Frequently Asked Questions

What Does It Treat?
A medical study conducted by the Mayo Clinic in 2009 stated that 85% of doctor visits are for stress related problems. A growing number of medical research studies are finding acupuncture to be extremely effective for treating anxiety and panic attacks, tension headaches and migraines, insomnia and nightmares. Stress related issues are the most common reason people come to see me.

Sustatined stress causes an over-active adrenals response. When the adrenals are over-active all the regulating systems (digestion, respiration, etc.) are negatively affected. Long-term stress causes otherwise healthy bodies to break down quickly and become resistant to recovery. This paves that way for disease to manifest. Heart disease, cancer and cholitis are all diseases that can originate from stress. Other physical manifestations of stress that I have successfully treated are gynecological issues like irregular periods, cramping or painful periods.

I have also found acupuncture to be very effective treating scarring from surgeries or accidents. The connective tissue under the scar can become thick and stick to underlying tissue causing a stuck feeling and possibly limiting range-of-motion and causing pain. By gently releasing the scar tissue you can reduce the thickness of the scar tissue and restore natural movement to the area. It’s a profoundly effective treatment.

Physical pain due to accidents, repetitive stress and athletic/dance injuries are also effectively treated with acupuncture. Among the complaints that I have successfully treated are back and neck pain, sciatica, hip, knee and ankle pain, plantar fasciitis, shoulder and rotator cuff pain, headaches and repetitive stress injuries, and loss of range of motion at a given joint.

Does It Hurt?
Most people find that needle insertion is imperceptible. As the needles are solid and very fine, it doesn't feel like getting your blood drawn or getting an injection. Where people often notice a sensation is with needle manipulation to produce what is commonly referred to as heavy, dull, achy, tingling or spreading sensation. These needles are stimulated deliberately as they are an indication that the body's healing response has been activated.

With Trigger point release the needle will create a sensation that feels like a quick spasm or a jump of a muscle. The immediate effects can feel like lingering post-workout soreness that fades over a 48 hour period. The benefits of this style are very long lasting. This style is particularly effective for the treatment of whiplash, sciatic, rotator cuff injuries, recovery from falls and accidents that resulted in muscle spasms, athletic and dance injuries to name a few.

What should I expect on my first visit?
The first session will generally last about 60 minutes with each follow-up visit lasting about 45-50 minutes. It's best not to receive acupuncture on an empty stomach or after alcohol consumption. If you are on any prescription medication, please let me know before we begin the session. We will complete a comprehensive questionnaire and upon completion, if necessary, I will palpate areas you want to have treated.

The next phase of the session would be the acupuncture treatment. Each treatment is done based on what the patient is presenting and what style of acupuncture would be appropriate.

The number of needles will vary depending of the treatment. You can expect to relax with the needles in place for 10 to 15 minutes once the insertions are complete. From this point you will likely be unaware of the needles for the rest of the time that they are inserted.

After the needles are removed we will discuss further recommendations for your care, including further acupuncture treatments. As acupuncture treatments are cumulative, an initial course of treatment is usually recommended which includes 4-6 weekly treatments. If your condition is chronic you may need ongoing care for several months. As an additional part of your treatment I may recommend other therapeutic techniques in addition to acupuncture. These will be discussed in greater detail as the need arises.

Will health insurance cover it?
I am in-network with Cigna, Landmark Healthcare and Horizon, however, it would be your responsibility to check your policy to see if it covers what you are seeking acupuncture for. I will submit a bill for the treatment for reimbursement. I will need to have your current credit card number on file in case the insurance does not cover the treatment. You will be required to cover the full cost of the treatment if that occurs.

Common Terms

Qi and Blood
These are the two most vital substances in Chinese medicine. They work together to influence every process of the body. The basic concept is Qi moves while Blood nourishes. Qi is considered the vapor and natural force behind the maintenance of all living organisms.

The network of pathways that travel predominately up and down the body and connect varies systems of the body internally and externally.

Myofascial Pain
"Myo" refers to muscle, fascia refers to the thin sheets of connective tissue that cover and bind muscle together. Myofascial pain is caused by constriction is select bands of muscle and the fascia surrounding it.

Trigger Point
This is a style and term coined by Dr. Janet Travell and involves releasing taut bands of muscle by using a needle to cause a jump or fasciculation in the targeted area. When the bands of muscle are contracted they feel ropey and tender and can often cause predictable referral pain from one area of the body to another. Since the taut bands inhibit the natural function of the muscle, releasing the constriction through treatment helps to restore the optimal performance of the muscle and muscle groups.

Other Techniques

Gua Sha
This is a non-invasive technique that involves friction of the skin with a smooth edge instrument on various parts of the body. It is commonly used to treat back pain and upper respiratory problems such as cold and cough. Gua Sha effectively releases pain and increases mobility and circulation. As it works to clear up congestion at the surface of the body, patches or red skin appear and generally fade within 48 hours.

Moxabustion or Moxa
Moxa is the stimulation of acupuncture points by burning an herb called Mugwart over specific acupuncture points. Moxa creates warmth where it is needed and strengthens the movement of Blood.

This technique is an application of suction using heated glass cups to the surface of the body. This technique is generally used for back and joint pain and upper respiratory problems. They are applied to the back or affected area and left comfortably in place along with acupuncture needles for the duration of the treatment.