WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is the oldest, continuously practiced system of medicine in the world. It originated in China over 3000 years ago. Three-quarters of the world’s population uses acupuncture as part of their health care.
Acupuncture is based on natural laws that describe the movement of life energy in nature and all living beings. The fundamental principle of acupuncture is to treat the whole person—body, mind, and spirit. The purposed is to diagnose and treat the causes of disease, and to relieve the symptoms of disease.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Life energy, Qi (pronounced chee), flows through our bodies in channels similar to rivers that course through the earth. When Qi in our bodies is plentiful and moving properly, optimum health is promoted. When our Qi is depleted or blocked, illness occurs. The placement of very fine needles in specific points along those channels restores the smooth flow of Qi and optimum health. Acupuncture can release blocks in the flow of Qi before serious symptoms result.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ACUPUNCTURE?
Nearly everyone! Imbalances in Qi manifest in many different ways, unique to each person. Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide variety of health problems, as well as helping to maintain good health.
The World Health Organization recognizes 45 conditions that benefit from acupuncture treatment. These include: headaches, allergies, fatigue, depression, back and joint pain, digestive disorders, menstrual disorders, sleeping problems, addictions, and stress. The National Institutes of Health has also concluded that acupuncture may be useful in treating many of these same conditions. In a national survey of acupuncture patients:
91.5% reported “disappearance” or “improvement” of symptoms after treatment;
70.1% said they avoided recommended surgery;
78.9% said they used fewer prescription drugs;
58.5% said they were seeing their psychotherapist less.
BUT, I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING WRONG WITH ME
You don’t have to have pain or other major health problems to benefit from acupuncture. “Not having anything wrong” is different than enjoying optimum health. Many of us simply feel more tired than we think we should, have digestive problems that limit our enjoyment of food, catch every cold that comes around, or have “the blues” for no apparent reason. These “minor” complaints greatly influence the quality of our lives on a daily basis. Left untreated, they can become more serious. Getting acupuncture treatment when you have “nothing wrong” is like taking your car in for an oil change every 3000 miles. The question for many of us today is, “Do I take better care of my car than my body?”
I HATE NEEDLES!!
Acupuncture needles are very different from the needles used to give us our flu shots or to draw blood. They are very thin—only about the thickness of two human hairs—and flexible. Nothing is injected into your body during treatment. Most insertions are made just beneath the skin’s surface. Sensations vary with each individual—from feeling nothing at all to a dull, split-second ache or tingling sensation. You will feel so much better after your treatment that any brief sensation will be worth it. The fewest number of needles are used to achieve the desired result in each treatment. And, of course, only the finest quality, sterile, stainless steel, disposable needles are used.
ACUPUNCTURE AND WESTERN MEDICAL CARE
Acupuncture is complementary medicine. It works well with other health-promoting treatments. The result is a synergy that offers even more to the recipient that a particular treatment alone. I cooperate with other health care professionals, and will not recommend altering medications or other therapies without consultation with your other health care professionals.
WHAT HAPPENS IN AN ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT?
The first visit may last up to 2 hours, and includes an interview that covers your physical and personal history, and a physical examination to determine any imbalances in your Qi. You will have the opportunity to speak at length about your health concerns. Treatment begins during this first visit.
The frequency of subsequent treatments varies with each individual’s health and the length of time a particular imbalance has been in place. Often, treatments occur weekly for 6 to 8 weeks. You and I will regularly discuss and evaluate the progress of your treatment. Once you begin to feel better, treatments will be spaced out to every other week, every three weeks, monthly, and then seasonally. The goal is to move you as quickly as possible to your optimum health and together to find a treatment schedule that helps you maintain that optimum health.
FEES AND INSURANCE
Because I want to focus on your concerns as needed during each visit, I schedule only one patient at a time.
I am a participating provider with CareFirst BlueCrossBlueShield, and will bill on your behalf if your plan with them covers acupuncture. Bear in mind that not all BCBS plans cover acupuncture services.
Patients with other insurances or without insurance coverage for acupuncture pay for services (by check, credit/debit card, or cash) when they are rendered. A discount for payment at time of service is applied. I provide a receipt, which you may submit to your insurer or for reimbursement from your flexible spending account. Please contact your insurer to determine whether they cover acupuncture treatment.
Medicare does not cover acupuncture treatment.