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.
Can you accept walk-ins for group treatments?
Unfortunately, no. I can frequently accommodate same-day appointments though. Please call 503.505.9677 x 2 for availability and leave a message if I'm not available. I'm my own answering service, so I'll have to call you back if I'm with a client. The online scheduler will not allow you to book same-day appointments, so don't take that as a sign that I'm booked up - for now, it requires 15 hours in advance for booking appointments and 24 hours in advance for cancellations.
What are your hours?
I operate largely by appointment, but I will typically have availability from 9am - 6pm Tuesday & Wednesday, because I also work at another office. Please do call 503.505.9677 x 2 if you can't find something using the online scheduler that fits your needs. I can often make accommodations.
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, ASH, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, HealthNet, Lifewise, PacificSource, and Providence. I am unable to accept ODS or Kaiser at this time, but I would be happy to issue you a superbill for potential reimbursement. Please be prepared to pay any co-pays or deductibles at your visit.
What's the difference between group and individual treatments?
Group treatments will take place in a room with another person. You'll be comfortably seated in a zero/anti-gravity recliner in a room divided by a curtain. You'll stay fully dressed, just rolling up your pants to the knee and your sleeves to the elbow. I'll focus on points in these areas, as well as your head. You will not receive additional therapies such as moxa or therapeutic cupping as part of these treatments. Your session will last about an hour and cost $25, payable at time of service only. Individual treatments will take place in a private treatment room on a massage table (or in the zero-gravity recliner if you prefer). I will have the option of using your abdomen and back during these treatments, although it is likely that I will still focus on your limbs (see the answer for "What is your style or specialty?" above). Your individual treatment will last about an hour and may include moxa, gua sha, electro-acupuncture, or therapeutic cupping as I see fit, or by request. I can bill your insurance provider for these treatments, or you can pay in full at time of service, $65 for new patient visits or $50 for existing patients. There is no difference in the efficacy of the 2 different treatment styles.
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.
Can Acupuncture help me quit smoking?
Yes. Acupuncture has been used to help people quit smoking for decades. It works best when you are first trying to quit, when your cravings are very strong. It's also most effective if you are able to get frequent treatments when you are first trying to quit. One or two visits just won't cut it. For smoking cessation, we use a protocol of 5 points in each ear that may be combined with other points on the body to help control your cravings in 60 minute sessions.