Frequently Asked Questions.
Here are some common questions about acupuncture.
How many treatments will I need?
Usually, a course of treatments are necessary to achieve results. Each case is treated individually. An initial consultation is required to determine your treatment plan. For acute conditions a course includes three treatments. For chronic conditions I recommend a course of five treatments. My goal is to help you resolve your condition in as few treatments as possible. Treatments are 1 hour long.
What are the goals of a treatment plan?
Depending on your condition we are generally looking for any and all of the following: Increased range of motion, decreased pain intensity and frequency, improved sense of well-being, improved sleep cycle, improved digestion and elimination, and decreased inflammation to name a few.
Do acupuncture needles hurt?
Most times the acupuncture needle will not be felt by the patient. Once inserted some patients may experience a mild tingling or sensation of fullness, along with increased feelings of relaxation. Occasionally, upon insertion there is a pinching sensation that immediately subsides. Less frequently, an undesirable sharp pain may occur, this is not optimal and the needle is promptly removed. Some people associate needles with their past experience with hypodermic needles. You can fit approximately 10 acupuncture needles inside the tip of one hypodermic needle. We use tiny, thin, flexible needles about the size of a thin animal whisker.
Are there any side effects to acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a natural medicine and the side effects are actually positive. You may notice a better ability to handle stress, improved sleep, improved digestion, and you may notice an improved outlook on life. While rare, risks involve bruising at the site of insertion, organ puncture, and nerve damage. For this reason, it is important to seek out a well-trained, professional, licensed and board certified acupuncturist.
How many needles do you use in a session?
Needle usage varies widely and depends on each patient’s constitution and condition.
Are the needles sterile?
Yes. We practice and are nationally certified in Clean Needle Technique. As per the state regulations of NC and TN sterile needles are disposed of after each use.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No. Veterinary acupuncture works on animals successfully all the time, which as far as a we know, don’t hold a belief system about medicine. Of course, the placebo effect can positively influence the outcome. So, if you feel positive about your course of treatment, that will aide in your recovery process, just as fear may slow your process down. Please speak with me about any concerns you may have about acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Read this recent study on placebo effect.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. It has been used for over 3000 years and has helped many people over time get well and stay healthy. All without drugs and surgery. The FDA approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that acupuncturists follow strict safety guidelines and use only sterile, nontoxic needles that are labeled for single use only. There are inherent risks when you treat people with needles, however acupuncture is widely considered a safe medicine.
Do you practice Chinese herbs?
I use external liniments, herbs, and plasters to help speed healing times for injuries. If you require extensive internal herbs, I refer to my colleagues who specialize in this area. I focus on Acutherapy– an integrative combination of bodywork and acupuncture– as that is my area of expertise.
Should I consult with my physician regarding getting acupuncture treatments?
It is advisable to inform your physician about any treatment that you are seeking and it is also important to have a list of medications and supplements that you are taking available during your first consultation. We regularly refer with physicians in Asheville, NC and Knoxville,TN where I am licensed and a board certified Diplomate with NCCAOM.
Will my acupuncture treatment be covered through my insurance?
Some insurance companies cover acupuncture treatments and they stipulate that the practitioner be NCCAOM certified. I am a NCCAOM Diplomate. In addition, a majority of flexible spending plans will cover acupuncture. It is recommended to call your insurance carrier to verify coverage. If you have reimbursement coverage we will provide you with a superbill so you may obtain reimbursement from your insurance carrier.