You’ve Got Questions - We’ve Got Answers
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
Yes! Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy. It produces no side effects and there is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles as they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Classical Chinese Medicine (CCM) has identified 14 major pathways of vital energy called Qi (pronounced "chee") that run through the body and to its surface. Qi is responsible for animating the body and defending the body from disease. Our health is defined by the amount, quality, and balance of Qi in our bodies.
Energy channels in the body flow with Qi that nourishes the tissues and removes wastes, much as a river gives life to land and animals along its course. When Qi moves without restriction in the body, a person experiences physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Stagnation, or the obstruction of the flow of Qi, is like a dam that blocks a river along its course, backing up the flow and causing pain and disease.
Acupuncture needles, tuina (massage), and other modalities unblock the obstructions and reestablish the regular flow of energy through the channel pathways. Acupuncture treatments help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their function and structure, thus treating the symptoms of disease by addressing the root cause. This is very different from the Western medical approach of treating symptoms only when they become apparent.
WHAT AFFECTS QI?
Virtually everything has an impact on Qi in the body. Stress, lack of sleep, overexertion or lack of exercise, poor diet, physical and emotional trauma, injuries, and even changes in the weather or seasons can lead to Qi stagnation or imbalance. In a healthy person, the body is easily able to return to a blanked state of wellness. However, when a disruption to Qi is drawn out or extreme, or if the body is already debilitated, then illness and/or pain can occur.
WHAT IS TREATMENT LIKE?
During your first visit you will be asked to fill out a comprehensive health history, and your acupuncturist, Melissa Mulvaney, will ask you about your symptoms, health, and lifestyle. Wrist pulses, tongue examination, and a physical exam will be conducted. These diagnostic tests enable Melissa to determine what areas of the body are out of balance. The patient's needs and concerns will be listened to carefully.
After a diagnosis is made, typically ten to twenty very fine needles no bigger than the diameter of a human hair will be inserted into the front and/or back of the body at various locations. The needles are stainless steel, sterile and disposable. When deemed necessary, other therapies may be incorporated into the treatment at no extra charge.
Upon completion of needle insertion, the patient will rest quietly for 20-45 minutes. When the needles are removed, pulses will be retaken to gauge how well the treatment worked and to determine followup care including at-home movement and breathing exercises, self-acupressure, food-based nutritional supplementation, dietary therapy, and/or essential oil application.
DO THE NEEDLES HURT?
Most patients are delighted to find that acupuncture treatments are not only comfortable but enjoyable. Most patients report feelings of peacefulness and relaxation during and after treatment. The most common sensation with acupuncture needles is a heavy, dull, achy, or tingling sensation near the needle site or along the channel pathway. In Chinese medicine, such sensations are an indication that the body's healing powers have been stimulated. The depth of the insertion depends on the amount of flesh in any given body area. Typically, needles are inserted at depths ranging from 1/8" to 1 1/2".
WHY TAKE PULSES AND LOOK AT MY TONGUE?
In CCM, there are 12 pulse positions related to the channel pathways and organ networks on each wrist. These are palpated in order to determine where disease is occurring in the body. The tongue is the beginning of the digestive system and, as such, provides a wealth of information about your digestive health. Looking at the color, coating, and shape of your tongue provides your acupuncturist with valuable clues as to the general health of your organ systems and functions as a measurement tool to gauge the severity of a disorder.
ARE THERE NEEDLE-LESS THERAPIES?
Yes! Remedy utilizes several types of therapy which do not use needles.
Aromatherapy, or essential oils application, uses a plant's aroma-producing oils to treat and prevent disease. It is particularly effective in helping to manage stress, enhance immunity, reduce inflammation, and promote body homeostasis.
Moxibustion is a heat therapy created by burning an herb called mugwort. It is applied over acupuncture points on the skin and is especially good for warming the channels, improving circulation, boosting immunity, and increasing energy.
Tuina, or Chinese medical massage, is a vigorous, moving style of acupressure massage best for muscle pain, poor circulation, respiratory problems, digestive issues, stiff joints, immobility, swelling, and inflammation.
Cupping uses glass, plastic or silicone cups that are suctioned to the skin using heat to create a vacuum. This therapy helps to eliminate toxins, reduce congestion, improve circulation, and relieve muscle tension. Marks may be left on the skin after cupping, which tend to fade in 2-5 days.
Gua sha involves repeated pressure strokes over lubricated skin with a smooth-edged tool. This therapy releases unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing.
PureWave vibrational therapy uses a massaging tool that delivers gentle yet powerful vibration to break up scar tissue, increase blood circulation, relax muscles, and nourish connective tissue. It's ideal for pain and discomfort in the back, hamstrings, shoulders, neck, and it alleviates joint stiffness, tension headaches and much more!
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) was invented by Nikola Tesla and patented by NASA for it's use on astronauts to reduce bone loss and muscle degeneration in outer space. It is an FDA approved device. The patient reclines and relaxes on a mat while pulsating magnetic fields fine-tune your body’s cells to perform more effectively. This therapy is FDA approved to reduce inflammation and pain, accelerate healing, help with depression, boost immunity and reverse damage from EMFs (smartphones, computers, microwaves, etc.) It can promote muscle relaxation, overall energy, sleep quality, and better stress-handling. PEMF also improves circulation, blood & tissue oxygenation, and ligament strength. Perfect alternative for patients who want needle-less treatment.
WHY TAKE SUPPLEMENTS, ESSENTIAL OILS, OR HERBS?
Whole food supplements, essential oils, and herbs are all powerful supports to acupuncture care. They are used as part of an overall treatment strategy including dietary therapy to strengthen the body or to eliminate problems of excess like a cold, fever, or acute pain. It is possible that your acupuncturist may suggest starting with supplements, essential oils, diet changes, and/or herbs prior to beginning acupuncture treatments, especially in cases of weakness and deficiency.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of visits you will need depends on several factors. One is how long you have had your current condition. Acute conditions, like a cold or flu, will generally require fewer treatments in the short-term. Conditions that are more recent, like sudden pain from an injury or seasonal allergies, may require more treatments over a slightly longer period of days before symptoms are reduced with additional visits to promote healing. Chronic conditions or other problems that you have had for many years may take anywhere from 8-12 treatments until you notice significant changes. At your first visit, your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history, determine an appropriate treatment plan, and create a report of findings and suggested care plan which will be reviewed at your followup visit.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER ACUPUNCTURE?
Remedy is not within any provider networks, and we do not bill insurance. However, if you have acupuncture coverage through your insurance policy, we would be happy to provide you with a super bill that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is important to first call your insurance company to see if your policy covers acupuncture. Be mindful that not all insurance companies cover a full course of acupuncture treatments and may have stipulations for the conditions covered. In addition, deductibles, copayments, or other applicable fees may be involved depending on your insurance policy. Patients often use health savings accounts (HSA) to pay for their treatments, but we strongly recommend that you contact your HSA in advance of coming in for treatment to ensure that they will honor payment for services rendered.
Patients who will need a super bill are required to fill out and submit to our office a request form in advance of each treatment or no more than 90 days after treatment(s). Failure to do so will result in administrative fees.