What will happen on my first visit?

The first visit is devoted to developing a thorough understanding of the issues that caused you to seek out acupuncture as a treatment.  I'll carefully document your health history and other general health-related information to better understand your specific health concerns. This usually involves an interview and a non-invasive physical examination, including an analysis of the pulse and tongue. I will then analyze this information according to the theories and philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine and provide a diagnosis. The visit will culminate in your initial acupuncture treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments varies depending on the patient. Most patients should expect at least 4 - 6 treatments before reassessment of their symptoms. Often, complex and chronic problems require more treatments before a noticeable improvement occurs.  Although some patients feel the benefits of acupuncture after a single treatment, this is not typical. The majority of patients experience improvement after a few weeks.  If there is no improvement after six weeks then it may be time to end or suspend treatment.  For many, acupuncture is a “treatment of last resort” and improvement can be slow in coming or falls short of our shared hope for relief.  In these cases, the decision to continue treatments or use a different approach comes only after careful consideration and consultation.

Is Acupuncture Painful?

Acupuncture is the gentle insertion of thin, sterile, disposable needles into specific points on the surface of the body.  The needles are as thin as a human hair. When inserted, the sensation of the needle is minor and any discomfort lasts only a few seconds.  The needles stay in place for 35 to 45 minutes to stimulate the release of endorphins in the body, leading to a deep state of relaxation. 

My education has provided me with in-depth knowledge of human anatomy, safe needling techniques, and expertise in Chinese medical theory.  These elements combined with my years of experience provide a treatment regimen that is safe, relaxing, and largely pain-free.  I take special care to provide a comfortable setting that contributes to your ease and receptivity to the healing powers of Traditional Chinese Medicine.  

The sensation associated with the insertion of fine acupuncture needles is not comparable to the pain one may have experienced with injections.  Complications or side effects as the result of acupuncture are quite rare, especially when compared with many standard drug treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications and steroid injections. Acupuncture provides a pain-free and risk-free (and often more effective) way to treat these conditions.

What symptoms/health issues may acupuncture relieve?

  • Pain management—neck, shoulder, back, knee, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, numbness, sports injury, headaches, migraines
  • Women’s health—menopause, infertility, pregnancy care, irregular menstruation, menstrual cramps, PCOS, acne, uterine fibroids, incontinence, thyroid function
  • Wellness and health maintenance
  • Neuropathy and numbness
  • Prostate issues
  • GI problems—acid reflux, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Vertigo and tinnitus
  • Side effects from cancer treatments

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Under certain circumstances insurance may cover acupuncture treatments.  The amount of coverage varies from company to company.  Although not all insurance policies specifically provide acupuncture coverage, Flex Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts can reimburse your treatment costs.  I am happy to do whatever is needed to assist you in communicating with your insurance company or flex spending account documentation.