Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prepare for my 1st treatment?

  • Wear or bring loose fitting clothing.
  • Please do not come to the appointment on an empty stomach.
  • Eat a light snack before the treatment.
  • Do not brush your tongue that morning; we use the tongue coating as a diagnostic tool.
  • Please inform us if you are taking any blood thinners.
  • Accepted forms of payment are cash, check and credit card.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes before your 1st appointment to fill out patient paperwork if you haven’t done so already.

What can I expect during a treatment?

During your acupuncture visit we will perform a  full medical intake and health history as well as a comprehensive Chinese medicine examination of the tongue, pulse and abdomen. This information helps us formulate a customized treatment plan for you. An acupuncture treatment is included in the initial visit; Chinese herbal medicine recommendations and basic eastern nutrition advice may be discussed at this time as well. Other therapies such as moxabustion, gua sha and cupping may be incorporated into the acupuncture treatment if it is deemed necessary for your condition. Please allow 90 minutes for your first visit and 60 minutes for follow up visits.

Is acupuncture compatible with other forms of health care?

You bet! Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is special in that it easily integrates with all forms of medicine. Many patients frequently integrate other modalities of care including massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic, homeopathy, and talk therapy. Our goal is to provide patients with the care and support they need to improve their overall health. We understand that often the best approach is combination therapy.

Does insurance cover acupuncture treatments?

There are a growing number of insurance companies that cover acupuncture treatment. We encourage patients to check with their particular insurance carrier to inquire about coverage. We will gladly check to see if you have coverage if you are insured by Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, or United Healthcare. We can also provide patients with a receipt of services (superbill) to submit to their insurance for reimbursement. These invoices have all the appropriate diagnosis and procedure codes required for insurance.

Do herbs interact with my western medications?

In most cases, herbal medicine and western drugs do not affect each other.  Please inform me of any drugs you are taking, especially blood thinners.

Are there any side effects from acupuncture?

Some minor bruising and bleeding can occur on occasion, but it is rare.  Fainting can also occur in patients who faint easily, so make sure to eat something before the treatment. If you have a history of fainting please let us know and we will take extra precautions.  Other treatment modalities, such as cupping and Gua Sha, can leave marks on the body for a few days, but then disappear.

How long do the needles stay in?

In general, the needles are retained in the body from 20 – 40 minutes depending on the purpose of the treatment.  Sometimes the needles are left in for a shorter period of time and other Chinese medicine techniques like cupping, moxabustion or guasha are used.

Are acupuncture and herbs safe?

Acupuncture is extremely safe when performed by a qualified licensed practitioner. Needles are pre-sterilized, single use and disposable. Chinese herbology has been studied and utilized for thousands of years. Herbs are gentle and more natural than many Western mediciations and are safest when prescribed by a certified herbalist who can customize the formulas to suit individual needs.

Is acupuncture painful? 

Acupuncture needles are extremely thin. Occasionally there may be a fleeting sensation upon needle insertion, but any pain experienced is usually described as less intense than plucking a hair. Once the needle is put in to place, the sensation can feel dull, achy, or heavy. Most people report relaxation or a feeling of gentle movement within the body. It is important to communicate with your acupuncturist  regarding any level of discomfort during the treatment so they can modify it accordingly.

How often should I get acupuncture?

This question is difficult to answer because the answer varies from patient to patient. Generally, the longer a problem has existed, the longer it will take to re-balance the body and restore health. This timeline also depends on how severe the illness or injury is, how often you will be getting treated and what sort of things you are doing outside of treatment to promote wellness. This will be discussed during the first treatment.

How long is an acupuncture treatment?

The initial acupuncture treatment is 90 minutes; we will talk in depth about your health, lifestyle, foods and discuss your goals with treatment. There will also be an exam of your pulse tongue and perhaps the abdomen.  Follow up treatments last 60 minutes.