Answer:

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  • The theories of acupuncture were developed over 2000 years ago, making this one of the most time-tested medicines available today.

    Acupuncture, and it’s sister component Chinese Herbal Medicine, are becoming widely used in conjunction with Western Medicine to achieve optimum health.

    By having regular treatments with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, you'll be tapping into ancient philosophies whose strengths persevere even today. Also see Underpinnings Acupuncture.

  • The introduction of acupuncture needles into specified points on the body tap into the body's ability to regulate and maintain health. This subtle procedure helps the body return to a balanced (pre-diseased) state. In this way you may not only experience relief from your symptoms but also strengthen the root of your body, in order to truly regain health. In other words - powerful results without overwhelming side effects.

    For a more "modern-day" explanation of why acupuncture works, see Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • These needles are not like the needles we are all used to (and scared of...). Acupuncture needles are, literally, hair-thin (ok, maybe two-hairs-thin) and deliver the slightest sensation as they enter the skin. A lot of people never feel the pinprick at all.

    While there is very little feeling of a needle, feeling a "qi sensation" around the acupuncture point is common and an important part of the therapy. Things that might signal a qi sensation include a sense of pressure, distension, or achiness around the needle.

  • TCM views every person, disease process and treatment plan as highly individualized, so every patient experience can be unique as well. However, most people experience a feeling of relaxation once the needles are in place, they usually rest there for 15-20 minutes, and experience a heightened sense of well-being after the treatment.

    For an overview of what you can expect from your first treatment see Getting a Treatment.

  • For most conditions, the answer is "yes!" While acupuncture has only recently been gaining recognition in the U.S., this medicine is known the world over as a way to treat disease, and maintain balance and health. Its approach of correcting imbalances from the root (rather than simply abating symptoms) allows acupuncture to be helpful in most cases. The crux of the matter is that any imbalance in the body creates a stress on our health. Acupuncture is very good at re-balancing and tempering the stress, allowing your body a greater sense of well-being, as well as relief from symptoms.

    There are studies that highlight TCM’s positive effect on several specific issues such as morning sickness, anxiety and insomnia, asthma, and pain syndromes such as menstrual cramps, low back pain, and headaches.

    Since these are just a few of the conditions that have received specific research studies, "your" condition may not be listed. The best way to see if acupuncture can work for you is to experience a treatment. If you have any other questions before scheduling an appointment, please contact me.

  • Acupuncture treatments are individualized prescriptions - different conditions require different courses of treatment. For example, an acute injury may need several treatments close in frequency, while a long-term problem or illness may need less frequent treatments over a longer period of time. A course of treatment will differ depending on the person and the condition for which they are seeking treatment.

    If you are not dealing with a disease process, it is important to receive treatment at least a few times a year, at the change of each season, to promote well-being and strength of health. Times of transition are generally quite stressful on the body – most people will notice that illness or "old" injuries tend to return during these times; and most people will find they are most likely to catch a cold at the change of season.

    Remember, just because you don't have any overt problems doesn't mean you shouldn't receive treatment. TCM is about maintaining health and preventing disease.

  • The answer to this question depends on what course of treatment you will need (see how often should I get a treatment?").

    My fees are based on a sliding scale model because I know that everyone's financial situation is different. Once we have identified an initial course of treatment, the sliding scale allows each person to decide what they can afford within the range offered (see fees page).

    I do not bill insurance. I can offer you a superbill or a health insurance claim form as a receipt so that you may request reimbursement from your insurance company, if that is an option for you. Many of my patients receive reimbursement from a flexible spending or health savings account which allows you to use pre-tax money to pay for treatments.

    View my current fee schedule and more info on determining the appropriate fee.

    For a list of questions to ask your insurer about their acupuncture coverage click here

  • Yes, I do prescribe herbs. Not all patients need, or want to take herbs but they can be extremely helpful in many situations.

    Herbs can be prescribed as pills, powders (to be dissolved in hot water) or as raw herbs to cook as teas. The best system for each person is decided according to the condition needing treatment as well as the time/financial restraints of the patient. The cost of an herbal formula depends on the formula (and form) prescribed. Prices can range anywhere from $8 - $60 per formula.

  • I am a licensed acupuncturist with a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This degree involves a four-year, full-time course of study (totaling nearly 3,500 credit hours) followed by rigorous board exams by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the NCCAOM. Licensed acupuncturists generally use an evaluation of the pulse, tongue and a detailed intake to determine a diagnosis based on TCM patterns and create an individualized treatment for each patient, based on their pattern and progress of healing.

    A Certified, or Medical Acupuncturist is an M.D. or Chiropractor who has undergone an abbreviated course of study (classroom and training time totaling 300 credit hours) to learn specific point protocols for Western-based diagnoses. While these point protocols can be effective, these treatments are generally symptom based and do not treat an individual's pattern diagnosis (i.e. the reason they have the symptom). A C.Ac. does not generally diagnose based on individualized TCM patterns or by using the pulse or tongue.

  • Mei Zen is the only cosmetic procedure that actually improves your health! The placement of needles in the body and face improves your health from the inside out, bringing vitality to your face and neck for a more youthful appearance.

    Click here to learn more.

  • Qi (pronounced "chee") is the life energy that is thought to be circulating in all things. In TCM, in order to stay healthy, it is important for the circulation of qi to be smooth and free from obstructions.

  • Yes! I use this space to post articles/interviews that I think inspire us to take better care of ourselves, as well as some recent clinical trials showing the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments. If you'd like to receive an email when I post updates to this page please contact me.

    View my reading recommendations.

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