Below are some of the FAQs we encounter. If your questions are not answered below, please feel free to contact the clinic 724-774-8729. We’d be happy to answer any and all questions regarding the services we provide.
What happens in an initial visit?
For your initial consultation, we will need to assess your general health. We explore your health history and what your personal goals are pertaining to acupuncture. Prior to your first visit complete the new patient form that you will receive via email once you have scheduled your appointment. Part of the diagnosis involves looking at your tongue so if you usually brush your tongue, try to skip it the day of your treatment.
Wear loose, comfortable clothes that can pull up and allow access to the torso, arms, and legs. Try to arrive five to ten minutes early to relax and check in.
After the initial consult, the practitioner will step out of the room for you to undress to your level of comfort. Linens will be provided as we practice conservative draping for your modesty and ours.
The practitioner will then re-enter the room and start a physical diagnosis beginning with checking your pulse and looking at your tongue. We have a rather complex system in Chinese medicine that allows us to get an internal picture of your body by feeling your pulse at your wrists. The pulse we are feeling for is the same pulse in western medicine, but in Chinese Medicine we believe the pulse has 27 qualities, six positions to help us understand what’s going on inside the body. When looking at your tongue we are looking for shape, color and coat. The tongue is another way for us to understand what might be happening internally.
After the physical assessment, we begin by placing needles in specific places. Once the needles are set, we leave the room but will be back to check in periodically. After 20 minutes, the practitioner returns and removes the needles. In Chinese medicine, the needles are retained for twenty minutes because we believe the body circulates through the meridians (channels) every 24 minutes, so in a 20 minute session we are able to work with the whole energy system.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Some points you may feel more than others. Everyone feels different sensations. Usually, the feeling are quick and typically only at time of insertion. If at any time you are uncomfortable, be sure to let the practitioner know as it is our goal to make your session as relaxing as possible. Once the needle is in place, it’s normal to initially feel a tingling sensation, numbness, mild pressure or warmth for a few seconds before the feeling disappears. After all the needles are inserted, the overwhelming sensation of relaxation takes over and you do not even feel the needles in the body.
Do I have to undress?
You can undress to your level of comfort-meaning leave on whatever you would like and take off whatever you would like. You will be provided linens if needed. Often the only areas needed accessed are head, arms and legs so undressing may not be necessary.
How long do sessions last?
The length of acupuncture sessions varies depending on your condition. Typically visits are 60 minutes, although they can be as short as 30 minutes or as-long-as 90 minutes.
What should I do while I’m receiving treatment?
Relax. Try to lay still and enjoy some quiet time in your life. Sometimes after the treatment you may feel sleepy or other times very energized. If you have any questions or concerns always ask your practitioner.
Is acupuncture the only treatment available?
Treatments vary based on the individual and the ailment. Your practitioner will discuss with you a treatment plan that might consist of combinations of acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping and Qi Gong.
How many sessions are needed for acupuncture to be effective?
Because everyone responds differently, the number of treatment sessions may vary for each individual. This is one of the points that will be discussed at the initial appointment so you will have an idea of the anticipated length of treatment.
What if I am afraid of needles?
Believe it or not, the fear of needles is very common. The needles used in acupuncture are very thin. Quite often people do not even notice when a needle is inserted. A small pressure sensation may be felt when the needle pierces the skin, but once the needle is in the muscle there should be no pain.
Should I tell my doctor?
If you are receiving treatment from your doctor, then it makes sense to tell him/her about your intention to have acupuncture. Likewise, you should always inform your acupuncturist of any treatment you are receiving, such as special diets, exercises or medications, as this may affect your response to the acupuncture treatment. DO NOT stop taking any medications without professional guidance.
What is Qi Gong?
For more information, visit our Qi Gong page.
Will I get a bruise?
Sometimes bruising occurs, it heals like most bruises would.
What kind of education/background does an acupuncturist have?
A licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac)/Dipl.O.M. (Diplomat of Oriental Medicine) has over 3000 hours of training and has studied 4-5 years in school to obtain a proper education, degree and license.
What ailments does acupuncture help?
This is a very good question with a very broad answer. Visit our Common Illnesses and Chronic Conditions pages for more information. If you don’t find the information you are seeing on either of those pages, please give us a call 724-774-8729.
Should I feel pain or sensations after treatment?
Is it OK for me to eat before or after a session?
It is usually a good idea to eat a little bit before a session because low blood sugar could increase sensitivity to the treatment and cause you to feel faint. It is not recommended to eat a heavy meal.
What about exercise? Can I exercise before a session?
Prior to your session you can exercise as strenuously as you want. However, we advise only mild exercise within several hours after treatment. Eating too much or vigorous exertion can disrupt the corrective flow of energy that follows an acupuncture session. The goal in acupuncture is to shift energy into a new pattern so if you exercise intensely after a treatment you can actually alter the new pattern we are trying to create in your body.
How is Herbal Medicine used?
In conjunction with acupuncture treatments, herbs may be prescribed if appropriate to the patient’s condition. Unlike conventional pharmaceuticals, Chinese herbs are tailored for the individual’s needs, treating the root of the symptoms not only for relief of symptoms. Compared to Western medicine, herbs are much gentler and safer for they are made in nature and most don’t cause side effects. For more information, visit our Herbal Medicine page.
Do you accept my insurance?
We accept most insurance, but not all insurance covers acupuncture. Feel free to contact us and we will verify coverage – call 724-774-8729 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Verification of insurance can take up to 72 hours. Feel free to read more here.
How does using my health insurance work?
If acupuncture is covered by your insurance, we will bill your insurance company directly.
What happens if I have a deductible?
Every plan is different. Some plans have limited coverage before your deductible is met. When we verify your health insurance, we will discuss the information pertaining to your plan. Find our more about insurance coverage here.
Do I have a co-pay?
Most insurance companies do have a co-pay. When seeing an Acupuncturist it is the listed amount for a special visit. See more about insurance here.
What if I have a HSA?
A Health Spending Account is a way for employers to decrease the amount of cost for employees to have insurance coverage. The HSA plans have a high deductible meaning once we begin billing your insurance, if your deductible hasn’t been met it will draw from your HSA.
Can I use my Flexible Spending account for acupuncture?
Yes, you can use your Flexible Spending account for acupuncture.
Is acupuncture tax deductible?
Ask your accountant for the specific information pertaining to your local laws in regard to itemizing acupuncture. Acupuncture is seen as a valid form a health treatment according to the Federal government.
Are my records kept private?
Our office is digital. We use electronic medical health records in a secure and government mandated format that protects your information.