Frequently Asked Questions
Do i have to be an athlete to get help?
- Absolutely not. Everyone needs to perform at life. That can be working a hard job or taking care of a family. If you have terrible posture leading to neck pain and herniated discs, you should come in. If you lifted a heavy box in the garage and strained your back, you should come in. If you are an olympic skier with bursitis in you hip, you should come in. If you are trying to get pregnant and heard acupuncture can help you, don't come in. I do not specialize in that.
How do I make an appointment and get treatment?
- You can call or email and we have a free 15 min consultation to determine whether we should work together or not. Should you decide to proceed, we schedule an appointment time.
How many sessions will I require to feel better?
- That depends on several factors. Some of those include how long you have had the condition (acute conditions typically respond faster and require less treatment), what the condition is (some conditions simply require more treatments), your age (typically younger people heal faster), your lifestyle (if you have an injury due to repetitive motion from work, for example, and can not stop working you will continue to aggravate a condition and this takes longer to heal), and what your goals are (are you recovering from an injury or are you just looking to perform better or both). There are more but you get the idea. Once we talk in our consultation you will be provided with an estimate of how many sessions you might need. This estimate is very flexible and only after complete evaluation of medical history, your specific injury or condition, your goals, and other factors can a number of required sessions be determined. Some of you will love this service so much you will just keep going after your therapeutic period because you will just feel better and perform better when you see me regularly.
Do you accept insurance?
- The short answer is yes, some. We accept Blue Shield, United Health, VA, and DOL health plans. Please check with your specific plan to see if you have acupuncture coverage. Not all services that we provide are covered by insurance (Postural evaluation, cupping, DCT, etc.). If those services are provided (depending on agreement) you will be responsible to cover those charges. We do also offer super bills with current ICD-10 coding for you to submit to your insurance carrier which in most cases provides you with benefits.
How much does this cost?
- Service rate is $158 per hour. Your first session is $208 which is about an hour and a half and includes a $50 evaluation fee. Exactly what will be done in a session will be determined based on your evaluation of your condition.
- Packages of 3, 5, and 8 hours are available extended therapy more affordable. Increasing discounts are applied the more hours you buy. You can make a 30 min appointment or a 2 hour appointment. Your session time gets deducted from your package hours. We always discuss session length ahead of time and you will never have a session longer than you agreed to.
- Saturday community pain management clinic is $58. You are treated either in a gravity chair or on a table in a room with other people. It is not a private setting and you will remain fully clothed. Treatments are 30 minutes. It is first come first serve and there is room for 3 people to be treated at a time. You can wait with a cup of tea until a space opens.
- The above prices do not include any products, herbs, supplements, or liniments which must be purchased separately.
Does acupuncture hurt?
- The short answer is not really. I like to tell people that "Acupuncture is not a procedure without sensation." It really depends however on what we have to do. Some orthopedic cases require stronger stimulation on the muscles and this can be a little achy. Sometimes there is a little pinch or nervy sensation but this is rare. Most people (about 98%) have no problem with the needle sensations and actually grow to love it. Many people fall asleep during the acupuncture part of the session because it is so relaxing. Everyone is different though.
How does acupuncture work?
- This is a complicated question. The traditional answer is that acupuncture helps to remove blockages in the energy meridians of your body. While this is likely true based on thousands of years of clinical efficacy, it is very difficult to prove scientifically given our current technology. What is certain is that acupuncture does modulate pain through endorphin and enkephalin modulation. Acupuncture also adjusts muscle function via nerve innervations at "motor points" which are areas of dense nerve innervation in the tissue. Honestly, it is less important how it works than if it works. It does.
What is moxibustion?
- Moxibustion is the practice of burning an herb (artemesia vulgaris) on the skin, over the skin, or on the acupuncture needles when they are in the body. This is a very therapeutic technique that is painless and actually feels quite good. It is used to improve circulation, warm cold and contracted tissues, and invigorate overall vitality. We are warm blooded beings. We maintain a 98.6 temperature. How do we do this? The life that courses through us creates heat. When that force is weakened there is cold. Ask anyone with an arthritic knee how they feel in winter. Usually worse. Moxa helps to warm and dispel cold and dampness in the skin, joints, and muscles to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and improve health.
How do liniments work?
- Liniments are a time-tested methodology of topically imparting the beneficial compounds of medicinal plants into the body. Specific formulations of herbs that work together for a particular purpose (such as relieving swelling and pain in arthritic joints) are blended. The herbs are soaked in alcohol to extract the active therapeutic constituents and then strained from the liquid. The resulting liquid is the liniment which gets applied to the affected area of trauma or dysfunction, allowing for direct absorption of the beneficial ingredients. Some liniments are for acute traumas like sprains and strains. Some are for chronic disorders like arthritis.
How can Chinese herbal medicine really help me?
- Herbal medicines are far older than any pharmaceutical drug. Many plants have evolved to have extremely beneficial medicinal compounds. These plants and their combinations have been used safely and effectively for thousands of years by physicians around the world. Our Western minds have difficulty with this because we worship modern science and unfortunately trust what the pharmaceutical companies sell us. Most modern drugs are derived from plants. This reductionistic model of isolating single "active" compounds in a plant and synthesizing that compound is not necessarily a better approach than whole plant medicine and often results in a large array of side effects. Watch any drug commercial. Chinese herbal medicine is the most effectively catalogued, systematized, and diverse system of herbal medicine on the planet. It has been used effectively for about 4000 years of recorded history by millions upon millions of people. It can help cure colds, flu, digestive problems, organ problems, pain, weakness, damaged tissue from trauma, heal broken bones, and more.