FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on a comprehensive system of medicine known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has been in use in Asia for thousands of years. Acupuncture treats health conditions by stimulating “acu-points” found at specific locations on the surface of the body. Acupuncturists stimulate the acu-points by inserting very thin needles through the skin to produce physiological effects. Other methods are also used to stimulate acu-points, such as heat or finger-pressure. The general theory of acupuncture is that proper physiological function and health depend on the circulation of nutrients, substances and energy called Qi (pronounced “chee”) through a network of channels or meridians. This network connects every organ of the body, providing balance, regulation and coordination of physiological processes. Pain and ill-health result when the flow of Qi through the body is disrupted or blocked by many things, including disease, pathogens, trauma/injuries and medication (side effects), as well as lifestyle factors such as overwork, poor diet, lack of rest and stress. Stimulation of the appropriate acu-points through acupuncture treatment helps to restore sufficient, continuous and even flow of Qi and other nutrients throughout the body, thereby restoring health and balance to the body, while relieving pain and other symptoms.


Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. City Pulse Acupuncture only uses sterile, single-use disposable needles that are sealed by the manufacturer and only opened prior to use. Acupuncture has relatively few side effects, which may include slight bleeding, soreness or bruising at acupuncture site. The National Institute of Health (NIH) commented that “adverse side effects of acupuncture are extremely low and often lower than conventional treatments.”

 

What types of needles do you use?

City Pulse Acupuncture uses thin, sterile, filiform needles made of superior quality stainless steel. Each needle is used one time and then safely disposed.

 

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin, solid shafts of sterile, stainless steel metal that are designed to pierce the skin with minimal disruption of the skin’s integrity. The most common sensations felt during/after needle insertion is a dull or heavy pressure, numbness and tingling or a mild current-like feeling. These are all normal and acceptable sensations and are palpable examples of the needle working with the patient’s Qi.

What is Qi?

There is no direct translation for the word “Qi” (pronounced “chee”) although the concept exists, to a certain degree, in every culture. In Chinese medicine, Qi is the energy or life force present within everybody. Qi is the force behind our awareness, the functioning of our internal organs, the circulation of blood and lymph throughout our body, and many other things. We are able to access and manipulate qi using acupuncture needles, herbs and other modalities in order to prevent and combat disease.

Are Chinese herbs safe?

Chinese herbs are safe and effective when prescribed by a well-trained herbalist. Our comprehensive training in herbal medicine guides our careful attention to dosage, combinations of herbs and any known drug-herb interactions. We only purchase our herbs from reputable suppliers who adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are guidelines that govern the manufacturing process of a product to ensure that the quality and safety of the product are consistent. By documenting the manufacturing process, validating the equipment used, and following preset guidelines, the quality of the herbs is ensured.

 

Herbs are typically gentler and have fewer side effects than pharmaceutical drugs because of their balancing or regulating effect on the body. The most common side-effect is gas and bloating due to difficulty digesting the herbs. Patients who experience this or any other side effect should notify us immediately so we can alter the dosage or modify the formula.

What types of payment do you accept?

We accept the following forms of payment: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Cash, Check, Flex Spending Accounts (FSA).

What can I expect during my first visit? How long does an acupuncture session last?

An initial visit for private treatment can take between one and a half hours and two hours. We discuss your concerns and your health history in order to formulate a diagnosis and create a treatment plan. Your treatment will include acupuncture and herbs (if necessary) and any other modalities that are needed, including moxibustion, cupping and lifestyle and nutritional counseling. We also spend time answering your questions and, if you are new to Chinese medicine, explaining what you can expect to feel during and after your treatment. Follow-up treatments for private sessions are approximately one-hour.

How should I prepare for my first visit?

Please do not brush your tongue the day of the visit. The tongue coating, thickness, and color are all important in arriving at your diagnosis and designing an appropriate treatment strategy. Make sure that you have had something to eat within the hour or two before your appointment.   Please also wear comfortable clothes that allow access to elbows, knees, and other affected areas.

 

 

Private treatments are ideal for first-time patients, those with chronic or complicated conditions requiring an in-depth diagnostic workup, as well as those who have never experienced Chinese medicine. We spend a great deal of time discussing your condition and health history as well as establishing a diagnosis and treatment plan. Depending on the nature of your condition, we may use a combination of acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion, and cupping during your treatment. We spend time answering your questions and providing you with customized nutritional and lifestyle information.

 

We welcome you to contact us to discuss your health concerns and determine which option is best for you.

Do you accept insurance?

Most insurance is accepted upon approval. We encourage you to reach out to your carrier when you initiate care with us to familiarize yourself with the limits of your policy with regard to acupuncture coverage. Although we will often submit a claim to insurance companies on behalf of our patients, if your insurance requires you to pay a co-payment or deductible, this amount is due at the time of service. If a carrier denies payment for services for any reason, the patient will be held accountable for those charges.

What is Chinese medicine?

Chinese medicine is a complete system of medicine with a history spanning thousands of years. Rather than treating symptoms, Chinese medicine seeks to uncover and correct imbalances, deficiencies and blockages in the body as a whole, which leads to the alleviation of symptoms. This system of medicine recognizes that our bodies have the innate ability to overcome disease and illness. Through acupuncture, herbal medicine, proper nutrition, exercise and other treatment modalities, Chinese medicine stimulates natural healing and maintains health.

What types of modalities are used during a Chinese medicine treatment?

Chinese medicine encompasses a number of different modalities including acupuncture, herbs, moxibustion, and cupping. In addition, proper nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle factors are evaluated and discussed with each individual. The degree to which we use each modality completely depends on the individual and the nature of the condition that is being treated.

What can Chinese medicine treat?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes over 100 conditions for which acupuncture is effective based on controlled research. In addition, The National Institute of Health (NIH) issued a Consensus Statement in 1997 identifying similar conditions for which the efficacy of acupuncture has been shown:

Addiction, Allergies, Anemia, Anxiety, Arteriosclerosis, Arthritis, Asthma, Back Pain, Bronchial Conditions, Candida, Chronic Fatigue, Circulatory Disorders, Colitis, Common Cold, Constipation, Depression, Dermatological Disorders, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Ear Disorders, Ear Ringing, Emotional & Endometriosis, Epstein Barr Virus, Eye Disorders, Fertility Issues, Fibroids, Frozen Shoulder, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal Disorders, GERD, Gynecological, Headaches & Migraines, Hepatitis, HIV & AIDS, Hypertension, IBS, Immune Disorders, Impotence, Infertility, Insomnia, Irregular cycles, Joint Pain, Lupus, Menopause, Miscellaneous, Morning Sickness, Mouth & Throat Disorders, MS, Muscle Spasms, Pain & Musculoskeletal Issues, PCOS, PMS, Psychological Disorders, PTSD, Respiratory Disorders, Rhinitis, Sciatica, Sexual Dysfunction, Sinusitis, Smoking Cessation, Sprains, Stress, Tendonitis, Tennis Elbow, Ulcers, UTI

If you are experiencing symptoms that are not included in the above list, you can still experience relief with Chinese medicine. We encourage you to contact us to further discuss your health concerns.

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SF A List #5 2013