Acupuncture

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Acupuncture

Acupuncture is the practice of penetrating the skin with sterile and thin metallic needles which are then activated through gentle and specific movements of the practitioner’s hands or with electrical stimulation. Hundreds of clinical studies on the benefits of acupuncture show that it successfully treats conditions ranging from musculoskeletal problems (back pain, neck pain, and others) to nausea and migraine headaches.

Your body is comprised of several points, when triggered, can induce certain reactions, such as pain relief. These acupuncture points stimulate internal painkillers and blood flow to your muscles, nerves, and tissues. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for a plethora of conditions and illnesses including Fibromyalgia, Lower back pain, Osteoarthritis, Headaches, in addition to a magnitude of other conditions. Acupuncture can be an effective treatment by itself or it can be an adjunct to physical therapy for several illnesses and conditions; these include neck or lower back pain, joint pains such as knee or shoulder pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, or fibromyalgia, to name a few.

We specialize in Chinese acupuncture, Chinese herb, acupressure, Chinese Tui-Na technique, Western osteopathic spinal manipulation, soft tissue release, and therapeutic exercise to address pain management (neck, shoulder, lower back, knee, and ankle joint or muscular pain), general fatigue, facial palsy, headache, dizziness & vertigo, insomnia, depression & anxiety, irregular menstruation, male conditions, menopause syndrome, weight management, etc.

Acupuncture FAQs

What is Acupuncture and how does it work?

Acupuncture originated from China and has been practiced for five thousands of years. It is part of the holistic system of healing known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). There is an energy force flowing throughout the body. This force, known as Qi (pronounced “Chee”). Qi flows through various channels throughout the body, called “meridians”, are like series of interconnected highways.  If the flow of Qi is blocked or unbalanced at any point on a pathway, is like traffic jams on the highway, or when the flow of Qi is impeded, illness can result.

Acupuncture involves the gentle insertion of very thin sterile stainless steel needles to specific points on the body, to eliminate meridian blockages and stimulate the body to promote natural healing.  These specific points are located in meridians. The acupuncture stimulates these specific points in order to process the movement of energy or Qi (pronounced chee) thus strengthening the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Acupuncture does not cut or block nerve fibers and there are no chemicals on the needles.

Is Acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture administered by a qualified professional is extremely safe. Drugs and surgery can cause negative side effects and can also be quite expensive. Acupuncture is a cost-effective alternative treatment that has proven itself effective and safe over the course of centuries. Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, and the needles we use are all sterile and disposable for one-time use only.

Is Acupuncture painful?

All needles are very fine and flexible. You may experience a sense of heaviness, numbness or electricity along the acupuncture channels. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing. Some individuals may feel slight pain and discomfort.

How should I prepare for an Acupuncture appointment?

You should not eat a large meal, nor should you be fasting before your appointment. You should also not have alcohol, or do any vigorous exercise prior to a treatment. Comfortable, loose clothing is recommended.

What kinds of food will I need to avoid and what will I expect after treatment?

After treatments, we advise you refrain from alcohol, spicy hot foods, and sesame products, as these substances will interfere with the acupuncture treatment. Sometimes the pain may get a little worse after acupuncture, but this is normal and should subside. Give your treatments some time to work before calling us back the next day.

How many Acupuncture treatments do I need to do and how often do I need to get the treatment?

As everyone’s body and problems are different, the exact number of continued treatments cannot be determined.
Continue acupuncture treatments every other day until your problem is completely gone. Getting only one treatment a week does not solve the problem. Getting acupuncture as soon as possible after pains start allows the body to heal with fewer treatments. Often times, needles are placed on the opposite side of the body when treating disorders or pains. Acupuncture treats many disorders at the same time, so feel free to tell your Acupuncturist all of your health concerns. If your problem has not improved by your third treatment with acupuncture, you may cancel our services.

Is Acupuncture covered by insurance?

The good news is that YES, many insurance companies now offer policies that cover acupuncture and related services performed by an acupuncturist.

Does my insurance cover acupuncture?

You can find out if your insurance provides acupuncture benefits by calling your insurance company’s patient information or benefits line. This number can be found on your insurance card.
If your insurance provider does cover acupuncture, here are a few questions that you can ask to determine your eligibility and coverage:

 

  1. How many treatments do I get?
  2. How much does the insurance company pay?
  3. What is the normal co-pay for acupuncture from a preferred provider? (This is the amount you would pay out-of-pocket for each visit to a practitioner on their provider list.)
  4. What percentage will I pay for out-of-network practitioners?  (This is the amount you would pay out-of-pocket for each visit to a practitioner who is NOT on their provider list.)
  5. Who must provide the acupuncture?
  6. Will I need a referral from an MD to see the acupuncturist?
  7. What is my deductible?
  8. What conditions are covered for acupuncture? (Many plans only cover the treatment of pain)

What are Affinity Programs for acupuncture?

If you don’t have benefits, you may have what’s called an “affinity program”. This is an arrangement that the insurance company has with certain acupuncturists to offer their members treatments at a discounted price (usually 20% to 40% discount off regular price).

Do Medicaid and Medicare cover acupuncture?

At this time, Medicaid and Medicare do not provide coverage for acupuncture.
The California MediCal program offers limited coverage when you see an acupuncturist that is a MediCal provider.

Is acupuncture a treatment option after a car accident?

If you have suffered a personal injury in an auto or motor vehicle accident, your or the other parties car insurance will pay for acupuncture treatments.

How do I bill the insurance companies for acupuncture?

While more and more acupuncturists are signing up to become acupuncture providers for insurance companies and handle all the paper work involved in billing, it is common for practitioners to be paid in full and provide patients with the information they will need to file a claim for reimbursement themselves.

How do I get the best result from my acupuncture treatments?

Return for acupuncture treatment every other day until your problem is completely gone. If you only get 1 or 2 treatments per week, it may take your whole life – you are just wasting your time and money. The best result for acupuncture is when you come in as soon as possible after an injury, in this case it may only take one or two treatments. Tell your physician all of your health complaints the very first visit. Avoid foods containing spicy or pungent flavors, any type of sesame product (meal or oil), and alcohol for 48hrs after each treatment.