Frequently Asked Questions:
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture originated and has been documented in China for thousands of years. It is part of the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is based on the theory of yin and yang, and human’s relationship to nature. The relationships of organ systems within the human must be in balance for wellness. Disharmonies may manifest externally when the internal organs are blocked, for example headaches or arthritis pain caused by poor circulation. Vice versa, external factors, such as stress or emotional trauma may cause harm to the body and affect the organs, for example, digestive problems or insomnia.
Acupuncture is the insertion of ultra-fine, sterile, single-use needles to access the body system via acupuncture meridians to create harmony and eliminate symptoms. Other non-insertive modalities may be used, such as herbal therapy, acupressure, cupping, gua sha, tuina, and moxibustion to promote wellness.
How does it work?
Qi, pronounced “chee” is the vital force that flows within the body. It follows specific maps, called meridians, that correspond to yin and yang organs. The practitioner literally taps into the body system to remove blockages and promote the smooth movement of qi to encourage balance and alleviate symptoms.
The acupuncturist will perform a complete medical intake, including inspection of the tongue and six positions of the pulse to come up with a diagnosis based on the patterns of organ disharmony. Then he or she will choose appropriate acupuncture points to activate the qi. Modern research shows acupuncture meridians to follow myofascial planes and that pain reducing chemicals, acetylcholine, dopamine, and seratonin are released in the brain.
Who performs acupuncture?
Only licensed acupuncturists may perform acupuncture in Massachusetts. Check your local state laws. Requirements include a Masters degree from an accredited college in Acupuncture or Oriental Medicine (M.Ac. or M.A.O.M) and national board certification by the NCCAOM, and a current state license. Practitioners are required to fulfill specified Continuing Education Units to maintain licensure.
What to expect?
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment and be sure to have eaten something within a couple of hours before your treatment. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. Please bring a list of medications and supplements that you are taking. Many people will get a sensation of heaviness, deep feeling of relaxation or even fall asleep. Insertion is virtually painless. Any lingering discomfort should be reported to the practitioner. Needles are retained for 20-40 minutes while you relax on a heated bed.
How often should I be treated?
Results will vary with each person’s response to treatment and chronicity of the issue. Recommended treatment would be to come once or twice a week for the first month to gauge your response to treatment. Results may be seen within 6-12 treatments depending on the condition and how long it has been going on. As symptoms diminish, reduce weekly treatment to monthly maintenance care. Acupuncture therapy is cumulative and each treatment builds on the next as the body resolves inflammation and injury. The goal is to develop a wellness plan with your practitioner.
Do you accept insurance?
We are currently in network with Aetna, Cigna, and Neighborhood Health Plan. However, plans vary greatly in coverage. It is important to be aware of your own insurance coverage. You will be responsible for any co-payments and deductibles.
If you have a PPO that covers acupuncture benefits, we may be able to bill as an out-of-network provider or submit a receipt to you for reimbursement.
If you plan on using any insurance, please allow 48 hours to verify coverage. You may be required to pay our time of service fees. Please submit a form with your insurance information on the Home page or call with any questions.