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Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions


‚ÄčIs Acupuncture Safe?

In the hands of a licensed practitioner acupuncture is a very safe, pain-free, effective, treatment for many acute and chronic conditions that has been used for thousands of years.

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Is Acupuncture Painful?

Acupuncture treatments are not painful. Acupuncture is performed with hair-thin needles that do not resemble the pain felt from a hypodermic needle. Patients often fall asleep and are in deep relaxation on the table.

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Are there any side effects?

One of the great advantages of acupuncture is that it is very safe. Other than an occasional bruise, there are no side effects.

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How does Acupuncture work?

Sixteenth-century Chinese doctors believed that illness was due to an imbalance of energy in the body. In acupuncture, disposable, stainless steel needles are used to stimulate the body's 14 major meridians, or energy-carrying channels, to resist or overcome illnesses by correcting these imbalances.

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Where do the needles go?

Needles are placed at specific acupuncture points on the body. Depending on the specific condition the needles commonly are placed at or below the elbows, and at or below the knees. Other common areas are on the back, abdomen and ears.

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What should I expect for my first treatment?

During the first treatment the practitioner will take a complete health history and establish a complete evaluation of the condition you are seeking treatment for and ask you questions about lifestyle, not only for the condition you are being treated. The practitioner will feel your pulse, look at your tongue and may palpate specific meridians to look for tender areas. The initial treatment may last between 1 and 1.5 hours, and all subsequent treatment are for 1 hour.

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Can I receive acupuncture when I am pregnant?

Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and can help relieve many pregnancy and postpartum conditions. Because there are some acupuncture points that are contraindicated during pregnancy it is important to inform the practitioner if you are pregnant.

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How can I prepare for my acupuncture treatment?

The best way to prepare is to eat a snack or a light meal before treatment so the body has sufficient energy to work with. If possible it is best to wear loose clothing so that your arms and legs are accessible for treatment. After treatment we recommend you drink a glass of water to help stabilize your energy.

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What are the advantages of acupuncture?

One benefit to acupuncture is that it is a drug-free way to optimize health. With drugs, people often develop a tolerance, or the need for an increased dosage to achieve the same required effect. However, this does not happen with acupuncture. In addition, acupuncture allows the doctor to immediately examine a person's response to the treatment and adjust it if necessary.

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Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Yes, most insurance carriers will pay for acupuncture treatments. Because each insurance provider has different restrictions, it is best to consult with your provider to determine if your treatment will be covered.

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Do Western medical doctors approve of acupuncture?

Yes. There are approximately 6,500 licensed acupuncturists in the U.S. In addition, the World Health Organization currently recognizes more than 40 medical problems which can be helped by acupuncture treatment. The FDA regulates acupuncture needles as medical devices.

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