Acupuncture Facts

What is acupuncture all about?

Traditional Chinese Medicine includes the practice of acupuncture, Chinese herbology and other modalities, such as Tui Na (Chinese bodywork). It originated in China thousands of years ago and is now experiencing worldwide acceptance.

According to Chinese Medical theory human beings have a natural flow of energy throughout the body. Several thousand years ago, Chinese physicians determined that this energy circulates in pathways, called meridians. Good health depends on the smooth flow of energy throughout these pathways, and pain and disease are caused by an imbalance, deficiency, or blockage of this energy. Acupuncture uses the insertion of extremely fine needles into points along the pathways to help balance the body’s natural energy. Well-balanced and freely circulating energy returns the body to its innate vitality.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a very safe system of health care when done by a well-trained, licensed practitioner. All needles are sterile and used one time only. The risks of acupuncture are minimal and explained on the informed consent that you sign prior to treatment.

What can I expect during a treatment?

A treatment begins with an interview to gather information about signs and symptoms and also includes pulse readings and examination of the tongue. Needles are then inserted based on a diagnosis within the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The needles are retained for about 20 minutes.

The needles produce some sensation, but generally not pain. Most clients feel very relaxed and even fall asleep when left with the needles and wake up refreshed and relaxed.

Visits generally last 30 minutes to one hour. Initial visits last longer. Treatments may include other therapies such as the use of Chinese herbs, heat on acupuncture points, Chinese bodywork, and counseling on diet and lifestyle.

The number of treatments necessary varies according to the condition as well as the person. Acute conditions may respond with just a few treatments, while a chronic condition may require a longer series of treatments. Visits are usually scheduled one or two times per week.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Herbal Medicine is an important treatment method within the Traditional Chinese Medical framework. Today’s herbalist draws on ancient herbal formulas that have been used for hundreds, and even thousands of years.

The use of herbs is especially effective for several reasons. Practitioners who use herbs are better able to fine-tune treatments for their clients; they are better able to treat more conditions; and the herbal formula can be custom tailored as your condition changes. In addition, while acupuncture is an effective form of treatment, clients can continue their care at home by taking herbs.

Chinese herbs are safe when professionally prescribed by a trained, knowledgeable practitioner, however they can be strong. Therefore it is important that a practitioner be adequately schooled and experienced in their use. The National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) has created a certification process for Chinese herbal medicine. Practitioners who have passed that certification process are entitled to add the abbreviation Dipl. O.M. for Diplomate of Oriental Medicine or Dipl. C.H. for Diplomate of Chinese Herbs after their name.

Is there anything I should do before or after a treatment?

It’s best to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes for your treatment, but if that’s not possible, we can provide you with a gown. Be sure to have something to eat before your appointment, to avoid feeling light headed. In addition, alcohol may interfere with the effectiveness of your treatment, so you will want to avoid its use before your appointment.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

In Minnesota, health insurance generally doesn’t cover acupuncture, and is not likely to in the near or distant future. Many health insurance providers are decreasing their acupuncture coverage rather than increasing it. If your insurance covers acupuncture, we will supply you with a “superbill” that provides all the information you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.

8085 Wayzata Blvd Ste 100A, Minneapolis, MN 55426

(763) 205-4644

Serving Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Golden Valley, the Twin Cities area and western suburbs.