Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below.  If have other questions or if you are interested in receiving acupuncture care, let us know what you are looking for on our “Contact Us” button.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient, safe and effective treatment and also a complete and holistic medical system.  Practitioners of Oriental Medicine have used acupuncture as a treatment method to support healing for thousands of years.  Acupuncture is often utilized along with herbal therapy and medicated diet to help millions of people across the world to get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncture physician will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupuncture points on the body depending on the determined diagnosis. This activates the body’s energy to promote healing.  Intentionally placed acupuncture needles improve the overall function and well-being of the patient while resolving symptoms and alleviating pain.

 

What will my acupuncturist do?

You will be listened to; you will have a discussion with your acupuncturist about your health in general and your current health issues; you will be examined by the feel of your wrist pulses and the look of your tongue.  As a result of the observational exam, a Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis will be determined by your Acupuncture Physician.  Your Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis will explain, in TCM terms, where your Qi, or energy, has become blocked, imbalanced, rebellious, falling, rising, deficient or excess.  After your exam, you will receive an acupuncture treatment.  Other adjunct treatment modalities are utilized along with acupuncture including moxibustion-heat therapy and cupping-circulation therapy.  After your initial acupuncture treatment, you will receive a recommended a follow up plan.  Your initial exam and acupuncture treatment are scheduled for 60 minutes; follow-up acupuncture visits are scheduled for 45 minutes; re-evaluation exams are scheduled for 60 minutes and follow the pattern of the initial exam.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

Your tongue is a map of the torso of your body and is a representation of the organs that live there.  Your tongue reflects the general health of the organs and their function in your body; the amount of energy you have or lack; the state of your digestion; if you are in pain; and more.  The color, shape, coating, markings and presentation of your tongue helps in determining your Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis which you will find on your Report of Findings after your exam.

Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Chinese herbal medicine is a stand alone medical system and a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care.  Herbal medicine is a used to strengthen, build and support the body and also to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever, toxins and pain.  When herbal medicine and acupuncture are used together, the result is greater than either modality alone.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Acupuncture is safe and very effective for children, as they normally respond more quickly than adults.  When we use acupuncture needles with children, the needles to not stay in as long as they do with adults.  Often we use non-needle methods to stimulate the acupuncture points including massage, point simulators, heat, press seeds and cupping.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person depending on a variety of factors including your health history, the severity and duration of your health concern, what you have done so far to address the issue, the current state of your health, your lifestyle and your desired outcome.  Do you want to get to the root of your health problem?  Are you wanting to move into a healthier future?  Do you just want to get out of pain or be free from the nagging symptoms that brings you to acupuncture?

All that being said, some people do experience fast relief  from a short series of acupuncture treatments.  More realistic is that it will take a month of treatment for every year the health problem has been an issue.

How much does it cost?

We offer a Complimentary Consultation to help you understand the value of acupuncture for your health and the fees for acupuncture treatment.  Some insurance plans cover acupuncture, find out if you are covered here: Insurance Verification for Acupuncture

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Our office does accept insurance.  However, insurance coverage varies depending on your insurance company and policy plan.  To find out if you are covered by your insurance policy for our services select the “Insurance Verification” button on the right side of the web page and fill out your information.  We will be notified of your coverage and we will contact you via email with the results.

How should I prepare?

  • Wear loose clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Eat lightly before acupuncture treatment.
  • Do not overeat before treatment.
  • Refrain from overexertion, sweating or sauna after acupuncture.
  • Many people feel more energized with acupuncture care and need to be reminded to receive adequate rest every night

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Legal standards for practicing acupuncture vary from state to state.   Identifying a competent acupuncture practitioner need not be trial and error. Thanks to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM ®) consumers can locate board certified acupuncturists by visiting the NCCAOM website at www.nccaom.org.  NCCAOM publishes contact information for practitioners who are nationally certified in Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, and Chinese Herbology.

Since the founding of NCCAOM, over 30 years ago, the NCCAOM has issued over 33,000 certificates to its Diplomates (nationally board-certified practitioners).   Certification by the NCCAOM indicates that Diplomates have met national standards for education and examination to determine safe and competent practice.  The NCCAOM is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).

To be certified as an NCCAOM certified acupuncturist, a practitioner must:
• Meet NCCAOM’s Education Eligibility Standards
• Pass a series of rigorous certification examinations, to include Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture with Point Location and Bio-Medicine
• Abide by the NCCAOM® Code of Ethics
• Document maintenance of competency through required number of continuing education credits every four years

It is very important for the public to know that here is a TREMENDOUS difference between an NCCAOM® Certified Diplomate of Acupuncture / Oriental Medicine and other healthcare providers who can legally practice acupuncture.  In the state of Florida, a Master’s in Oriental Medicine is required to be eligible to take the NCCAOM board exam.  In some states, chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists,  podiatrists and even physical therapists may be allowed to administer acupuncture treatments and their requirements do not meet the stringent NCCAOM education and assessment standards.

Acupuncture is so much more than the mechanics of placing needles in the body.  Acupuncture is a Medical System that includes understanding the philosophy, the diagnostic skill set, the clinical training, the continued education requirements to keep state and national board certification current, and more. Acupuncture Cert Brochure
OM-Certification-Brochure
CH Certification Brochure

What can acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture Works!

 According to the World Health Organization, Acupuncture has been proven, through controlled trials, to be an effective treatment for the following diseases and health conditions:

  • Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis; including hay fever
  • Biliary colic–Gallbladder attack or gallstones, pain due to gallstones temporarily blocking bile duct
  • Depression; including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke
  • Dysentery, bacillary dysentery, the most common and violent form of dysentery
  • Dysmenorrhoea–pain during and around menses
  • Epigastralgia, acute peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastro-spasms
  • Epilepsy and Seizures
  • Facial pain; including cranio-mandibular disorders
  • Headache–all types
  • Hypertension–high blood pressure
  • Hypotension–low blood pressure
  • Induction of labor
  • Knee pain
  • Leukopenia–a reduction in the number of white cells in the blood, typical of various diseases
  • Low back pain
  • Malposition of fetus, and the correction of it.  Malposition of fetus is the abnormal positions   of the vertex of the fetal head relative to the maternal pelvis.
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Pain in dentistry; including dental pain and temporal mandibular dysfunction
  • Periarthritis of shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Renal colic;  is a type of abdominal pain commonly caused by kidney stones
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprain
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

  • Abdominal pain from acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasms
  • Acne vulgaris, the most common form of the most common skin disease
  • Alcohol dependence and detoxification
  • Bell’s palsy is a type of facial paralysis that results in an inability to control the facial muscles on the affected side.
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Cancer pain
  • Cardiac neurosis
  • Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
  • Cholelithiasis
  • Competition stress syndrome
  • Cranio-cerebral injury, closed–including concussion, contusion, hematoma, trauma
  • Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
  • Earache
  • Epidemic hemorrhagic fever–a severe viral infection marked by fever and bleeding 
  • Epistaxis–nosebleed
  • Eye pain due to injections into the tissue surrounding the eye
  • Female infertility
  • Facial spasm
  • Female urethral syndrome, an infection of the urethra, with frequent painful urination
  • Fibromyalgia and fasciitis; inflammation of the muscles and facia
  • Gastrokinetic disturbance–an issue with the motility of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Gouty arthritis– sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint, usually a big toe
  • Hepatitis B virus carrier status
  • Herpes zoster;  herpes virus 3
  • Hyperlipaemia; elevated levels of lipids in the blood plasma
  • Hypo-ovarianism–Inadequate ovarian function, reduced secretion of ovarian hormones
  • Insomnia
  • Labour pain
  • Lactation, deficiency
  • Male sexual dysfunction–ED Erectile Dysfunction
  • Ménière disease
  • Neuralgia, post-herpetic
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Obesity
  • Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain due to endoscopic examination
  • Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein–Leventhal syndrome)
  • Post-extubation in children
  • Post-operative convalescence
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Prostatitis, chronic inflammation of the prostate
  • Pruritus–severe itching of the skin caused by various ailments
  • Radicular pain syndrome–pain that radiates along nerve due to inflammation or other irritation of the nerve root (radiculopathy) at its connection to the spinal column
  • Raynaud syndrome–a disorder causing numbness and coldness in fingers and toes
  • Recurrent lower urinary tract infection
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy–pain, swelling, and motor dysfunction of an extremity. This condition is often the result of trauma or surgery.
  • Retention of urine, traumatic–the inability to voluntarily void urine
  • Schizophrenia–a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation
  • Sialism, drug-induced; an excess secretion of saliva.
  • Sjögren syndrome; a long-term autoimmune disease affecting the moisture-producing glands; symptoms include dry mouth and dry eyes
  • Sore throat; including tonsillitis
  • Spine pain, acute
  • Stiff neck
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
  • Tietze syndrome–an inflammatory condition characterized by chest pain and swelling of the cartilage around the ribs and the breast bone.
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Tourette syndrome–a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary tics and vocalizations and often the compulsive utterance of obscenities
  • Ulcerative colitis, chronic
  • Urolithiasis–the process of forming stones in the kidney, bladder, and/or urethra
  • Vascular dementia–problems with reasoning, planning, judgment, memory and other thought processes caused impaired blood flow and damage to the brain
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which there are only individual controlled trials reporting some therapeutic effects, but for which acupuncture is worth trying because treatment by conventional and other therapies is difficult:

  • Chloasma; extensive brown patches of irregular shape; the mask of pregnancy, associated use of oral contraceptives
  • Choroidopathy, Central serous retinopathy (CSR), an eye disease which causes visual impairment
  • Color blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hypophrenia–A feeling of sadness seemingly without a cause
  • Irritable colon syndrome
  • Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
  • Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
  • Small airway obstruction

Diseases, symptoms or conditions for which acupuncture may be tried provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment:

  • Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Coma
  • Convulsions in infants
  • Coronary heart disease (angina pectoralis)
  • Diarrhea in infants and young children
  • Encephalitis, viral, in children, late stage
  • Paralysis
    Acupuncture is an effective form of medical treatment that has evolved into a complete holistic health care system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine have used this noninvasive treatment method for over 3000 years to help millions of people become well and stay well.