How does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture works by helping the body get more out of its own natural healing resources.
It helps us squeeze more out of our natural ability to heal ourselves – getting us closer to 100% of our full healing potential.
Acupuncture points lie along the 14 main meridians (channels) of the body. These are the points that allow entry into the meridians. The acupuncture points provide gateways to control the body’s vital substances, namely Qi (vital energy) and blood. By affecting the Qi and blood through acupuncture, the body is able to naturally correct many imbalances – – by producing endorphins, improving blood flow, reducing inflammation, stimulating different areas and effects of the limbic system, etc.
Is Acupunture Safe?
Acupuncture is safe when practitioners follow clean needle technique, requiring that FDA approved, single use, sterile, nontoxic needles be used for each patient, and acupuncture points be swabbed with alcohol prior to needle insertion. Needles must be labeled for single use and acupuncture treatment should be performed only by licensed practitioners.
Is Acupunture painful?
The sensations that follow needle insertion range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, slight numbness/aching, or electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All of these sensations usually decrease within 30 seconds and completely subside once the needles are removed at the end of an acupuncture treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
There is no definitive answer to this question. The number of treatments greatly depends on the conditions being treated, your age and health, and how you respond to acupuncture. Acupuncture is a natural medicine that is assisting your body to gradually make changes. Generally, acute problems are relatively quickly resolved. For example, an acute sprain may require only one or two treatments, whereas more chronic or severe ailments may require several treatments before marked improvements are visible. A typical course of treatment is 4-6 appts (3 appts within 10 days is optimal to begin treatment), but 8-10 treatments (or more) may be necessary to resolve chronic or stubborn cases.
Will my insurance cover acupuncture treatments?
Insurance coverage for acupuncture treatment varies from policy to policy. Although we do not accept insurance as payment for acupuncture treatment at this time, we will work with you to provide the itemized paperwork necessary to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. You may wish to contact your insurance company to find out what your policy’s coverage is for acupuncture. Some questions to ask might include:
- Will my policy cover acupuncture?
- If so, how many visits are covered per calender year?
- Do I need a referral?
- Do I have a deductible?
- Does the acupuncturist have to be in-network in order for me to receive acupuncture benefits?
- Does acupuncture coverage only apply for certain conditions? If so, what conditions are covered?
What should I do to prepare for my first acupuncture treatment?
Wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes
Eat at least one hour before appointment
Do not brush your tongue that day
Allow 75-90 minutes for first appt and 45-60 for all subsequent
What is the difference between getting acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) or from a medical doctor or chiropractor with an acupuncture certification?
In the state of Illinois, licensed acupuncturists are required to complete a minimum of 3 academic years of study, which includes over 2000 hours of classroom and clinical training. In addition, in order to become licensed, candidates must pass a rigorous national board examination given by the National Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). In contrast, in most states, medical doctors can practice acupuncture with little or no training, and chiropractors can practice it with as little as 300 hours of training.
Acupuncture should only be administered by a practitioner who has specific education in this field due to risk of improper needling, inadequate understanding of Oriental medical diagnostic procedures, transmission of disease, or ethical violations.