Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine that is gaining more popularity in the United States. During a treatment, very thin and solid needles are inserted into specific areas on the body. These needles stimulate both the central and peripheral nervous systems, triggering the release of the body’s chemicals known as endorphins and enkephalins, both of which have pain-relieving and immune system modulating properties.
Do the needles hurt?
This is the most common question asked about acupuncture because most people associate needles with pain. The good news is that acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a dog’s whisker, so they are virtually painless when inserted. You will usually feel a very unique sensation that can range from tingling to heaviness to warmth or absolutely nothing at all.
Are needles re-used?
Acupuncture needles are sterile and single-use.
How often do I have to come in for acupuncture?
This always depends on the condition being treated. For the most part it is almost always best to begin at a frequency of several times per week to get the condition under control. Strategically we then reduce visits to a weekly basis, then biweekly, etc. Once a condition has been controlled and no symptoms remain, treatments are done much less frequently. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. A treatment course will be determined during the first visit and reassessed after each session.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments depend on the length of time you’ve had the problem as well as its severity. Certain acute conditions may only require a single treatment and some degenerative conditions may require as many as 40 treatments. Acute pain usually takes fewer visits to resolve than a chronic problem. Usually, 10 visits will resolve an acute neuropathic painful condition. If a problem is structural, as diagnosed by a medical doctor, then the visits could easily extend beyond 10 visits. Chronic problems, including pain, whether neuropathic or structural, can sometimes take up to 32 visits over a 4 or 5 month period.
Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant?
Yes. It is important to inform your acupuncturist if you are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant.
Will my insurance cover my treatments?
An invoice of services known as a superbill can be provided upon request to submit to your insurance directly for reimbursement.
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