Those questions, frequently asked
- How does acupuncture work?
That is the million dollar question and frankly there’s not enough money to be made off of acupuncture to get people to spend a million dollars to research it in any hurry. On the one hand you have the explanations of traditional Chinese medical theory, and on the other, evolving scientific understanding. In short, acupuncture works on multiple systems of the body to stimulate the body’s innate healing response. We’ll post things on here from time to time that reflect one or both of those paradigms.
- Does acupuncture hurt?
Not really. Folks would not come back regularly if this was a painful process. The needles/pins are extremely thin, nothing compared to what you get your blood drawn with or a typical shot. Most acupuncture spots will feel like a tap of a pencil. Points around hands and feet can occasionally pinch a a little more, but nothing that should last more than a few seconds.
- Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
We don’t think so. Acupuncture is used effectively on animals quite often and we’re pretty sure they are not believing in acupuncture. But it is ok to believe in acupuncture.
- How soon will it work?
Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after 1 to 3 days. The relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each successive treatment. OR, relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit. It is important to recognize that we are all individuals. Individual response to treatment varies. Don’t just try it once or twice and then quit. If you’ve spent years suffering with chronic pain or disease, it’s unreasonable to think it will go away in the blink or an eye. Give the medicine time.
- How many treatments are we usually talking about here?
We’ll say, “it depends…” but you probably expected something like that. But in all honesty it does depend. It depends on what specific issue you are looking to work on, what the level of pain or distress is and ultimately on how well you respond to acupuncture.
Acupuncture is most effective when treatments are consistent and frequent. When your symptoms are most aggravating, we want to see you at least two times per week. As you begin to feel better and better, see us once a week for maintenance. When you’re back to 100%, take a break. Proper healing takes time so please be patient with your body.
- Am I going to have to come back forever for this thing to work?
Only if you really want to. Back pain or shoulder pain or stress or poor sleep is due to a variety of factors that are probably ongoing: arthritis, spinal stenosis, carrying a serving tray at work everyday, sitting at a computer all day, taking care of children, taking care of parents. If we could get rid of these things we’d probably physically feel a lot better, but emotionally and financially we’d probably lose it all. So we push on with a lot of things because they are important or necessary (or both) to who we are. And sometimes those pains and stressors just need a little release every now and then and sometimes more frequently.
- Why are your prices so much cheaper?
We are affordable. We recognize that acupuncture needs to be used multiple times and want you to be able to afford a number of treatments that will improve your condition(s) being treated.
- How does that work for your business?
To make lower prices work and support the business, we have to conduct a lot of them. So we simplify treatments and schedule 4-6 appointments per hour. That may seem like we don’t spend a lot of time talking to you about things, but acupuncture isn’t about talking. You can get one-on-one interaction with a range of other practitioners, such as a psychotherapist. We are not trained for that kind of emotional clinical work. You can open up whole cans of worms that acupuncture education does not prepare students to deal with.
- Why would I pay more than the lower end of your scale?
What people end up paying is really none of our business. Yes, we need the money from treatments to stay open. But if we spent all our time and energy trying to figure out who was not paying as much as they “should” be paying, we wouldn’t be putting all the necessary time and energy into providing good treatments and a comfortable, welcoming environment. The volume is what drives the business and keeps the doors open and makes this an engaging place. If we don’t get support from you, in the form of coming in for regular treatment that will help and letting your friends and neighbors know about us as a resource, we will find it hard to stay open and provide acupuncture treatments for anyone, ultimately.
- Do you take insurance?
No, they don’t like sliding scales and we don’t like their paperwork and fees. But our costs are what your co-pay would be with them so we feel it’s best if we don’t bother with them. We can set you up with a bill and proper codes that your insurance plan may reimburse you and we can also handle HSA and FSA account cards.
- Can acupuncture make me... lose weight? quit smoking?
Not really. And anyone that tells you it can or will is being disingenuous. Acupuncture can help with the stresses and addictions that reinforce smoking or weight gain, but they don’t make you forget about your pack of cigarettes or burn calories at some hyper-rapid rate. That really is up to you. Changing diet, changing lifestyle, those are hard things to do . If they weren’t, people would change all the time. But sometimes we get to a point where we feel we need to change, whether for ourselves or our friends and families or some combination of all that. And that’s where acupuncture can help. Acupuncture can help with the stress that comes along with the shift or acupuncture can help in cutting down on the stress that might be in place that is helping to drive those behaviors. That’s where acupuncture can come into play. But stories of people that had one acupuncture treatment and never smoked another cigarette are more urban legend than the norm. So be prepared.