How can acupuncture help?
How does acupuncture work?
Can I use acupuncture with other forms of treatment?
What can I expect from a treatment?
What are the needles like?
Is acupuncture safe?
How much does a treatment cost?
Is it covered by insurance?
Acupuncture can alleviate pain. Its effectiveness in doing so is well-known and widely documented by sources as diverse as the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health.
Of equal significance is the power of acupuncture to address chronic conditions, including, but not limited to:
- Headaches and migraines
- Sleep disturbances
- Menstrual difficulties and other gynecological issues
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression and anxiety
- Digestive disorders and bowel problems
- Asthma, allergies, and sinus congestion
- Muscle tension, joint pain, and sciatica
- Stress-related disorders
- Colds and flus, coughs and bronchitis
- Lowered immunity
Acupuncture is a holistic practice. In planning the course of treatment, the practitioner takes into account the personality, habits and overarching needs of the patient. Together with the practitioner, each patient assumes an active role in supporting and strengthening his or her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states, thereby uniquely addressing his or her needs.
The world’s oldest continuously practiced medicine, acupuncture was first developed in China over 4,000 years ago. The practice has been significantly refined over the centuries, but retains its fundamental philosophical basis. Today, over two billion people worldwide use acupuncture for primary health care or to complement Western medical treatments.
The roots of acupuncture are grounded in Chinese theories regarding the flow of life energy, called qi (pronounced ‘chee’), throughout the body. By stimulating the pathways of qi in the body, called meridians, acupuncture frees qi where it is blocked, supplies it where there is too little, and drains it where there is too much. Once the smooth and unobstructed flow of qi is restored, pain and disorder dissolve. In this way, acupuncture ministers to the underlying causes of symptoms rather than simply addressing them superficially.
Yes. Acupuncture’s effectiveness can often be strengthened in conjunction with other forms of treatment. Similarly, it can increase the power of other practices.
Western medical care. Acupuncture can work very well in conjunction with Western medicine. In many cases, Western practices are effective at assuaging symptoms, less so in addressing underlying causes. At these times, acupuncture can provide a crucial complement, increasing the durability of treatment. If you decide to undergo acupuncture, please do not alter or discontinue any medical treatment without first consulting your physician.
Chinese herbal medicine. The combination of Chinese herbs and acupuncture is particularly effective. This is often the case when daily support is needed to continue the forward momentum of treatment. I only prescribe herbs from American or European companies, as their safety regulations are the strictest: specifically, I order most of my herbs from Crane Herb Company in Massachusetts, which can be found on the web at www.craneherb.com.
Bodywork. Acupuncture works very well with other forms of bodywork, such as massage, shiatsu, cranio-sacral work, energy work, or chiropractic. Each treatment can support the others’ effectiveness, and often will hasten results from each. Combined treatments can be coordinated for you at the Center for Sacred Living.
A patient’s first session normally lasts two hours. The session usually begins with an interview and a physical examination. This initial session gives the patient an opportunity to express any and all health concerns. On occasion, conditions that may seem unrelated prove to have an association that can be addressed in treatment.
Subsequent treatments begin with an update from the patient and a pulse diagnosis. After this is completed, the crucial points are identified, and needles are inserted, generally along the meridians. Once the needles are in, the patient rests on the table for approximately thirty minutes. Most people report a sensation of tingling or warmth; this is a sign that the treatment has begun to work and is moving qi throughout the body. Treatments are normally relaxing and clients frequently fall asleep.
Some conditions resolve quickly, while others require a regular course of treatment. These have a cumulative effect, each one building on the benefits of the previous session. To maintain progress, the first set of treatments, usually four to six, are scheduled at one week intervals. When the effects of the treatment start to last for a full week, treatments are spaced accordingly. Once symptoms are gone or are under control, many people continue to receive maintenance treatments every six weeks or once a season for preventative purposes.
Acupuncture needles are solid and slightly thicker than a human hair. Constructed of pre-sterilized stainless steel, they are used only once, than safely disposed. When used in treatment, the needles are usually inserted to a shallow depth, about one-quarter inch. Patients may feel a momentary ache, a deep, mild pull, a tingling sensation, or, at worst, a slight sting that normally disappears in a few seconds.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are safe courses of treatment in which side-effects are extremely rare.
The initial evaluation, lasting 1.5 hours, costs $135. This appointment includes a detailed discussion of your current concerns, your health history, and an acupuncture treatment. Subsequent sessions last one hour and cost $80.
At present, this office does not bill insurance companies. Many patients get reimbursement from flexible medical spending accounts. Receipts are provided to those who wish to do so.