Acupuncture F.A.Q. (frequently asked questions)

Do acupuncture needles hurt?

Some needles do cause a bit of discomfort and some are completely painless.  It really varies from person to person.  I would compare this discomfort of the worst needle sensation to the worst mosquito bite you have ever experienced, or, when you are frying something and a bit of oil pops onto your skin–this is uncomfortable, but can be endured by most people.  The size of the needles used in acupuncture are about the width of a cat’s whisker and are much smaller than any needle you have ever experienced.

Acupuncture needles are very tiny.
Acupuncture needles are very tiny.

Are there alternatives to needles?

Yes!  The Qi/Life Force/Energy can be stimulated without needles.  For instance, I don’t use needles on children under the age of 12 or highly needle phobic patients who have negative reactions to needles.  Magnets are an excellent and effective alternative to needles.  Their effect is a bit less strong than needles, however, they still work well and can be left on for days instead of the short period needles are retained in the body.

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Alternatives to needles include using magnets on points.

What is Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine good at treating/healing?

-Remember, Chinese medicine has evolved over 6000 or more years.  It has existed in rural and urban parts of the world, so it has developed treatments for anything from pain, infectious diseases, mood disorders, infertility, to wetting the bed at night.  There are even treatments in the classic texts for poisonous snake bites!  So it is quite difficult to nail down what if effectively can help with to a single concise list.  I have compiled a list of diagnoses and conditions scientific research has validated the effectiveness of acupuncture to treat (but it is far from comprehensive as to what acupuncture can treat effectively).  You can find that list at the following link:  Conditions Chinese Medicine Helps

I would also invite you to think of this medicine as treating the whole person, as opposed to how the predominating Western Medicine focusses on parts.  In our medicine, there is no separation…. no part is disconnected from the whole.  That being said, while you might come in for back pain only, your constipation and insomnia are also going to be addressed while you are here, because everything is connected in the whole.

Does my insurance cover acupuncture?

-You would have to ask your insurance company.  Due to the many different policies offered by each insurance company, it is impossible for me to know whether your policy covers acupuncture.  Medicaid/Medicare does not cover acupuncture.  And I have yet to find a policy that does, other than some plans which have “flex spending accounts,” that reimburse for out of pocket, alternative medicine expenditures.  I can certainly provide you with a receipt for this situation.  We make allowances for low income patients struggling to afford health care and will continue to do so as long as we are in business.  This is not an invitation to negotiate prices or pay me what you feel like paying; For more on our fee structure, please visit this link:  Fees for Services  We do accept VA patients through the VA Choices program and proudly serve our veterans.

Do you treat Veterans?

Yes!  We are approved to see patients through the Veterans Administration’s (VA) Veterans Choice program and are honored to be of service to our community veterans.