Frequently Asked Questions
What is acupuncture and how does it work?
Acupuncture is a well choreographed "dance" between patient and practitioner. Your actions are a key component of your treatment plan. Focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take for your well-being and successful acupuncture treatments. Together, you and your acupuncturist can heal your imbalances and help you achieve harmony and balance. Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture can assist you in maintaining your health, and possibly prevent future imbalances.
What can acupuncture help?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends it's use in over 40 medical conditions. Some of them include:
- Asthma and Allergies
- Eye Disorders
- Colds & Flu
- Chronic Pain
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The National Institute of Health (NIH) also lists:
- Tennis Elbow
- Low Back Pain
- Stroke Rehabilitation
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Myofascial Pain
Will Insurance cover Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a tax deductible medical expense and many people pay their fee through their Flex Spending accounts at work. Insurance companies are finding it cost effective to cover acupuncture, although some insurance companies want a referral or a prescription from your medical doctor for acupuncture before they will pay for your treatment. Call your insurance company for more information regarding your policy.
What to expect
Your initial visit, or Traditional Diagnosis in the 5-Element Acupuncture Tradition, generally lasts 90 minutes. It is important that you complete your acupuncture intake form before you are seen for your T.D., as having to complete it during the service severely cuts into your treatment time. The form can be found on our website by clicking on the "Patient Resources" page. The form is also available for pick-up in the office.
During your first appointment, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. Katie, your acupuncturist, will speak to you in depth about your health history. You may be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional states and anything that may offer insight into your health. Please try and answer all questions as candidly as possible. We aren't here to judge you, we are sussing out the root cause of an issue in order to help create the best treatment plan for you!
During the visit, Katie will also perform a physical exam, and provide you with your unique treatment plan. Your practitioner will employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such as tongue and pulse diagnosis. It is important that your refrain from wearing any makeup, deodorants, and/or perfumes to your acupuncture treatments. 5-Element diagnosis is based on 4 key criteria - color, sound, odor, and emotion. Blocking these "clues to the real you" will severely inhibit your practitioner's ability to make a proper diagnosis.
Once the interview and exam are complete, you will receive an acupuncture treatment. It's important that you wear loose, comfortable clothing to your treatments. Sometimes, acupuncture points require the removal of clothing. Your practitioner will step out of the treatment room, allow you to undress and slide between the sheets on the massage table. Your practitioner will move the drape only to access a particular point or series of points and the rest of your body will remain draped.
Once your acupuncturist has gathered enough information, you’ll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:
- Your underlying imbalances
- Your time line of care
- What types of treatment you will receive
For the best treatment results, keep a few things in mind:
- Please show up on time
- Don’t eat a large meal before your visit
- Refrain from caffeine intake prior to your appointment, as it can disrupt pulse taking
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes
- Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your acupuncturist
- Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for at least six hours after treatment
- Follow your treatment plan between visits
- Keep all of your appointments, as each visit builds upon the previous ones