FAQs

Does acupuncture hurt?
Are the needles sterile and safe?
What conditions can acupuncture effectively treat?
How does acupuncture compare to standard Western medical care?
What are the goals of an acupuncture treatment?
How many treatments will I need?
What should I wear for the treatment and how should I prepare?
Do you offer herbal medicine?
Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on prescription medication?
What other therapies do you provide?
What forms of payment are accepted?
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
What is the meaning of the Singing Crane?

AcupunctureDoes acupuncture hurt?

No, when inserted by a trained professional, acupuncture needles should not cause pain. A mild, momentary prick is sometimes felt as the needle is inserted, but sometimes people don’t feel the insertion at all. Once the needle is in, you may feel nothing or you may have sensations such as warmth, tingling or heaviness. Most people are surprised to discover just how relaxing an acupuncture treatment is. Often people fall asleep during a treatment and enjoy a great sense of relaxation following the treatment.

Are the needles sterile and safe?

Yes, the manufacture of acupuncture needles is regulated by the FDA. The needles are extremely thin, no thicker than 2-3 human hairs. I only use individually packaged, sterilized needles that are properly disposed of after one use.
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trees2What conditions can acupuncture effectively treat?

I have had great success treating a variety of health concerns. While acupuncture is best known in the U.S. for its successful treatment of acute and chronic pain, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognize acupuncture as an effective treatment for many conditions.

While no therapy can help everyone, in my clinical experience, more than 80% of my patients experience significantly positive changes during the course of treatment.

(Please note that this is only a partial list)

Addiction (alcohol, drug, smoking) Indigestion
Acid reflux Insomnia
Allergies Irritable bowel syndrome
Anxiety Low back pain
Arthritis Menopausal symptoms
Asthma Menstrual cramps/irregularities
Bronchitis Migraine
Carpal tunnel Syndrome Morning Sickness
Chronic fatigue Nausea
Colitis Neuropathy
Common cold Osteoarthritis
Constipation Pain
Dental pain Post stroke recovery
Depression PMS
Diarrhea Pneumonia
Digestive trouble Sciatica
Dizziness Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Dysentery Shoulder pain
Emotional problems Sinusitus
Eye probems Sleep disturbances
Facial palsy (tics) Smoking cessation
Fatigue Stress
Fertitlity Tennis elbow
Fibromyalgia Tonsillitis
Gingivitis TMD
Headache Trigeminal neuralgia
Hiccough Urinary tract infections
Incontinence

To read the full (WHO) World Health Organization report published in 2003 click here.

To read the full (NIH) National Institute of Health report published in 1997 click here.
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How does acupuncture compare to standard Western medical care?

For many conditions, when acupuncture is compared to standard medical care, acupuncture often works just as well but without side effects. For instance, for migraine headaches, one standard medical care protocol includes using beta-blockers. According to the Mayo Clinic website, beta-blockers can cause side-effects such as dizziness, fatigue and weakness and also “affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels, causing a slight increase in triglycerides and a modest decrease in high-density lipoprotein, the “good” cholesterol.” Often times people are able to reduce or eliminate the amount of pharmaceutical medicine they take. Please know that any adjustments to prescribed medication is done in conjunction with your primary care physician.

Stacked stonesWhat are the goals of acupuncture?

  • To relieve pain and other symptoms by restoring the smooth flow of your body’s Qi (the body’s vital energy).
  • To treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction by strengthening your body’s organ, nervous and circulatory systems.
  • To help you maintain the health you have achieved and to prevent disease in the future.

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How many treatments will I need?

Each person’s health needs are unique and each person responds differently to treatment. In general, conditions that come on suddenly are resolved faster than those that a person has had for a long time. Often, a course of 5-10 sessions is all that is needed. Each acupuncture session builds on the previous one so you will heal faster the more frequently you are treated. Your health condition will determine whether you will need treatment once a week, twice a week, every other week or once every three months for maintenance.

What should I wear for the treatment and how should I prepare?

  • Wear loose fitting clothes that can easily be rolled up above your elbows and knees.
  • Be sure to eat something at least 2 hours prior to a treatment.
  • Don’t eat a large meal just before or immediately after a treatment.

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iStock_000008002501XSmallDo you offer herbal medicine?

Yes, I may recommend a Chinese herbal formula to help with your symptoms and your constitution. I often use patent herbal formulas that come as capsules or tablets, but your condition may best be treated by a customized herbal formula. I also offer high quality western nutritional supplements such as fish oil, calcium/magnesium, and vitamin D.

 

Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on prescription medication?

The medications you are taking will determine whether you can take Chinese herbs at the same time. On your first visit, we will discuss the medication you take and whether herbal medicine is appropriate for you.

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What other therapies do you provide?

To help you restore and maintain your health, in addition to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, I use the following therapies as needed

Acupressure: Using the hands, pressure is applied to acupuncture points in order to move Qi, blood and lymph.

Chinese Therapeutic Massage: Known as Tui Na, this form of Chinese medical massage and acupressure focuses on specific areas of the body in order to relieve pain and increase the beneficial flow of Qi through the meridian system.

Cupping: This therapy uses small glass cups to increase the flow of blood and Qi in the superficial muscle layers. A vacuum is created under the cup using heat or suction and then the cup is placed on a specific area of the body according the condition that is being treated.

Dietary, Supplement and Lifestyle Counseling: This is based on your individual condition and lifestyle needs. For example, I may recommend that you add or subtract certain foods from your diet to help you achieve optimal health or if you have a pain condition, I may teach you a set of stretches to do at home.

Moxibustion: This is a treatment that uses an herb called mugwort. It is used to warm acupuncture points or areas in order to accelerate the healing process.

Qi Gong Meditation: This is practiced to maintain your health through specific movements. Breath work is an integral part of Qi Gong as it regulates the body, restoring balance and calm.

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What forms of payment are accepted?

Payment can be made by cash, personal check, or Visa and Mastercard.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

I accept Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claims from car accidents.  Although I treat many patients who do not have insurance coverage, if you do have it, there are two options:

Option 1

I am a preferred provider for the following insurance networks:

  • Aetna
  • ASH (American Specialty Health)
  • Cigna
  • Great West
  • HealthNet
  • ODS (out-of-network)
  • Optum Health
  • PacificSource Health Plans
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Claims
  • Providence/Providence Preferred
  • Regence BlueCross/BlueShield

If your insurance covers acupuncture, I will submit the claim to your insurance company. Copays are due at the time of service.

Here are questions to ask your insurance company:

  • Ask if your plan includes treatment with acupuncture.
  • Ask if you need a referral.
  • Find out what your co-pay is.
  • Find out what your deductible is and whether it has been met.
  • Find out what your yearly acupuncture allowance is or how many visits per calendar year you are allowed. Most acupuncture allowances range from $500 – $1,500 per year or 10 – 24 visits per year.

Option 2

If you have a plan that covers “out of network” practitioners, I can provide a receipt (called a Superbill) that you can give to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please call the number on the back of your insurance card to find out if you have acupuncture benefits and what they are. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Ask if your insurance plan covers acupuncture and if so, if they cover out-of-network providers. If they do, you will be reimbursed.
  • Ask if you need a referral.
  • Find out what your co-pay is – with this information, you will know what reimbursement you will receive from your insurance company.
  • Find out what your yearly acupuncture allowance is or how many visits per calendar year you are allowed. Most acupuncture allowances range from $500 – $1,500 per year or 10 – 24 visits per year.
  • Find out reimbursement time – with this information, you can better manage your personal finances.

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What is the meaning of the Singing Crane?

My passion is to help those who come to me achieve and maintain vitality. The majestic cranes are the perfect role model. They change their diet according to the season and individual nutritional needs and these extraordinary birds also know how to relax. All cranes, young and old, engage in enthusiastic “dancing” and “singing” that is not limited to courtship. They often do it just for the fun of it. Perhaps these lifestyle habits account for the crane’s long life span– some live more than 20 years!

Please call 503-233-2549 or contact Cynthia using the contact form to find out more or make an appointment.