Do the needles hurt?
Prior to their first treatment, many people do not believe that acupuncture can be painless. Different sensations such as soreness, numbness, distending, warmth and pressure may be felt, but the energetic sensation needles create differs from pain. People often comment that the feeling is unfamiliar but pleasant and relaxing. Acupuncture needles are very fine, about the size of a think hair. They are solid and nothing is injected through them. Over the centuries, refined needle insertion techniques have been developed which enable a skilled acupuncture practitioner to place a needle with little or no sensation.
How many treatments do I need?
The total number of treatments required to effect change in a condition varies dependent upon the disease: its severity, the duration of the illness and the frequency of the treatments. As a rough guideline, the maximum benefit is usually obtained after approximately six treatments at weekly intervals. Three more treatments at three month intervals followed by one or two occasional treatments may be recommended to prevent recurrence.
How do you give children acupuncture?
Acupuncture for children is virtually painless. As a pediatric acupuncturist Michelle is trained to use a special needling technique using needles so fine they are about the size of a strand of hair. For young children a rapid needling technique is used, where the needle is inserted and immediately taken out one at a time. Babies and children do not have to sit still for more than a few seconds. Michelle has treated many children for a variety of conditions including headaches, digestive problems, cold, flu, eczema, autoimmune diseases and for general wellness.
It’s understood that not every child will tolerate acupuncture. A child is never forced to have acupuncture treatment and there are several other non-needle treatment techniques that your acupuncturist may use to stimulate acupuncture points with out needles. Some of these therapies include micro-current electrical stimulation, laser, acupressure, or even the application of essential oils on acupuncture points. They are easy, painless and have a similar therapeutic effect to acupuncture.
Will my insurance cover the costs of acupuncture?
The office is happy to bill all insurance plans that have acupuncture benefits. If you think your plan may have acupuncture coverage it is encouraged that you call the office and give them your insurance information before your initial visit so my staff can verify your coverage.
What is the first visit like?
Your first visit will begin with an in-depth assessment of your condition and an initial treatment. The intake and treatment will take one and a half hours (1 ½), depending on your condition. Typical follow-up treatments last approximately 45-50 minutes.
During the assessment, you may be asked about things that you might not think are connected to your chief complaint, such as your emotions, sleeping patterns, and eating habits. Chinese medicine considers the whole person, not just one isolated symptom. When put together, the myriad of symptoms and signs you are experiencing reveal patterns of disharmony. Please bring a list of any medications you are currently on so we can add that your file at your first visit.
Although treatment will focus on your chief complaint, your whole being must be considered in order to develop the most appropriate course of treatment. Chinese medicine is unique in that it appreciates that illnesses may be identical, but the persons suffering from them are individuals.
After the initial intake and assessment, needles will be inserted into specific acupuncture points and typically retained for about 30 minutes. Soothing music will be played to help you relax during this time. Many people even fall asleep during treatment. In addition to acupuncture, treatments may also include heat therapy called Moxabustion (Moxa), cupping, electrical stimulation, herbal prescriptions, nutritional supplements, and diet and lifestyle advice.
What should I expect after an acupuncture treatment?
Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. Individual response to treatment varies.
Can TCM help me?Are there any negative side effects I should look out for?
Side effects are rare, but may include the following: feeling lightheaded, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising, residual muscle aches. Any of these side effects should only last a short time. Staying hydrated after your treatment will help to minimize these side effects, as will resting after your treatment. Any side effects should be reported at your next visit.
On rare occasions, one’s original symptoms may briefly get worse, or “flare-up,” after a treatment. A flare-up typically occurs later on the day of your treatment and should only last for a few hours. After a flare-up, your symptoms should begin to improve. In the long run, acupuncture does not make symptoms worse.
In some conditions, the body must fully expel a pathogen in order for healing to occur. For example, if you have a cold, acupuncture will not get rid of the cold, but it can help accelerate the cold cycle so your body recovers faster. If you are fatigued and beginning to get a cold, acupuncture can help your body fight it off. In cases of chronic pain, your original pain may improve and then unmask less obvious pain in the surrounding areas.
If you have any other questions or concerns feel free to set up a free 15 minute consultation with Michelle to see if Acupuncture would be the best treatment for your specific condition.