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Q: What is acupuncture and how does it work?

A: Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine and a chief component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves inserting thin, sterile needles into the body to treat a wide range of diseases. It is a safe practice if performed by a qualified, licensed practitioner using clean needle technique. It is based on the Theory of Yin and Yang with the concept of “Qi” being an important, central underlying principle.

Q: What is Qi?

A: Qi, meaning “energy flow” or “life force” in the traditional Chinese culture, flows through the body via meridians, or pathways similar to the way blood flows through the circulatory system. When this energy becomes obstructed or blocked (due to stress, trauma, pathogens et al.) acupuncture and other modalities of TCM can be used to unblock the qi, and ultimately help the body heal naturally.

Q: What is the Theory of Yin and Yang?

A: Acupuncture and TCM are built on the foundation of an ancient philosophy called The Theory of Yin and Yang. The core of this philosophy is that the human body (as a microcosm of the universe) is in a state of constantly transforming interactions in order to maintain stability, or homeostasis. All bodily systems work as a whole to maintain this stability. If an imbalance occurs, acupuncture can be an effective tool to facilitate healing.

Q: What conditions can Acupuncture treat?

A: Acupuncture has been proven, through controlled clinical studies, to be effective in treating a wide range of diseases and conditions including, but not limited to all types of chronic and acute pain, allergies, infertility, digestive weakness, insomnia, anxiety, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and many more. Click here for a more comprehensive list.

Q: Will the acupuncture needles hurt?

A: This is a very common question and for good reason. Nobody wants to feel pain, especially if they’re already in pain. The answer to this question is an emphatic “no”! The needles are so thin, hair like even, that most of them will not elicit a pain response. The most you will feel is a very slight pinch. We promise!

Q: How many needles are used and how long will I rest on the treatment table?

A: In any given session an average of about 8-12 needles are inserted at various points on the body. After they are inserted, a patient will relax, with the needles retained, for approximately 20-25 minutes in a very relaxing, tranquil setting. Most patients thoroughly enjoy the experience, as it is so relaxing!

Q: Are the acupuncture needles sterile?

A: Absolutely. We use prepackaged, sterile, single use needles and dispose of them after using them on a patient.

Q: Are there any side effects to acupuncture?

A: The most common effects of acupuncture are positive, and they include less stress, better sleep, improved digestion, increased energy and improved mental clarity, among others. However uncommon, some patients can experience slight bruising at the site of needle insertion that usually goes away in a few days.

Q: How should I prepare and what should I wear for the acupuncture treatments?

A: Loose clothing is ideal so we may have easy access to acupuncture points on the low back, abdomen and lower legs, if needed. Pants and sleeves should be able to be rolled up above the knee and elbow. It is important to eat a light meal before treatment and to be adequately hydrated. We also suggest avoiding heavy exercise after completing an acupuncture session such as running long distance or weightlifting.

Q: Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

A: Yes, it is. We are in network with some insurances such as Aetna, Cigna, United Health (and others) and have obtained reimbursement from Blue Cross Blue Shield. If you call our office, we can verify if your specific plan has coverage for acupuncture. Unfortunately, at this time Medicare does not cover acupuncture treatment. Learn more about acupuncture and insurance

Q: I want to begin treatment, what do I do next?

A: Call our front desk at 561-939-0430 to either schedule a free consultation or your first session. If you have an insurance policy, we can help you verify if you have coverage or not.

Q: What kind of education and training do acupuncturists receive?

A: At the minimum, acupuncturists need to graduate from a nationally accredited university with a master’s degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and obtain state licensing. State licensing requires passing multiple licensure exams. The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is the certifying body for acupuncturists and also the developer of licensure exams. Recertification for state license is every two years, and nationally every 5 years. Continuing education minimum requirements are set for both.

Q: Should I keep my appointment if I’m sick?

A: Absolutely! We can treat anything from the common cold and its symptoms to the flu and its associated symptoms. We can even help you recover quickly from a stomach bug and even a hangover. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine is pretty amazing. Take advantage of this and let us help you even when you’re sick.

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: The amount and frequency of your treatment will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Obviously chronic conditions would require a treatment plan that’s more comprehensive but for the most part patients receive treatment anywhere from 1-2 x per week for the first few weeks, tapering off until we reach our therapeutic goals. At that point a maintenance plan can be discussed if appropriate.

Q: How frequently are visits spaced?

A: This is determined on a case-by-case basis but in most cases, patients receive treatment 1 – 2 x per week in the initial stages and gradually tapered off as progress is made toward your therapeutic goals.

Q: Do I need to keep coming after my symptoms are gone?

A: This will be discussed with your practitioner. Once you have reached your therapeutic goals it is definitely beneficial to continue receiving acupuncture treatments. Some patients continue on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Although we highly recommend continuing treatment on some type of regular schedule, that decision is something for you to ultimately decide.

Q: What if I can’t come for regular acupuncture treatments?

A: At Boca Raton Acupuncture, creating and following a viable treatment plan is essential for your therapeutic success. Following this treatment plan is very important, and that includes attending all your scheduled sessions. Obviously, events happen in daily life to everyone, and that may interfere with scheduling. If you have to miss an appointment for one of these life emergencies, it’s okay. We understand. We just ask that you let us know 24 hours in advance (if possible) and to reschedule your next appointment so you may continue treatment as soon as possible.

Q: Why does my Acupuncturist want to feel my Pulse?

A: According to Chinese Medicine there are 12 positions on your wrist that correspond to a specific meridian/organ system in the human body. Your acupuncturist will feel your pulse (at your wrist) looking for different qualities that give them an idea of where any imbalance may be occurring. If you are having a health problem, it more than likely will appear in the pulse. This is a great diagnostic tool that acupuncturists use to develop your treatment plan. Learn more about Pulse Diagnosis

Q: Why does my Acupuncturist want to look at my Tongue?

A: The tongue is a veritable map of the entire body and has been used for centuries in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It reflects the overall health of the meridians and organ systems. The color, shape, cracks, and coating on your tongue are all important indicators of health (or lack of health). Tongue diagnosis is another powerful tool in your acupuncturist’s toolbox. Learn more about Tongue Diagnosis

Q: Why did my Acupuncturist recommend Chinese Herbs?

A: Chinese herbal medicine is an integral part of treatment as it is a powerful complement to acupuncture, providing a synergistic healing effect that will help you achieve your health goals faster. Chinese herbs are used to support the body’s own abilities to rebalance and heal.

Q: What is Chinese Cupping and how does it work?

A: Cupping involves placing a cup usually made from glass, or plastic on top of the skin and creating a vacuum by suctioning out the air. The skin is raised, or suctioned, into the cup. Chinese cupping is used to promote circulation and to help alleviate pain. It can also be used to reduce toxins in your body. It is a wonderful complement to acupuncture in many instances. Learn more about Chinese Cupping

Call us for a free consultation at 561-529-5295