Eileen T. Dube, MAc, MS-PREP, LAc, DiplAc (NCCAOM)
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FAQ

Do acupuncture needles hurt?

Most people barely feel a thing when needles are inserted. Some people feel a slight pinch, and others ask “Is it in yet?” The reason acupuncture needles don’t give the painful sensation you might expect is because they’re very, very thin in comparison to the hypodermic needles used to give injections. Hypodermic needles are necessarily hollow so that the shot can be injected. They also have a very blunt point (actually a wedge shape) in comparison to an acupuncture needle. Forty acupuncture needles can fit into the tip of one standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle.There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, which are known as de qi (pronounced “day-chee”). These may include a brief dull ache, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild and temporary.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very safe. The needles are extremely safe, because they are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Every practitioner gets extensive training in anatomy so as to avoid accidentally inserting a needle in a place that can cause damage.

Do I have to believe in it for it to work? Does acupuncture always work?

Acupuncture works whether you believe in it or not. Good results are seen in the majority of cases. When all other treatment methods have failed, this indicates a systematic imbalance – exactly what acupuncture excels at treating.

How often would I need to come in for treatment?

Typically acupuncture treatments are given once a week. If the condition is acute, treatments may be given 2-3 times per week until the condition starts to come under control. The exact duration of treatment depends on the condition, your basic level of health, and how well you respond to acupuncture.

How does acupuncture work?

In Chinese medical theory, acupuncture works by balancing the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi can be described as a form of bioenergy that runs along 12 major meridians. If Qi gets blocked, it shows up as an imbalance or illness. Basically, if you have a health condition, some part of your body’s system is out of balance. Chinese medical theory allows us to diagnose and restore the balance.In Western medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating parts of the brain. It also stimulates the body to release natural biomolecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. The exact mechanisms not fully understood, but the effects are measurable.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Some insurers cover acupuncture. You can usually find out by calling the number on your insurance card. Although we do not accept insurance we are happy to provide a “superbill” that provides all the information you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is a standardized form which insurers expect.