FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is Acupuncture anyway?
Acupuncture is a total medical modality that has been used in Asia for thousands of years. It utilizes tiny needles in combination with other traditional therapies (like cupping, gua sha, herbs, and moxibustion) to help the body tap into its natural ability to heal itself.
But how does it work?
I have a favorite analogy for this: Chinese medicine believes the body is composed of channels that allow energy to flow throughout the body. When energy doesn't flow freely, the body isn't healthy. This can be compared to the modern highway system running across the country. When there are too many cars on the road, traffic doesn't flow smoothly and you're stuck. Exit ramps on the highway allow some of the cars off so that the traffic can flow freely again. We can think of Acupuncture points as the "Exit ramps" of the body. When the points are stimulated in an Acupuncture treatment, this allows stuck energy to flow freely again through the body, so that you can be healthy again.
What is your style or specialty?
I am definitely trained to handle any problem that you may choose to see me for, however, I have extensive experience in pain management (both chronic and acute) as well as insomnia, fatigue, digestive issues, gynecological issues, and feelings of depression/anxiety. I have studied with Dr. Richard Tan, considered the foremost pain management specialist in the U.S. today. I predominantly practice what is called "Tan style" Acupuncture. This style utilizes distal points (meaning points away from the area of the body that hurts) and a system of mirroring and imaging to manage pain and bring health back to the body. For example, if you come in with an injury to your left ankle, I am likely to focus many of your points on your right wrist. In my experience, people feel much greater relief utilizing this system. By utilizing this style, I also keep your intake time brief to maximize your relaxation and treatment time. In a 60 minute appointment, you can expect to spend about 45 minutes with your needles in.
Will you accept my insurance?
Possibly. I can accept insurance in the case of Personal Injury/Motor Vehicle Accident claims. I can also accept the following private insurers, although it is best to verify your coverage prior to your first appointment: Aetna, First Choice Health, Moda, Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Providence. Please be prepared to pay any co-pays or deductibles at your visit.
Will it hurt?
Not really. Most people don't feel much of anything because the needles are solid (not hollow like when you give blood) and very thin. Others describe a tingling or warm sensation, or sometimes a dull ache around the area of the needle. Occasionally, you might feel just a slight pinch, but it dissipates quickly.
Can I expect a massage as part of my treatment?
Not so much. Acupuncturists receive a fraction of the training that Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) receive, and our training is in very specific techniques that don't include what people think of as Swedish or "relaxation" massage. I may utilize the traditional Asian therapy of cupping during your treatment, but I leave the massage up to the professionals. I feel it would be a disservice both to my clients and all the terrific LMTs out there to provide a service for which I haven't been adequately educated.
Is Acupuncture for me?
Of course it is! Many people are surprised by what Acupuncture can treat. In 2003, the World Health Organization issued a document entitled Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials. This document contained a list which included the following conditions (and more!) for which "acupuncture has been proved - through controlled clinical trials - to be effective". This list is not exhaustive, particularly when it comes to pain conditions - Acupuncture can treat pain anywhere in the body. If you have a question about your condition, feel free to call.
But I still have questions!
Please feel free to contact me, email is often fastest. firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.505.9677, extension 2.