Acupuncture has been an integral part of Asian culture, health, and well-being for centuries. Traditional Chinese physicians have used acupuncture for all kinds of ailments ranging from migraines to back pain, from breathing difficulties to immune disorders. Only in the last few decades has western culture taken note of some of the benefits that acupuncture provides. In fact, hospitals such as The Cleveland Clinic, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America now have acupuncturists on staff.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is still somewhat of a mystery to the medical world. Most speculate that acupuncture's effect on the body is the result of endorphin release. Needling in specific areas of the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that have pain relieving properties, mood elevating properties, and some anti-inflammatory properties. This is why acupuncture can be effective in treating such a wide array of disorders.
What can I expect on my first visit?
On your first visit you have to fill out some paperwork (big surprise right?...). Then we talk about the issues you are struggling with and come up with a treatment plan to address these issues. You receive a treatment on your first visit in which the needles stay in the body about 25 minutes. During that time you are laying or sitting on a comfortable massage table The whole process usually takes a little over an hour. Follow-up visits usually last 45 minutes.
Do I have to be undressed?
It all depends on what area I have to work on. If it involves the back, hips, or glutes patients are usually asked to undress and they are draped with a sheet, just like a massage. I usually tell everyone to wear loose fitting clothes, and if I can get to the area easily they can remain fully dressed.
Does it hurt?
I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "If I had known this didn't hurt I would have come in a lot sooner!". Honestly, most of the time acupuncture is painless, every once in a while a needle can be a little sensitive when inserted. If the needle is still uncomfortable after a few seconds I readjust it or take it out. My goal is for you to be comfortable at all times. Your treatment time is yours to enjoy and relax.
How many treatments do I need?
Every single person is different when it comes to the number of treatments needed to help or resolve an issue. Chronic, long-term issues usually need more treatments than acute or new injuries or issues. The good news is it usually doesn't take 20 visits to decide if the acupuncture is helping. If the acupuncture is going to help you should start to see some positive changes in a few visits. There is also the possibility that acupuncture may not help at all.
Does insurance cover acupuncture?
Usually acupuncture is not a covered service, but it never hurts to check. Acupuncture Zen does not accept insurance at this time. If you have an HSA account you can use the checks /card here. Just make sure acupuncture is an allowable expense.
How will I feel afterwards?
Most people feel extremely relaxed after a treatment, sometimes sleepy. Occasionally people have told me they feel very energized after a treatment.
Can I have acupuncture done if I take aspirin or am on a blood-thinner?
Yes, unless you have a severe bleeding disorder you can still have acupuncture done.
Do you reuse your needles?
No, I only use single-use, disposable acupuncture needles.
Can I get acupuncture done for something like stress relief or relaxation, or is acupuncture only for pain or a medical disorder?
You can absolutely get acupuncture done for things like stress relief and relaxation. Being proactive often keeps things from turning into bigger problems.
What is the cost?
Initial Visit (including treatment) - $85.00
Follow Up Visits - $65.00
For those that may be wondering about the size of an acupuncture needle........
From left: a strait pin, an acupuncture needle, a human hair.
A close up of needles inserted into the back.