- What is Acupuncture?
- Do you have to be licensed to practice acupuncture?
- Does acupuncture hurt?
- Are the needles sterile?
- How deep do the needles go?
- What does acupuncture treat?
- What is the goal of acupuncture?
- What can I expect during a treatment?
- How many treatments will I need?
- Does insurance cover acupuncture treatments?
- Is acupuncture compatible with other forms of health care?
- Is there anything I can do to improve my acupuncture experience?
- What is Qi?
- What are meridians?
- What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
1. What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles at various points on the body’s surface to improve physiological functioning of the body. Acupuncture points lie on energy pathways or channels. When a person is healthy the energy flows smoothly and strongly through these channels. If the energy is disrupted, then illness will occur. To correct these problems with acupuncture, a number of very fine sterile needles are inserted into the acupuncture points to regulate the flow of energy in the channels and restore the normal balance.
2. Do you have to be licensed to practice acupuncture?
3. Does acupuncture hurt?
No, generally needle insertions are not painful. Needles used are hair-fine, sterile, and disposable. At insertion, the patient may feel some heaviness, tingling, a slight pinch or a sensation running up and down the meridian. Patients often describe a state of deep relaxation and an overall sense of well-being during and after a treatment. Some even fall asleep.
4. Are the needles sterile?
5. How deep do the needles go?
6. What does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is an effective treatment for many disorders including:
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7. What is the goal of acupuncture?
8. What can I expect during a treatment?
The initial visit includes a full medical intake and health history as well as a comprehensive Chinese medicine examination of the tongue, pulse and abdomen.Your acupuncturist will formulate a customized treatment plan for you based on this information. Each practitioner has his/her own way of working; some may incorporate other therapies into their treatment such as moxabustion, tui na massage, cupping, and visualizations. Usually, the patient lies comfortably on a massage table while the needles are being inserted. The needles are left in for approximately 20 minutes to achieve maximum effect. The practitioner that you choose will be happy to answer any of your questions in greater detail.
9. How many treatments will I need?
Each person is unique. Treatment protocols vary depending upon the condition being treated. For example, when treating an injury or pain, we can often tell within three-to-four visits if acupuncture will have a positive effect. Chronic symptoms generally take longer to treat.
10. Does insurance cover acupuncture treatments?
There are a growing number of insurance companies in Illinois that cover acupuncture treatment. We always encourage patients to check with their particular insurance carrier to inquire about coverage. Some of our practitioners do bill insurance companies directly if your plan includes acupuncture. Others provide a discount for referral from insurance companies. All of our practitioners will gladly provide patients with a receipt of services to submit to their insurance for reimbursement. These invoices have all the appropriate diagnosis and procedure codes required for insurance.
11. Is acupuncture compatible with other forms of health care?
Absolutely. Traditional Chinese Medicine is unique in that it easily integrates with all forms of medicine. In fact, recently many hospitals and clinics have been combining Eastern and Western medical systems to form “Integrative Medicine” or “Complementary and Alternative Medicine” (CAM). The advantage of coming to Heartwood Center is that we have many different kinds of holistic therapies under one roof. All of our practitioners are skilled in making referrals to other disciplines such as massage, psychotherapy, yoga, tai chi, and meditation.
12. Is there anything I can do to improve my acupuncture experience?
13. What is Qi?
Qi (pronounced “chee”) is an energy force that runs throughout the body. A person’s health is influenced by the flow of qi in the body. If the flow of qi is unbalanced, insufficient or interrupted, illness may occur. Qi is an invisible force known only by its effects.
14. What are meridians?
Meridians are pathways throughout the body in which qi travels. There are 14 main meridians running vertically up and down the body, twelve of which correspond to organs. These meridians are the same on both sides of the body. Like qi, you cannot see meridians.
15. What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a complete system of medicine that has been in existence for more than 2,000 years. It has its own system of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, and therapies that work to restore and balance the body. When the body is out of balance, illness, pain, and other physical and emotional symptoms may arise. Chinese Medicine resolves these imbalances by strategic placement of acupuncture needles, herbs, tuina (acupressure based massage), moxabustion (heat therapy), cupping, gua sha (Chinese myofascial release) and diet therapy. Chinese medicine is unique in that it can be used to correct imbalances that have become illness and pain, or to correct imbalances prior to the appearance of symptoms to prevent disease.