Frequently Asked Questions
Can Health Saving Accounts be used for acupucture?
Yes. A new Equal Access to Acupuncture law was passed in 2009. Many more insurances will be covering acupuncture by a licensed acupuncturist.
How old is Chinese Medicine?
Chinese medicine goes back over 3,000 years.
How does it work?
Chinese medicine uses tiny needles and herbs to help nurture the body back to health by
helping resolve energy imbalances.
What are the needles like?
Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle
once, then dispose of it.
Acupuncture needles are small and hair-thin. They are solid, not hollow like needles used by
doctors. The end of an acupuncture needle is smooth and rounded. Acupuncture needles are not
designed to cut the skin. Instead, when an acupuncture needle is inserted, the round edge
pushes the tissue aside without cutting it. Acupuncture needles are so thin it's as if they can
glide through the spaces between the individual cells of the body.
Does it hurt?
People experience needling differently. There are different styles of needling. Acupuncture needles I insert are rarely described as painful, and can be quickly
adjusted if the patients does feel discomfort. If any sensation is experienced during insertion,
it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are
inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist
engages the energy in your body in order to help balance it. Often people describe their
sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take great care to make my clients very
comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can relax
during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep
Following treatment it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and calm.
Do you use herbs?
Yes, although my primary training is as an acupuncturist, I have also been trained in herbal
medicine, and sometimes use herbal formulas to support the acupuncture treatment.
How do herbs differ from western medicine?
Chinese herbal formulas tend to be much gentler than western medicines, and work to not only help
relieve symptoms, but to help return the body to balance and equilibrium. That is why we often modify the herbs as treatment continues, since the
body starts to shift towards being healthier, and therefore the herbs are modified to meet the
changing needs of the body.
Can I take Chinese herbs when I am on medication?
In most cases your medications and Chinese herbs are compatible. This would have to be evaluated on a case by case
How quickly can I expect to feel better?
In general, I tell my patients they should start to feel the benefits from acupuncture in a few treatments. If the problem is acute, sometimes improvement is felt after 1 treatment, and may
only need 3-5 treatments to resolve. If the problem is chronic and long term, it may take a course of treatments to help resolve. I discount the fee if you come twice a week.
How often should I be treated?
Typically I treat patients one time a week. If the condition is acute and painful, I may want to
do treatments 2 times per week for the first couple of weeks. The benefits of acupuncture
treatments tend to hold longer as you receive treatments, so what typically happens is that
my patients start to need to see me less and less, so after a while they only come only
periodically for maintenance.
Does acupuncture always help?
No, but it usually does. If you do not feel any benefit after course of treatments, then acupuncture
may not work for you.
What should I wear for the treatment?
Just wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily rolled up above
your elbows and knees. Gowns are available if needed
What are the charges for acupncture?
Acupuncture sessions are currently $80 for initial consultation and treatment and $70 for follow up acupuncture treatments. The charges are collected at the time of service. Check or cash are preferred payment methods but credit cards will be accepted.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
In most cases I can bill Workman's Comp, auto insurances and HealthPartners/CIGNA insurance. Check with your insurance plan to see if acupuncture is covered by a licensed acupuncturist. Many more insurances are covering acupuncture so please call me or check with your providers for information. Flex Spending plans and Health Saving Accounts are also accepted.