- Dina B.
What to Expect During Your First Acupuncture Session
You begin your initial appointment by filling out an intake form which asks you about what brings you in for treatment, your present and past health history, your lifestyle, and any symptoms you are experiencing. We then talk in depth about the information you shared, and clarify your treatment priorities. Often I will take your pulses and look at your tongue, or palpate your abdomen as part of the diagnostic process. These tools offer me a window into your inner landscape. All of these steps lead me to a treatment plan that is best tailored to your individual needs.
About the Treatment Itself
Your treatment will most often involve acupuncture, but may also include other modalities, such as moxabustion (an herb that is burned to warm and nourish the area), guasha or cupping (two non-invasive methods of removing stagnation from an area and increasing tissue adaptability), massage, electro-stimulation, meditative exercises, dietary advice and assisted stretches. The acupuncture needles I use are very thin, sterile, stainless steel needles. Once the needles are stimulated, patients will often feel a dull ache, a spreading sensation, a feeling of heaviness or warmth or of energy traveling along a pathway. Patients often experience a sense of well-being while they rest with the needles in place for 10-30 minutes.
What Do You Do with the Needles After Use?
The needles are for single use only and are disposed of as medical waste.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
There are often physical sensations associated with Acupuncture. The acupuncture needles are very thin - about the diameter of a thick human hair. When the needles are inserted you may feel nothing or you may experience a tiny pricking sensation. As I stimulate the needles, you may feel a dull ache, a spreading sensation, a feeling of heaviness or warmth or of energy traveling along a pathway. This moment, when you feel an acupuncture point working, is known as de qi, or the ‘arrival of qi’. It is a good thing. Another way of thinking about de qi is that the acupuncture needle has accessed the energy needed to stimulate a healing response in the bodymind. When the point is activated, change is initiated. Patients often experience a sense of calm and well-being during the treatment.
How Many Treatments are Needed?
Courses of treatment are very individual and are based on the nature, severity and duration of the complaint, as well as the lifestyle of the patient and their compliance with self-care during treatment. Sometimes acute issues can be resolved in a few treatments, while chronic or life-long issues need regular, frequent care over a longer period and will then transition to maintenance treatments as needed.
How To Prepare
- Bring shorts, loose pants or sweats and a t-shirt, to provide access to your arms, legs and torso
- Don’t come for treatment with an empty stomach, or having just eaten a large meal
- Refrain from drugs or alcohol before treatment
- If you drink caffeine, please avoid it for a few hours before treatment, if possible
- Allow 1.5 hours for the first treatment, and 60 - 75 minutes for follow-up sessions
- It is optimal to schedule appointments for a time when you can be moderate in your activity following treatment
What are Your Accepted Forms of Payment?
I accept cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard. Feel free to call my office or email me directly for rates for first visits and follow-up treatments. I do offer a discounted rate for payment at the time of service.
Do You Accept Insurance for Acupuncture?
Currently I accept and bill for Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield and MODA patients directly. If you have insurance through another carrier who will pay for acupuncture care for out-of-network providers, you must pay for the services up front and I will provide you with a superbill, which you can present to your carrier for reimbursement of all or part of your out-of-pocket expenses.