Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture/ TCM.
Does acupuncture hurt?
We can't guarantee you won't feel anything. However, most points feel like a small mosquito bite, if that. Most patients are pleasantly surprised when they feel nothing. Some acupuncture points can be more sensitive than others. And some people are more sensitive to the "Qi" sensation. . That said, during your first few treatments, expect several check-ins to make sure you are comfortable. Often times, if a needle does cause some discomfort, it will dissipate within seconds, if it doesn't, than we can adjust the placement or take it out completely. If you do feel any sort of pain, please let us know immediately and we will do what we can to make it more comfortable.
There are some normal sensations that your can feel with acupuncture. Some feel a warming or cooling sensation around the needles. It is common to get chilled during a session. Some feel a heavy, or distended feeling of the limbs and body.
I'm afraid of needles, can I still get acupuncture?
Yes! Acupuncture needles are 1/4 the size of a human hair. The needles are so tiny, and they are usually coated with silicone, to make them smoother with insertion. However, if you are more comfortable on not having the needles anywhere near you, there are several other modalities we can use, such as cupping, guasha, tuina, Korean hand therapy or auricular therapy. Lanna can also stimulate certain acupuncture points in ways other an with needles. Such as tuning forks or magnets.
When will I feel better?
This is a truly individualized answer. But on average. We say 6-10 treatments is one "course" . Some acute conditions can be treated in 1-2 treatments, often times, chronic conditions will require long term maintenance of 1-2 treatments/ month. But on average, you will start to feel better a few treatments in, but it is important to keep coming until you are symptom free for weeks on end. Acupuncture has a cumulative effect. Meaning, each time you come, you get a little better, the more often you come, the longer the effects will last.
In the chart below, you will see each line could roughly represent an acupuncture treatment for a fairly severe condition.
Relief Stage- the period in which we treat the problematic symptoms, how the dis-ease is manifesting itself. Once the acute symptoms are under control we move into the Healing stage.
Healing stage- the period of time it takes to reach the root of the problem. We will start to focus on WHY the problem is presenting itself in the first place. At this point, treatments can be spaced farther apart. Eventually, you will move into Maintenance stage.
Maintenance Stage- A point in which you can just come in on occasion for a "tune-up". Regular maintenance and preventive care is the best way to keep a problem at bay.
What should I expect from a acupuncture appointment?
Your first appointment will consist of a thorough intake. The intake forms will be available to you to fill out prior to your appointment time. You will get them emailed to you once you book an appointment.
Lanna will go over that with you and gather any extra information needed. Lanna will then feel your pulses and look at your tongue. As part of the Chinese Medicine Diagnostic process, we can get a better glimpse of your internal health based on your pulse and tongue coat. Lanna will take some notes through this process and will determine the course of treatment for you. You will then lie on a massage table, either face up or face down, depending on your treatment. Once Lanna has inserted all the needles, she will leave you with some quiet time on the table with the needles retained in your body for about 30 min. It is recommended that you use that relaxing time rest, nap, meditate. Whatever brings your joy and relaxation.
If you are interested, Lanna can incorporate some aromatherapy and/ or guided meditation to help you relax easier.
Where will you put the needles?
Some needles may be where your pain or problem is, but there will be needles placed on your arms and legs as well. Chinese Medicine theory indicates that there are meridian, or channel systems in out bodies. By accessing those channels on the limbs, it can have a stronger effect often times on the symptom(s). Also, each acupuncture point has a specific function, so Lanna may needle a point on your foot for a headache, or point on your wrist for neck pain etc.
Will Insurance cover Acupuncture? Do you take Insurance?
Some Insurances are starting to cover acupuncture. You will have to check with your provider. Most major provider's do. BCBS, Medica, Health Partners all do, but only for certain conditions or a certain number of treatments. Acupuncture IS accepted by Health Savings Accounts (HSA) accounts.
At this moment, Agate Acupuncture does not bill insurance. Agate Acupuncture CAN provide you with a "SuperBill" to submit to insurance on your own if you'd like, for reimbursement. As mentioned above, if you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), or a FLEX spending account, acupuncture is an acceptable expense.