Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: The incidents of harmful side effects resulting from acupuncture treatments are extremely small. When performed by a licensed professional, acupuncture is safe for virtually everyone, including small children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Acupuncturists use pre-sterilized, non-toxic, disposable needles. They are used once, and then discarded.
Q: How long are the acupuncture treatments?
A: The first consultation and treatment will take about 1.5 hours, while follow up sessions generally last 1 hour.
Q: How often will I need to come in for treatments?
A: Generally, the more chronic an ailment is, the longer it may take to treat it. For example, chronic sciatic pain which has been bothering someone for years will take longer to treat than a recently strained back muscle. However, Traditional Chinese Medicine is generally fast acting. I tell patients that while each person is different and has their own unique experience of acupuncture, they should expect to see a change in symptoms after recieving weekly acupuncture treatments in 4-6 weeks. At this point, they may scale back treatments to every other week, and eventually to an occasional, as needed basis. Ideally, you come in once a month for maintenance and prevention.
Q: Is there anything I can do to prepare for treatment?
A: Yes. Try not to come in on an empty stomach, or after a large meal. A light snack before a treatment is ideal. If it is possible, do not drink coffee, smoke, or take drugs, alcohol, or caffeine an hour before or after a treatment. Loose, comfortable clothing is the best choice for receiving acupuncture.
Q: Does acupuncture hurt?
A: You may feel a slight pinch when the needle is inserted. Common sensations around the needle site may include a tingling sensation, a mild, dull ache or a mild numbness. These sensations should not be painful however. In fact, most people find acupuncture to be a relaxing and satisfying experience.
Q: Can I combine Traditional Chinese Medicine with my Western drugs and procedures?
A: Absolutely. Over the years, I have worked very closely with a variety of health care professionals, including Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Physician’s Assistants, Chiropractors and Physical Therapists. Integrating Eastern and Western medicine is the optimal approach in modern health care. Combining TCM with modern medicine gives you the best of both worlds to best address both acute and chronic conditions. Acupuncturists are educated in pharmacology and clinical science. We are trained to recognize any hazards associated with combining acupuncture and herbs with Western drugs and procedures.
Q: Does insurance cover acupuncture?
A: Many insurance companies are covering acupuncture treatments. It is best to contact your insurance provider and inquire as to whether or not acupuncture is covered. I can provide insurance billing upon request.