What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture involves inserting fine, sterile, single-use needles into set points throughout the body. Each point has specific actions that help the body reach harmony when activated. The insertion of needles can release muscular trigger points, communicate with the central nervous system, interrupt pain signals and trigger an immune response which promotes healing.
What Does It Feel Like?
While most will not experience a feeling of “pain”, one may experience a heaviness, tingling, warmth, pull, or slight ache at the insertion point. This is normal and simply means that the point has been activated. Sometimes there is no feeling at the insertion point which is okay, too. For those who are needle-phobic, we can discuss this and work within your comfort zone as well as use alternate modalities such as acupressure.
What Should I Expect On My First Visit?
In preparation for your first treatment please print and fill out the first office call paperwork from this website. Please bring this paperwork with you to your first appointment. It is helpful to wear loose, comfortable clothing and to make sure that you don’t have an empty stomach.
During your first appointment we will discuss your health history. Chinese medicine treats the person as a whole so questions will move beyond your chief complaint. For example, digestion, sleep patterns, and lifestyle will all be addressed if the main complaint is back pain. After an in depth assessment has been completed, a treatment plan designed to heal your chief complaint will be developed.
Treatment plans may consist of any combination of the following:
- Acupuncture- insertion of hair-thin needles
- Chinese Herbal Formulas: ready-made or custom combinations of herbs (depending on patient needs) tailored to treat specific ailments
- Tibetan Herbal Foot soaks: improve circulation and reduce inflammation
- Nutritional counseling from a Chinese Medical Perspective
- Cupping- suction on the skin to relieve muscle tension
- Guasha- literally translated as “scraping” this technique involves a rubbing motion on the upper back meant to release heat and break up adhesions
- Moxabustion: A technique that involves burning the herb Mugwort to promote healing
- Electrical Stimulation- a technique that sends current through needles to reduce inflammation
Is Acupuncture Covered By Insurance?
We do accept insurance and if you have coverage, will bill it for you! More and more policies are including acupuncture coverage and we would be happy to verify your benefits for you. We ask that you give us your insurance information at least 48 hours prior to your appointment. We are in Network with Optum (which includes United Healthcare and UMR), Aetna, as well as American Specialty Health. Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare do not currently cover acupuncture treatments. At this time Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna can only be billed out of network.
Many patients are able to use debit cards linked to Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for acupuncture treatments. Workman’s Compensation and personal injury will often times provide 100% coverage as will many automobile accident policies.
Can Veterans Receive Acupuncture?
Yes, with prior authorization through the VA.
Veterans Choice Program
VA Patient-Centered Care Program (PC 3 Program)
VA Traditional Community Care Program
VA Community Care Network Program
These programs are designed to improve timely access to healthcare for Veterans by allowing Veterans to use approved health care providers outside of the VA. TriWest administers the Veterans Choice Program in Arizona, but referrals must come directly from your VA Provider. You can ask your VA provider for a referral to our office with authorization through the choice programs.
What Is Cupping?
Cupping is a technique that uses suction either from a glass cup to relieve muscle pain and tension.The suction draws fresh blood into the muscles and as the blood flow increases, the tissue gets more nutrients and oxygen. This helps with stiffness, scar tissue and muscle cramps. The better the blood flow, the more efficiently the muscles can function and heal.
Do The Cupping Marks Hurt?
The marks left from cupping, do not actually hurt! Typically after cupping you would feel similar to that of a deep tissue massage. When muscles become tight, the blood flow is reduced and things gets stuck. By pulling up the muscle you are causing it to relax and allow new blood to flood in with fresh oxygen and nutrients while drawing up the stagnant blood. The darker the mark the more stagnation there was in the area.
Will I See Results In One Treatment?
Acupuncture creates subtle changes in the body and everyone responds differently. Most people will notice immediate improvement, however, many people need to receive a few treatments before lasting changes are made. Often times, the more chronic the condition, the more treatments you may need for significant, long-term results. For many conditions you can expect to need frequent treatments (1-2 a week) for a few weeks that will then be spread out as improvement is made. For further explanation please read my blog post: http://invigorateacupuncture.com/how-many-acupuncture-treatments-will-i-need/
What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat?
Acupuncture encourages the body’s own ability to heal, so it can assist in the treatment of most conditions. The most common conditions that I see in clinic are migraine headaches, neck pain, back pain, sciatica, joint pain & arthritis, anxiety & depression as well as gynecological issues. Acupuncture can benefit neurological, psychological, hormonal, respiratory, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, digestive, and reproductive conditions, so if you are wondering if acupuncture can help your specific condition give me a call or send me an email and I would be happy to discuss it with you.
Will The Herbal Formulas Interact With Any Medications I Am Taking?
The majority of the time there are no conflicts and, some patients are even able to reduce their medications while under doctors supervision. There are specific types of medications that do have documented interactions so we will make sure we know what you’re taking before we begin any herbal therapies.