Will My Health Insurance pay for
All auto accident insurance (PIP) and most health insurance
policies will cover acupuncture treatments. My office will contact
your insurance company for you. We will also handle the billing
to the insurance company.
More insurance policies are paying for acupuncture now, but if yours
doesn't you can ask your agent about adding a rider for your policy.
Can I still see my regular Doctor?
Yes. The care you are receiving can be enhanced and work synergistically
with Oriental Medicine. We encourage the cooperation and exchange
of information with your doctor to achieve greater benefit to you
What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine
TCM is a very old, but still vital healing system that is continuously
evolving. Acupuncture, Herbal Formulations, Diet and Exercise are
the main disciplines of Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM is based
on harmony or balance. A healthy person is in complete balance,
both with him or herself and with nature. TCM theory states that
disease is a deviation from balance, and the purpose of treatment
is to restore it. TCM focuses on maintaining health rather than
managing disease. TCM is an empirical medicine, meaning it was developed
mainly through clinical observations. It is a logical system that
summarizes the results of clinical observation and experience to
instruct further practice.
TCM serves more than one billion people in China and Southeast
Asia. There are more than one million TCM practitioners in China
alone. Five years ago, the Chinese government conducted a national
survey on Chinese medicinal substances and found that 11,146 species
of plants, 1,581 species of animals, and 80 minerals have been used
as TCM remedies.2 One-fourth of the world's population uses TCM,
the second largest medical system in the world today. In Japan,
there are more than 200,000 health care providers prescribing Chinese
herbal medicines for their patients. TCM is used to treat almost
every disease identified by western medicine. TCM is used in Europe,
Canada, and the United States, especially in the western, eastern,
and northern parts of the U.S.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Yes, it is very safe when practiced by a qualified practitioner
and without any serious side effects, one of the reasons for its
acceptance. The single use stainless steel needles themselves are
pre-sterilized, and they are disposed of after each treatment.
Acupuncture has been used by millions of Americans and is recognized
by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). The FDA regulates acupuncture needles as medical
devices, and rates them in the category of "safe and effective."
The National Institutes of Health finished a two and one-half year
study of acupuncture, electrical acupuncture and microcurrent therapies,
and published their Consensus Statement in November, 1997. The Consensus
Statement from the NIH states that, "While it is often thought
that there is substantial research evidence to support conventional
medical practices; this is frequently not the case. This does not
mean that these treatments are ineffective. The data in support
of acupuncture are as strong as those for many accepted Western
medical therapies. One of the advantages of acupuncture is that
the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that
of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the
The complete document from the NIH may be found at: National Institutes
of Health Consensus Statement on Acupuncture, 1997
Can my problem be treated with acupuncture?
Yes! Oriental Medicine is a complete system, which treats a full
range of diseases in all stages of expression (acute, chronic, infectious,
internal and traumatic). If the disease is very advanced or extremely
virulent Oriental Medicine is a good supplement to more aggressive
western options by promoting balance and invigorating the immune
Will acupuncture fix my problem immediately?
Acupuncture is not a miracle cure, nor a "quick fix."
Remember that acupuncture is addressing the underlying cause of
a problem rather than fixing a symptom, therefore it takes time
to have an effect. You may experience immediate results, especially
if the problem is not too chronic, but you may not notice any progress
until later in the course of treatment. It requires a trust and
an acceptance of the process.
How does it work?
Contemporary Western medicine has developed more than 17 different
ways of explaining different aspects of acupuncture effects, but
no unified theory. The traditional understanding of acupuncture
provides a unified framework for clinical evaluation and treatment
(the channel system, five-phase theory, yin/yang theory). Western
and Chinese medicine agree on the fact that it really works, and
that formal studies, using techniques ranging from blood serum analysis
to MRI, have documented acupuncture's efficacy in ways that are
compatible with Western scientific methodology. The outcomes of
many studies suggest that acupuncture is more effective when applied
by a skillful practitioner using traditional theories.
How is the diagnosis
TCM has developed unique diagnostic and therapeutic methods such
as tongue diagnosis, pulse reading, herbal formulas and acupuncture.
TCM treats patients holistically, that is as a whole, rather than
treating individual parts.
The TCM doctor inspects (observes) the patient's mental state, complexion,
physical condition, and behavior. The practitioner observes the
person's vitality (qi), face and skin color, body figure, hair,
eyes, lips, teeth, throat, and other features. The most important
observation is of the tongue to see its color, size, and coating
Auscultation and Olfaction
Auscultation (listening) and olfaction (smelling) are used to detect
the health status of the patient. The practitioner listens to the
voice, breathing, and coughing. The odors of the patient are also
noted. TCM considers these sounds and odors to be reflective of
the health status of the various body organs.
Inquiring involves asking the person and his or her relatives about
such things as the person's history, symptoms, family history, and
previous therapies. Typically, the practitioner will ask the person
about the presence of chills and/or fever, excessive perspiration,
pain, sleep, diet, thirst, alcohol consumption, other beverage consumption,
urination, bowel movements, menstruation, and childhood illnesses.
Palpation is a physical examination that includes pulse reading
and the use of the hands to touch and press certain areas of the
body. Pulse reading is one of most important Chinese diagnostic
methods. There are 24 different pulses that can be read from a person's
Based on all the data obtained from the four diagnostic methods,
a differential diagnosis is made according to the eight principal
syndromes: yin or yang, exterior or interior, cold or heat, and
deficient or excessive.
According to TCM theories, treatment is based on an overall analysis
of symptoms and signs. The doctor considers four characteristics
in deciding on a treatment.
the cause of the illness
the nature of the illness
location of the illness
the patient's overall physical condition
In this way, treatment is individualized. It may be changed according
to changes in the patient's condition during the course of the disease.
What does acupuncture feel like/does
A pinch, followed by "qi sensation," a feeling of warmth,
or aching around the point, and often above and below it as well,
along the course of the channel. Many styles of traditional acupuncture
consider the qi sensation a prerequisite to effective treatment.
Western research has so far supported this notion. Some people feel
the insertion, some don't. The sensations of acupuncture vary widely
How big are those needles, anyway?
They're not very big. The typical Chinese fine needle measures .25
to .30 millimeters in diameter, and 30-50 millimeters in length.
Acupuncture needles, unlike hypodermic needles, are neither hollow
nor rigid, and the tip is shaped to increase the patient's comfort
during insertion. It has often been stated that anywhere from half
a dozen to a dozen acupuncture needles will fit inside the bore
of a hypodermic needle; this depends, of course, on the diameter
of all needles under consideration. Some Japanese-made needles are
quite a bit finer than their Chinese counterparts. Interestingly
enough, needle diameter has very little to do with insertion comfort;
needling technique and needle tip shape are much bigger factors.
Do I have to believe in acupuncture?
Acupuncture's theoretical models are not based on faith. Acupuncture
works on horses, dogs, babies, and people in comas. Its world view
arises from empirical observation, and the acid test for the validity
of the view is the result of its application by skillful practitioners.
Simply put: faith is not a requirement.
I am healthy why would I need treatment?
Oriental Medicine has traditionally been used to prevent disease
by enhancing the body’s own ability to fight infection and
to self-repair. Just as you tune-up your car or do a spring cleaning
on your house we recommend a treatment every seasonal change to
keep you in optimal health.