Frequently Asked Questions
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture works through a system of meridians in the body to move qi (“chee”) through the body. Think of the meridians like a highway system of energy throughout your body. Qi is just energy; it is like the electricity running through the wires in the walls of your home. You can’t see the electricity but you trust that it is there when you flip the lightswitch on and the room becomes illuminated. This is the same as qi. You can see it but if your heart is beating and your blood is pumping, you know that it is there. Qi moves the blood, the immune response system, it keeps all of your organs operating efficiently, it moves the detoxification process of the body, keeps the body at optimal metabolism and temperature, etc. It is literally the electrical system of the body. Sometimes the qi becomes depleted or sometimes it gets blocked up in certain areas or pathways of the body. The acupuncture needles can signal the qi to move in different ways, to fill in the gaps, unblock blocks, and to build up that which is depleted.
Do the needles hurt?
First and foremost, acupuncture needles are about 25 times smaller than a hypodermic needle. This means that 25 acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of a typical needle you might receive a blood draw with or a vaccination with. They are tiny! That being said, every human body is different and people experience sensation in many different ways. Some patients enjoy the needles, they think it feels good. Needles cause the body to release endorphins, just like exercise does, and most bodies enjoy this feeling. And there are certain areas of the body that are more sensitive than others (such as the hands and feet). I pride myself on being extremely gentle and aware when it comes to needling these sensitive areas. I have had extremely sensitive patients continue coming to receive acupuncture treatments because the benefits they receive outweigh the slight pain they might experience while being needled. I also have many patients who don’t feel a thing and actually fall asleep while being needled. I am happy and willing to work with patients on whatever end of the spectrum of sensitivity they might fall on.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Most plans these days do cover acupuncture to some extent and I am happy to take insurance. To find out if your insurance covers acupuncture, call them up and ask. Even if you don’t think they do, it is worth a call to just make sure. I am also happy to have my insurance biller call your provider for you to get the details of your coverage if need be.