What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the primary treatment methods of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It originated in
How does it work?
While there is no clear consensus in the scientific community about exactly how acupuncture works, research has found that acupuncture can cause dramatic changes in the body including the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers), stimulation of the immune system and influence on the cardiovascular and nervous systems. There is also a large, growing body of modern research showing that it is an extremely effective form of treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Traditional acupuncture theory is based on the concept that electromagnetic energy (also known as Qi) flows through specific channels in the body, nourishing the tissues and organs and providing the physiologic energy required to maintain life. This energy can be disrupted by such things as poor nutrition, exposure to chemicals, physical or emotional trauma, genetic predisposition, overwork and injury. When this happens, an imbalance or blockage of energy occurs, resulting in pain or illness. An acupuncturist is able identify these blockages through several diagnostic techniques and then insert needles at very specific points along the energy channels to reestablish the smooth flow of Qi. This process of re-balancing addresses both the patient’s symptoms, and also the underlying disharmony at the root of these symptoms.
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture needles are solid and extremely thin (up to 50 times thinner than a hypodermic needle). When they are inserted, most people either feel nothing or just a slight pinch. After that they may experience sensations of warmth, tingling or dull pressure. While each person’s experience is individual, most patients feel a deep sense of relaxation and well being. The needles may stay in place for 20 to 40 minutes and many people even fall asleep. For those who are nervous about needles, a non-insertive treatment style called Shakuju is also an option.
Yes! In the hands of a qualified, licensed acupuncturist it is one of the safest treatment options available today. Acupuncture is a natural therapy with virtually no side effects and does not interfere with any western medical treatment you may already be receiving. The needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and properly disposed of in a medical waste container. Needles are never reused. In addition, practitioners receive extensive training in anatomy and are nationally certified in clean needle techniques.
The number of treatments needed depends on the presenting complaint, how long the condition has been present, and the constitution and general health of the individual patient. Many people notice significant changes in their body after just one or two visits, but because acupuncture is a natural and non-invasive form of care, it generally takes consistent repeated treatments for the benefits to become more permanent. Some acute problems can be resolved in just a few weeks. More chronic issues may require weekly care for several months. Once patients are feeling better and have attained their goals, many choose to continue receiving acupuncture for maintenance or preventive care on a less frequent basis. Regardless of what your individual treatment plan may be, my goal is always to provide you optimal health with the least amount of intervention.
Is acupuncture okay for children?
Yes. I am trained in both gentle superficial insertions and non-insertive techniques that most children are quite comfortable with. They often respond very quickly and look forward to their next treatment.
Is acupuncture covered by insurance?Due to the increase in popularity of Traditional Chinese Medicine, many insurance companies are now covering acupuncture treatments. You can find out if your plan covers acupuncture by calling the customer service number on the back of your insurance card. While Blue Heron Acupuncture does not bill insurance companies directly, I can provide you with all the receipts and documentation necessary to submit a request for reimbursement to your insurance company.
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