What is Acupuncture?
What happens at an Acupuncture appointment?
Does it hurt?
How many visits until I feel better?
Is this covered by insurance?
What should I tell my Doctor?
What training is involved to become an acupuncturist?
What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a com­po­nent of the health care sys­tem of China that can be traced back at least 2,500 years. The gen­er­al the­o­ry of acupunc­ture is based on the premise that there are pat­terns of ener­gy flow (Qi) through the body that are essen­tial for health. Disruptions of this flow are believed to be respon­si­ble for dis­ease. Acupuncture may, it has been the­o­rized, cor­rect imbal­ances of flow at iden­ti­fi­able points close to the skin.
The prac­tice of acupunc­ture to treat iden­ti­fi­able dis­ease con­di­tions in American med­i­cine was rare until the vis­it of President Richard M. Nixon to China in 1972. Since that time, there has been an explo­sion of inter­est in the United States and Europe in the appli­ca­tion of the tech­nique of acupunc­ture to Western med­i­cine.
Acupuncture is a fam­i­ly of pro­ce­dures involv­ing stim­u­la­tion of anatom­i­cal loca­tions on or in the skin by a vari­ety of tech­niques. There are a vari­ety of approach­es to diag­no­sis and treat­ment in American acupunc­ture that incor­po­rate med­ical tra­di­tions from China, Japan, Korea, and oth­er coun­tries. The most thor­ough­ly stud­ied mech­a­nism of stim­u­la­tion of acupunc­ture points employs pen­e­tra­tion of the skin by thin, sol­id, metal­lic nee­dles, which are manip­u­lat­ed man­u­al­ly or by elec­tri­cal stim­u­la­tion. (From MedicineNet)

What happens at an Acupuncture appointment?

During the treat­ment I will eval­u­ate your pulse and press spe­cif­ic places on your abdomen to eval­u­ate over­all health. Once a diag­no­sis is made I will use insertive or non-insertive acupunc­ture tech­niques to cor­rect imbal­ances and then check your pulse and abdomen again. This method gives me instant feed­back on whether or not the treat­ment is effec­tive for you. If it is not address­ing the imbal­ances effec­tive­ly, cor­rec­tions can be made dur­ing the treat­ment.

Does it hurt?

I won’t feel a thing! All jok­ing aside Acupuncture nee­dles are NOT the same thing you see at your Doctor’s office. Acupuncture nee­dles are mil­lime­ters thick — about the width of a human hair. When the nee­dles are placed you can feel sen­sa­tions as the acupunc­ture points are acti­vat­ed. I will be there through the place­ment of the nee­dles and am hap­py to talk with you about any sen­sa­tions you are feel­ing. If nee­dles aren’t your thing at all, I can also use non-insertive tech­niques.

How many visits until I feel better?

Many peo­ple ask this ques­tion and the hon­est answer is, it depends. I am hap­py to speak with you about your health and treat­ment expec­ta­tions per­son­al­ly. Please con­tact me.

Is this covered by insurance?

While some states reg­u­late insur­ance cov­er­age for acupunc­ture, Massachusetts isn’t one of them. Acupuncture is an eli­gi­ble expense for FSA and HSA accounts and I will give you an appro­pri­ate receipt at the end of every vis­it.

What should I tell my Doctor?

I rec­om­mend you tell your Doctor about all of the care you receive for your health and well­be­ing. I enjoy speak­ing with Doctors and, with your per­mis­sion, hap­py to become part of your health care team.

What training is involved to become an acupuncturist?

This is a great ques­tion! Each state has its own reg­u­la­tions for acupunc­ture train­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. In Massachusetts, acupunc­tur­ists are licensed by the state med­ical board after pass­ing nation­al exams. My train­ing con­sist­ed of 4 years of study includ­ing 600 hours of super­vised clin­i­cal intern­ship. In addi­tion I com­plet­ed over 500 addi­tion­al hours through appren­tice­ships with experts in my field.