Frequently Asked Questions
How does acupuncture work?
Integrative Medicine is a holistic approach to the practice of medicine that takes into account all factors that influence health in an individual, such as: body, mind, spirit, and community.
- Patient and practitioners are partners in the healing process.
- Natural and non-invasive techniques are used whenever possible.
- Patients are empowered with self-care tools and the ability to use their own inner resources to promote healing.
- A personalized treatment approach is used for each patients unique condition and circumstances.
Oriental Medicine also know as (TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eastern, or Asian Medicine is a distinct practice of medicine developed over the course of 2,000 years in Asia. Oriental Medicine adheres to a unique science and logic that recognizes the interconnectedness of the body and its organ systems in the maintenance of health and wellbeing.
Practitioners of Oriental Medicine are called Doctors of Oriental Medicine (D.O.M.’s) and are nationally recognized to practice this style of medicine in the United States. Diagnosing a condition in Oriental Medicine is based on visual inspection, often looking at a persons tongue to aid in diagnosis, listening to a patient and asking questions, and palpation of the wrist for an in-depth analysis of their circulatory function.
Treatment is given based on a patients unique constitution and may involve acupuncture, herbs, and dietary therapy to restore balance and health.
Many high quality studies across the globe support the claims of effectiveness of acupuncture and Eastern Medicine practices. Studies reveal that acupuncture specifically has been found particularly effective for pain management. For further information and a more detailed analysis into the latest evidence and research in the acupuncture field, see also: Acupuncture Scientific Evidence.
Acupuncture works primarily by increasing circulation and blood flow to specific areas, stimulating our body’s own healing processes. Modern research shows that endorphins, our body’s natural pain-killing and mood enhancing molecules are increased after acupuncture is performed as well as the functioning of our immune system.
Acupuncture also helps to decrease our body’s “fight or flight” mechanism and to enhance our rest-and-digest mechanism. When we are in fight or flight mode for too long we feel on edge, anxious, and have a higher resting heart rate with increased blood pressure. This state of hyperexcitability diminishes blood flow to our cardiovascular, digestive, and reproductive systems and can lead to disease states. Chronic stress, whether physical or emotional tends to keep a person in fight or flight and diminishes our rest and digest capabilities. This state of being out of balance does not fulfill the needed life sustaining requirements of the body. See testing for rest and relaxation with the ANS Analysis. Acupuncture when performed by a skilled practitioner helps to create a healthy balance between these two modes of the nervous system, thus explaining in a scientific way how it helps to rid the body of disease.
An acupuncture treatment is a very new experience for most people so it is not uncommon to have a few questions of what to expect during a session. The following are a few tips that will help make your first experience a breeze.
Allow yourself to relax
Although the notion of having needles inserted for healing and relaxation is a bit counter-intuitive we promise it really does feel good to receive acupuncture. Rest assured that you will be in a soothing, safe, healing environment and your physician is going to be doing everything possible to make the process comfortable and enjoyable.
Have a bite to eat
Acupuncture is known for moving circulation which can affect your blood sugar level so make sure to eat something, even a little bit, prior to receiving acupuncture treatment. This will help ensure that your blood sugar level stays balanced throughout the visit.
Wear comfortable clothing
Your attire should be something you feel comfortable in and that allows for easy access to different parts of your body. Depending on your individual treatment your acupuncturist may choose to needle areas that may require you to wear loose fitting clothing. In general, athletic clothing seems to work the best although it’s certainly not required for treatment.
Acupuncture is safe
Acupuncture is an extremely safe procedure and rest assured that you will be getting new, sealed & sterilized needles. The sensation of acupuncture is relatively pain free and virtually side-effect free. Remember to take a deep breath and enjoy the treatment. Don’t worry, what you are about to experience is perfectly safe and many find it completely enjoyable.
Acupuncture is not an instant fix
True healing takes time and dedication. You may feel results soon after the first treatment, or you may need treatments for weeks, months, or even years to achieve the results that you desire. It is typical that you will feel positive changes during your first few weeks of acupuncture treatment. This is encouraging and lets the physician know that the process is working.
Every person, condition, and circumstance is unique and individual. What may take one person a matter of weeks to resolve can take another a much longer time. This variance has to do with many factors, such as: a persons overall health at the time of treatment, their lifestyle, diet and nutrition, and hereditary variables.
Treatments at our facility are synergistically combined in a way to achieve a therapeutic response as quickly as possible. For instance, massage when combined with acupuncture alleviates much of the discomfort of the needling process and enhances therapeutic outcomes, and nutrition and lifestyle modifications when used with acupuncture provide for better and longer lasting outcomes.
A treatment plan with our recommendations will be given during your initial examination. This will help to determine the most accurate timeframe for your health to improve.
Many insurance companies will cover services rendered by a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Medically necessary treatment, such as acute and chronic pain syndromes may be reimbursed for acupuncture and/or physical medicine rendered. Additionally, routine office visits in the form of Primary Care may be covered on certain policies.
Please use our online form or call our office to verify your insurance benefits.
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Please note we are NOT able to answer specific health questions via this form.