Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) PDF Print E-mail

1. Which conditions are commonly treated by acupuncture?
The National Institute of Health and the World Health Organization have recognized acupuncture as an effective treatment for diseases in 26 to 40 disease categories.

2. Will acupuncture hurt?
At Sierra Acupuncture and Integrative Health Center we specialize in gentle and effective treatments.

Some patients feel a small prick, pressure or tapping sensation initially, others are not aware of the needle insertions when they receive treatment. Over-all one can expect a relaxing and pleasant experience when receiving acupuncture at our clinic.

3. Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is an extremely safe therapeutic procedure. Our extensive training ensures you are being given the best care possible.

Your safety and well-being is our primary concern. We use the highest-quality disposable equipment available. We are recognized and licensed by the State and are considered Primary Care Providers (as are MDs, Dentists and Chiropractors). We encourage our patients to continue all current treatments, therapies and medications as advised by their physician.

4. What will happen during the first visit?
During your first visit you will have an intake interview. In the interview your current health complaint, as well as over-all health state will be assessed and your doctor will create an individual therapy plan for you.

You will then receive an initial treatment that may include one or more of the following combinations of traditional Chinese medical treatment modalities appropriate to your condition: acupuncture, moxibustion (heat therapy, tuina / cupping/ guasha (Asian manipulation techniques), medical qi gong (qi movement techniques) and nutritional counseling.

5. What is a typical treatment like?
After a brief interview, during a typical treatment, you will be asked to lie down on a treatment bed. You will experience minute disposable needles being gently inserted into the skin at specific sites on the body. Because they are extremely thin you will usually only feel a slight sensation. Occasionally either manual rotation or electrical stimulation generating a soft, painless current is applied to add additional stimulation. As mentioned above, heat therapy or other techniques to enhance the healing process may also be applied.

Your treatment will typically last between 30-45 minutes (up to one hour including interview). Often, a feeling of pleasant relaxation or general well-being follows a treatment.

6. How long does a treatment last?
An initial visit typically lasts for about 60 minutes. We ask that you arrive 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork the first time. Each treatment after that lasts for about 45 to 50 minutes.

7. How many treatments will it take?
The number of treatments that you will need will vary according to your condition. One to four treatments may be sufficient for some acute conditions. Chronic problems usually require a longer treatment period.

Acupuncture treatments often have a cumulative effect with time, so you will be able to increase the duration of time between visits as the results build.

8. Any other recommendations to help the treatments?
Nutritional, herbal and other therapies are often recommended as a way of enhancing the treatment.

We will often recommend adjunctive therapies to enhance your care that include therapeutic massage, participation in group events such as Medical Qi Gong classes, nutritional support or Chinese herbal formulas.

9. Will insurance pay?
Most insurance carriers recognize acupuncture, it depends on your specific plan. We encourage you to check with your individual policy first or bring the insurance information to us and we are happy to check for you.

10. If it works will I always have to continue treatments?
As our patients realize results from the treatments, they are able to add more time between treatments until they stop needing treatment or have reached maximum medical improvement. And, some patients do find that they need an occasional treatment to boost the treatment results if activities or time cause the condition to return or increase.

Others find that a routine of regular acupuncture treatments increases their sense of wellbeing, decreases their stress load and keeps them feeling "balanced".

Acupuncture has also been found to be excellent preventative health support boosting the immune system, for example in the Fall before the flue season arrives.


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