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November, 2010

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very different from the needles you usually see in your doctor’s office. The needles are very fine, barely beyond the thickness of human hair. The finest quality stainless steel, pre-sterilized, disposable needles are used. Most insertions are just beneath the skin’s surface and the sensations vary from person to person. You may feel nothing at all or perhaps a dull, momentary ache or tingling, which almost immediately recedes. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and many fall asleep during the treatment. If you are particularly needle phobic or sensitive to pain we can work with you; our goal is to eliminate your pain and restore your balance.

“I had been suffering from a flare up of my ulcerative colitis which required that I make frequent trips to the restroom (8-10 times daily).  My husband and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary.  Our children had made plans to take us out to lunch including a day of sightseeing.  I was very worried that my frequent bathroom visits would ruin our day so I decided to see my acupuncturist, Melanie, hoping she could help.  I had a session the evening before our sightseeing trip.  The next day I was amazed that I was able to keep up with everyone with just normal use of the restroom.   I could feel my stomach begin to get crampy but then it just subsided and I felt fine.  It was truly miraculous that I had a most enjoyable day that was totally unexpected.” – Frances S.

Who can benefit from acupuncture treatments?

Acupuncture is beneficial to people of all ages and all stages of wellness or disease. At any stage of life, the body is able to move towards a state of greater balance and harmony, providing improved health and well-being. Acupuncture may be helpful whether you have a major health problem or are in good health and want to facilitate your own personal growth. Many people receive acupuncture treatments as a way to ensure that their body will continue to maintain good health and balance. It is absolutely not necessary to wait until you have a complaint before receiving acupuncture treatment. One of the great strengths of this medicine is its ability to ward off disease by resolving the effects of everyday stress that pulls the body gradually out of balance. A symptom generally arises as a last stage effect of a long term accumulation of stresses and imbalances in the body. In Oriental Medicine, elimination of the symptom is just one piece of the overall approach. The greater value is in using acupuncture to bring the body to optimal wellness and keeping it there.

How many treatments will I need?

Initially most patients are seen weekly in order to cultivate internal harmony and balance which can be sustained between treatments. The number of treatments will depend on the nature of the complaint, its severity and how long it has been present. A series of six to eight treatments is found to be effective for many common complaints. Because everyone responds differently to acupuncture you may need more or less treatments. We generally recommend a trial of four acupuncture treatments so we can evaluate your rate of response and give a more accurate estimate after the trial. Acupuncture’s pain reduction can be slower than medication but it is free of side effects and the positive effects build over time.

What can I expect on my first visit?

Your initial visit should last about 1.5-2 hours with the first hour spent going over your health/personal history, review of your present condition and any questions or concerns you might have. It is conducted in complete confidentiality. It is recommended that you arrive to your first appointment at least 15 minutes early so you have the opportunity to sit and relax and fill out paperwork if it has not already been completed. We have a beautiful waiting room with drinks and magazines to make you comfortable. The best thing to do is to make sure you have eaten within 2-4 hours prior to your treatment. Please do not come for treatment on an empty stomach or drink any alcohol prior to treatment. In addition to acupuncture needling, it is possible that other modalities such as cupping or electrical stimulation may be used during your treatment. All modalities will be fully explained to you and are incorporated into your treatment at no additional cost. A complete treatment plan and expected outcomes will be explained on the first visit.

Subsequent sessions are between 45 to 60 minutes long and start with a brief interview where you have the chance to provide feedback on your last treatment. This is very important, as your subjective feedback will often determine the direction of future treatments. Most patients are in a state of deep relaxation after a treatment but some may feel tired, especially after the first few appointments. Plan your activities so that after each treatment (especially the first few) you can relax and thus allow yourself to gain maximum benefit.

Can I just schedule an appointment for Cupping?

Yes. We offer 30 minute sessions of just Massage Cupping that you can schedule either after your acupuncture session or as a sole treatment. Please let us know when you are scheduling an appointment if you would like to come in for a Massage Cupping session.

Will insurance cover my acupuncture treatments?

Some insurance providers cover acupuncture fully or partially. Check with your provider for details. Full payment is due at each treatment and a receipt/superbill will be given so that it can be submitted to your insurer for reimbursement. We are a credentialed provider for the OSU Health Plan. If you have this insurance, please verify your co-payment. Worker’s Compensation covers acupuncture services. If you already have a claim, please contact your physician of record to request a C9 approval for acupuncture. If you have any questions please feel free to call. Most flexible spending accounts (FSAs) cover acupuncture.

How much does an acupuncture treatment cost?

First visit is $110 and follow up treatments are $75. We accept cash, check, and all major credit cards. We also offer the following ongoing packages that must be prepaid and can be shared with family only:

5 Follow Up Sessions for $350- ($70 a session)

10 Follow Up Sessions for $650 – ($65 a session)

*Packages are non-refundable