Frequently Asked Questions
Does it hurt?
This is probably the question I am asked the most often, and the answer is no. There may be a pinching, a tingling, maybe even a sting or an itch, but the points are never meant to be painful. A sense of relaxation and release is also common during treatment, and some people will feel energized and ready to take on the world, while others may feel like they are ready for a nice nap after treatment.
I hate needles, do we have to use needles?
I understand your concern, but the needles we use in acupuncture are nothing like the hypodermic needles used for taking blood or administering medication. Acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use, disposable needles that are thinner than a human eyelash. I’ve even needled balloons without popping them! That said, I also offer guasha and cupping, which are not the same as acupuncture, but lovely in their own right.
How long until ___ gets fixed?
I don’t like to use the “fixed” word because you’re not broken, and I’m not in the business of “fixing” things. Depending on the symptom, some patients will have instantaneous or overnight relief, while other issues may take a month or two, and really chronic concerns may take longer still. There is really no way for me to promise, because everyone’s qi works differently! Most patients see a lot of benefit by their sixth or eighth needle treatment, both in their main concern and in other areas of their well-being, sometimes in ways they never expected! It is not uncommon for a patient with a lot of concerns to come in just to treat their chronic back pain, and three months later find themselves not only with a vastly improved back, but also great strides towards living a life free of joint pain, anxiety, or a desire to smoke.
What are the costs and how often do I have to come in?
I generally charge $80 for a needle treatment, with a $120 initial consultation where I will do a brief physical and medical history, and begin diagnosis. We recommend weekly visits at the beginning so we can get to the root of your symptoms and really make some big changes. After six to eight weeks, we see how you’re doing and if we can space you out to every two weeks. My goal is to get you to the point where you are doing so well, you only need to come in every month or two.
If cost is an issue and if there is a genuine financial need, talk with me and perhaps we can work something out. I dislike turning people away for financial reasons; I am an acupuncturist because I want to help heal people who need my services, not just people who are rich.
Do you take my insurance plan?
While many plans do reimburse or offer some sort of flex plan, I am not currently in-network with any insurance providers. That said, I don’t feel right turning people away for financial reasons, and we may be able to work something out with a sliding scale if there is a genuine need.
But I love my doctor! Do I have to give them up?
Not at all! Acupuncture and complimentary medicine work best hand-in-hand with western medicine, and I would never ask you to do anything that would counteract your physician’s advice.
My friend and I both have headaches. Will we be treated the same way?
Very likely not. Acupuncture is an individualized medicine, and the cause of your headache might not be the same as the cause of your friend’s; it’s only natural to treat you both individually, and so you’re likely to get different points tailored to your individual needs. Furthermore, I treat you, not your symptom, so that means you might get points for this, this, and this other concern during the same treatment, while your friend is also being treated for that and that.
I came in for knee pain, but you poked my foot. Why?
The points we use for this or that condition are not always right where the pain is. The qi (energy) travels throughout the body, and while it may get stuck in one meridian at such-and-such point, it may only show up in, say, the knee. If I treat the knee, you might have slight or only temporary relief, or perhaps none at all, but if I treat the cause, you will see lasting benefit.
Who shouldn’t get acupuncture?
Nobody, really, although if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, please let me know. Acupuncture is a wonderful modality to ensure a healthy baby and a healthy mother, but there are certain points that we want to avoid using during pregnancy.
So is acupuncture supposed to be some kind of miracle cure?
Acupuncture is particularly good at a lot of the sticky little things that western medicine isn’t completely sure what to do with, and it can have amazingly good results for things that western medicine does have treatments for, but that is because acupuncture looks at the causes of your symptoms, whether those causes are lifestyle issues, old injuries and wounds that never resolved fully, addictions or habits, or energetic blocks. I will say this, however: people who get regular acupuncture need fewer specialists, fewer prescriptions, fewer over-the-counter medications, and fewer emergency room visits.