The sensation caused by an acupuncture needle varies from point to point, person to person. You may experience a “prick” (about like a mosquito bite) when the needle is inserted, then a vague numbness, heaviness, tingling or dull ache while the needle is in. Some people feel nothing when the needle is inserted. Others may feel a sensation of energy spreading or moving around the needle. This is called the “Qi sensation.” All of these reactions are good and a sign that your body is working to heal itself. After treatment, you may feel energized or may experience a deep sense of relaxation and well-being.
9. How do I choose an acupuncturist?
Today, acupuncturists have 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 in their State. You have every right to ask to see a State license or to ask about training and experience when you are choosing a practitioner.
You will enjoy your treatments more, and maybe even get more benefit, if you find someone who listens to you, answers your questions, and addresses your concerns.
10. How should I prepare for my treatment?
· Write down and bring any questions you have. We’re here to help you.
· Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
· Don’t eat a huge meal just before or just after a treatment.
· Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after a treatment. Ask your acupuncturist if you have questions.
· Between visits make note of any changes that may have occurred, such as less pain, your pain moving to another area, changes in the frequency or type of symptoms, need for fewer pain medications, etc.
11. What is cupping?
Cupping is a therapy that stimulates the flow of blood and Qi in the superficial muscles. It is used for many ailments including sore muscles, tension, neck pain and the common cold. In this therapy, the practitioner will place small glass or silicone “cups” over specific areas of your body, creating a vacuum to draw your skin and muscles up into the cup. The cups may be left in place or moved over an affected area. Depending on the method and location, you may have anywhere from a slight redness to purplish circles on your body. Both will dissipate soon.
12. What is gua sha?
Gua sha is another technique used to release muscle tension, tightness and constriction. A specialized tool is used to gently scrape or rub the skin over a problem area. Gua sha feels a little like a deep massage. This, too, may leave some mild redness that will quickly dissipate.