Frequently Asked Questions
Most acupuncturists do not bill insurance for treatments. We can however give you a superbill or invoice that you can submit to your insurance if it is covered.
Acupuncture has two main theories describing how and why acupuncture works and with the current advancements in science in the fields of biophysics, biochemistry, and physiology we are now able to understand the complex mechanisms of acupuncture.
Insertion of needles stimulates the nervous system releasing chemicals to either alleviate pain or affect the body’s internal regulating systems. It stimulates nerve fibers to carry electrical impulses back to the brain increasing beta endorphin concentrations.
Research has shown that there is a higher electrical magnetic field around the acupuncture points than in the surrounding skin.
Research has found that needle insertion activates pain fibers in the skin. These pain fibers trigger a cascade of chemical messengers, while sending signals to the spinal cord which relays information to the brain stem. Acupuncture can be seen as a bridge that is able to affect and integrate different systems of the body, such as the nervous, endocrine, circulatory, muscular and digestive. Because of these broad effects, needling can create profound changes in the body.
Effects of needling:
• Pain reduction via inhibition of nociceptive fibers
• Activation of blood coagulation and immune complement systems
• Enhances blood circulation
• Restores visceral homeostasis
• Normalization of vascular tone
• Reduces contraction and spasm of the muscles
• Promotes tissue healing (immune response)
• Normalization of endocrine function (Hypothalamus, Pituitary, LH, FSH Adrenal, Ovary, Thyroid)
• Normalization of neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline)
• Normalization of sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight)
• Normalization of parasympathetic nervous system
- Wear loose clothing with minimal jewelry.
- Avoid treatment when exhausted, hungry, extremely full, or after you have consumed alcohol.
- Wear minimal make up (we need to see your complexion) and don’t scrape scrub or brush your tongue, we need to see it in its natural state.
After your treatment avoid sudden temperature changes ie: sitting in a hot tub or heavy exercise. You may feel energetic or you may feel so relaxed that you want to rest. Honor your body and be sure to schedule your appointments to allow some down time if you need it.
During treatment avoid changing your position or moving suddenly. If you are uncomfortable, tell your practitioner.
Some people experience dizziness, nausea, cold sweat, shortness of breath. This often occurs if you are nervous. Inform your practitioner immediately so he or she can readjust or withdraw the needles.
Be sure to let your practitioner know if you feel an increasing amount of pain or burning sensation during the treatment. If you find your treatment unbearable at any point, be sure to speak up so your practitioner can make the proper adjustments or stop the treatment.
Most people do feel something, not necessarily a sharp sensation like when you get an injection. Acupuncture needles are about twice the size of a human hair and are fillform (solid, not hollow) since we don’t have to take something out or put something into your body. However, when you put the metal needle into the acupoint you will feel a kind of surge. This may be pulling, distending, tingling, radiating or a numbing sensation. Once the needles are in place the sensation subsides and you should be able to sleep during your treatment. During your treatment you may feel a mild humming or buzzing in your body. My patients lovingly call this their “needle nap”. Your practitioner will be sensitive to your needs and make you as comfortable as possible. Once in a while you may notice a spot of blood at one or more of the needle sites/or a small bruise could develop. This is usually minimal since the needles are so small, but please talk to your practitioner if you are concerned.
The acupuncturist will sit down with you and ask about medical history, likes/dislikes, sleeping habits, emotions, stressors, cravings, energy levels and when they drop and an array of questions to get an idea what kind of “terrain” your body is showing, dry, wet, deficient or excess. We will examine your wrist pulses (nine in each wrist) and your tongue. These give us clues as to what is going on inside your body. (Allow about two hours for the first visit and one hour for follow up visits). The acupuncturist will create a treatment plan for you based on all the information gathered in the initial intake. Depending on how long and the nature of the disharmony it could be a quick fix or it may take some time. Remember, Acupuncture is not a band aid, it works at a deeper level to correct, not mask the problem.
Oriental Medicine (OM) includes Acupuncture, Herbology, Moxibustion, Tui Na (Chinese massage) dietary therapy and exercise. The Chinese developed and understanding of the body and the specific pathways to all organs. This network is like a web which goes deeply into the body connecting with more superficial pathways. This explains why inserting acupuncture needles into the arm can affect the Large Intestine or perhaps the Heart. If one part of this web gets disturbed it impacts all the fine connections which creates this web and dis- ease occurs. The acupoints used in your treatment are like a prescription of points used for your specific disharmony. The human brain is like a computer, but more sophisticated than any computer we know. Think of the acupoints as a “computer program” Sometimes we just need a little reprogramming. The acupuncturist is like a computer programmer who makes sure that your computer is working smoothly.
Pregnancy and Fertility
- Improve the function of the ovaries to produce higher quality eggs
- Regulate the hormones to produce a larger number of follicles
- Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase the thickness of the uterine lining
- Relax and de-stress
- Prevent uterine contraction post IVF embryo transfer
- Reduce the side-effects of IVF medications
- Strengthen the immune system/Increase energy
- Improve sperm count, motility, morphology and reduce sperm DNA fragmentation
- Increase chance of conceiving
- Decrease chance of miscarriage
- Delayed Labor
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Feeling Tired / Sluggish
- Light Bleeding
- Dizziness and/or Fainting
- Yeast Infection
- Nasal Stuffiness