Answers to questions you may have about Acupuncture.
Acupuncture is an ancient form of medicine which is gaining more and more popularity in this country. During a treatment very thin, solid, hairlike needles are inserted at specific points on the body. The stimulation of these acupuncture points affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties.
This is the most common question asked about acupuncture because many people associate needles with pain. Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a dog’s whisker, so they are virtually painless when inserted. After insertion, the practitioner will bring the needle to the appropriate depth. You will then usually feel a very unique sensation that can vary from tingling, to heaviness, to warmth, or nothing at all. Each person’s experience is different. Should you experience any discomfort, inform the practitioner, and they will adjust the needles accordingly. All needles are sterilized and disposable.
During your first consultation, the practitioner will collect a complete history and detailed evaluation of your condition. They will ask questions relating to many different aspects of your life, not only the condition for which you are seeking treatment. The practitioner will then take your pulse, examine your tongue, and sometimes palpate your abdomen or check for tender areas along the blood vessels. The initial five visits usually last 1-1/2 to two hours including the treatment. Subsequent visits usually last about 1 hour.
Treatments are done on a weekly basis, usually three times a week for the first two weeks, twice a week for a month or so, and once a week after that. Once the condition has been controlled and you are symptom-free, the treatments are done less frequently. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the first visit and reassessed after each session.
This depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of the complaint. Generally from 10 to 20 treatments are adequate for the majority of chronic disorders. Some acute conditions may only require a single treatment and some degenerative conditions may require as many as 40 treatments. However, the patient has the right to expect that their major complaint will be addressed and treated in a direct and timely manner.
It is best to eat a light meal before your appointment so that your body has energy to work with. Sometimes a person who has not eaten will feel lightheaded or weak when receiving an acupuncture treatment. In this case, inform your practitioner immediately and they will take the appropriate actions. It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen, are accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the body to adjust to the effects of the acupuncture.
Yes. Because there are some points that are contraindicated during pregnancy, it is important to inform your practitioner if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant.
We do not bill insurance and are not in-network with any insurance companies. Many insurance plans offer reimbursement for your out-of-pocket health expenses. We are happy to provide you with a Superbill that you may submit to your insurance company.
Please call us at (415) 963-4453 or send us an email. We’re here to help you