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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the oldest time-tested forms of medical treatment in the world. It has been a major part of primary healthcare in China for the last 5,000 years. Acupuncture is used for a variety of medical needs, ranging from the prevention and treatment of disease to pain relief and anesthetizing patients for surgery or dentistry. Acupuncture literally means needle piercing, the practice of inserting very fine hair-thin needles into the skin to stimulate specific anatomic points in the body (called acu-points) to balance the movement of energy (qi) in the body and restore health.. Practitioners may also use heat, pressure, friction, suction, or electrical impulses to stimulate the points.

As in many oriental medicine practices, one emphasis of acupuncture is on prevention, and on treating problems before they reach serious stages. In traditional Chinese medicine, the highest form of acupuncture treatment was given to enable people to live long and healthy lives.

In the United States, acupuncture is used frequently for the treatment of chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, headache, athletic injuries, and post-traumatic and post-surgical pain. It is also used for treating chronic pain associated with immune function dysfunction such as psoriasis (skin disorders), fibromyalgia, allergies, and asthma.

Acupuncture is also found to be effective for the treatment of mind-body disorders such as anxiety, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, hypertension, insomnia, PMS, menopausal symptoms, and depression. Modern applications of acupuncture include the treatment of alcoholism, addiction, smoking, and eating disorders.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

It’s natural to not want to have one’s protective skin barrier pierced by needles of any kind. Surprisingly, most people who receive acupuncture feel little or no pain with treatment. Acupuncture needles are usually hair thin, extremely narrow gauge stainless steel, silver or gold. Most people feel no pain at all. Others may experience a brief sensation like a mosquito bite, which goes away almost immediately.

Will my health insurance plan cover Acupuncture?

More and more insurance plans are covering acupuncture treatments. Co-payments, deductibles, and annual treatment maximums may apply. If you have a flex-pay plan, you can almost always use those monies for acupuncture care. We will be happy to inquire with your insurance company in advance to determine if your plan covers acupuncture.