Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture involves the insertion and stimulation of thin, sterile disposable needles at specific points on the body to facilitate recovery of health.

Although initially developed thousands of years ago, some contemporary acupuncturists, particularly those with  medical qualifications, understand acupuncture in physiologic terms, without compromising the ancient theory and principles.

It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What is a Treatment like?

treatment room

During the initial appointment a full health history will be taken. We’ll chat about your symptoms, your overall health and your lifestyle.  I’ll  check your pulses and your tongue and may gently palpate your area of concern. We’ll then create a  comprehensive plan to help you optimize your health.

Once we have a plan, you can make yourself comfortable on the padded treatment table face-up. The treatment itself involves the insertion of  ultra-thin, sterilized, disposable needles into specific points on the body.  There is usually little or no sensation upon insertion but later tingling or mild pressure may develop at the site or elsewhere. This also creates an opportunity for the body to enter a state of deep relaxation during the 10 to 20 minutes that the needles are in place.  Most treatments also include a back treatment, so the needles will be removed and you can make yourself comfortable face-down using a face cradle. Then a second series of needles are placed and you can rest again.

On subsequent treatments we’ll make note of the changes since your last treatment and then proceed with your treatment as above.

Why I feel your pulses on both wrists?

The practice of East Asian Medicine relies on the subtle qualities in the wrist pulses to validate or clarify a diagnosis. Each finger position along the radial pulse correlates to a different organ system and signals if the systems are functioning as a cohesive unit.

 

Why I look at your tongue?

The tongue is an organ, an organ of taste, and is both interior and exterior.  It gives me an overall sense of your interior organ systems and helps guide the treatment.

Why are Chinese herbs sometimes recommended?

Chinese Herbal medicine can be a powerful adjunct to your acupuncture care or used as a stand-alone treatment.  Unlike acupuncture, which activates your own intrinsic  metabolic activity, Chinese Herbal formulas introduce external influences to the body in the same way nourishing food might.  Herbal formulas are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to help it resolve problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. They are designed to meet your individual needs at a given point in time with the intention of restoring optimal metabolic activity. Some gentle supportive formulas can be taken long-term, especially for chronic conditions.

Safety

I have hundreds of hours of specialized training in Chinese Herbal Medicine and passed the National Chinese Herbology Boards in 2002. The herbs provided are processed in  labs that operate in full compliance with all FDA, HIPAA, and National Security Agency regulations and are manufactured according to a comprehensive set of safety precautions and accuracy measures.                                                                                       Regina Gibbons MBA, M.AC

 

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes, but calling it acupuncture can be unsettling for them. That’s why we call it Shonihari (Japanese for small child acupuncture) which employs “touching needle technique” and other non-insertive methods to sensitively treat children. Handcrafted gold and silver tools are used to stimulate the treatment points and channels.  A child’s metabolism is highly volatile at baseline so they respond quickly to the influence of “acupuncture. ”  I’ve worked with many children, some as young as 6 weeks and they love it!

 

 

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve their desired results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Those with chronic conditions incorporate regular acupuncture treatments to prevent acute flare ups.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and your overall health.  Treatments once a week for four weeks will give us both a solid understanding of how appropriate and effective acupuncture can be for you.

The healthiest of people can benefit from monthly visits to help maintain their vitality.

How much does it cost?

Time of Service fees

(for uninsured or underinsured individuals and families*)

 

ADULT:

Adult Acupuncture Initial Virtual Office Visit  20  min                                                     $50.00

Adult Acupuncture Initial Virtual Office Visit  30 min $75.00
Initial Acupuncture Treatment (After Initial Virtual Office Visit above) $80.00
Acupuncture Follow Up Treatments $80.00

 

PEDIATRIC:

Pediatric Acupuncture Initial Virtual Office Visit  20  min        $50.00
Pediatric Acupuncture Initial Virtual Office Visit  30  min     $75.00
Pediatric Initial Acupuncture Treatment (After Initial Virtual Office Visit above)     $60.00
Pediatric Acupuncture Follow Up Treatments     $60.00

 

We accept cash, check, Venmo, Master Card and Visa at time of service

 

Have an HSA?

Time of Service fees for acupuncture are considered a Qualified Expense

under most Health Savings Account plans.

 

*This discount policy has been developed to assist uninsured and underinsured patients to access acupuncture services and other related services provided.

A patient that does not have any health insurance coverage effective for a specific service due to network limitations, insurance benefit exhaust or other non-covered is eligible for a  discounted rate that reflects 45 to 55 percent of the customary and usual fees for such services for the geographic region.

Time of service fees are determined on a per session basis rather than per unit basis to assist uninsured and underinsured individuals in their financial planning and decision-making while pursuing their health care goals.

 

(Detailed Time of Service Discount policy and calculations available upon request)

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

More and more Health Insurance companies recognize the high value/low cost benefits of acupuncture and provide coverage.

 

We are a preferred provider for the the following Insurance Companies:

  • Allways Health Partners
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • CignaHealth Insurance
  • Commonwealth Care
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care 
  • Tufts Health Plan 
  • United Health Care

 

All these companies provide some acupuncture benefit, although each is different.

 

To learn what your specific policy covers CLICK HERE to access the confidential Insurance Verification form and our trained verification team will provide us with the details.

How should I prepare?

  • Write down and bring any questions you have. It will help focus our discussion.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points on the extremities.
  • Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol on the day of your treatment.
  • Be mindful of stressful situations. Take time to relax, and allow yourself to rest afterwards.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe when administered by a properly trained and licensed professional. There is very little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

What can acupuncturists treat?

National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that acupuncture can be helpful in managing a wide variety of conditions that fall into these general categories:

Digestive disorders

Sleep disorders

Stress response

Mood disorders

Muscular-skeletal pain and tension

Overuse injuries

Tension headaches and migraines

Dental pain

Menstrual irregularities and discomfort

Allergies

Respiratory issues