What is medical acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is a therapeutic/and or preventive procedure performed by a licensed Medical Doctor specifically trained in this specialty. The doctor inserts thin acupuncture needles into the patient to stimulate specific acupuncture points in order to promote the body’s natural healing process. Medical acupuncture combines the ancient art of acupuncture with knowledge of standard medical care to produce the most beneficial results for the patient.

How does acupuncture work?

The traditional explanation is that acupuncture unblocks the flow of Qi (Chi) energy so balance and harmony is established once again in the body. When harmony exists, disease resolves. The scientific explanation is more based on observed facts. Acupuncture needles stimulate the nervous and endocrine systems as well as muscles to produce hormones and other substances that reduce pain, inflammation, muscle tension and stimulate the body to fight disease and injury better. As well, acupuncture produces the release of hormones that give a sense of well being. It is not necessary to believe in acupuncture for it to work.

How many treatments?

Problems experienced more recently are more likely to require less treatment sessions. Problems of a longer duration usually require a longer treatment period. A trial of six sessions is implemented to assess the patient’s response to the acupuncture treatments.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Most patients will feel pressure or a brief discomfort when the needles are inserted, although many patients do not feel any discomfort at all. A few patients do report pain. Rarely a patient may bruise. This is usually of no consequence and will slowly resolve. Let Dr. Armstrong know if you continue to bruise. During treatment an acupuncture needle should not stay in place hurting. If it is, you must tell the doctor and he will modify his approach if needed.

Is Medical Acupuncture covered by Insurance?

Your insurance company may cover medical acupuncture in different percentages when the procedure is performed by a licensed physician. Check with your insurer about coverage. Medicare does not cover acupuncture. Please consult our office staff with any questions you may have.

Is there a risk for infection?

The needles are sterile and the procedure is done under clean measures minimizing the possibility of infections. There is no chance of transmission of AIDS, Hepatitis, etc. since the needles are not reusable.

How long does the treatment session last?

It will usually take 45 minutes to an hour for a full treatment session. Some time is spent on discussing the effects of the prior treatment as well as determining any medical needs. It is not unusual to combine acupuncture with massage therapy or other appropriate techniques in order to achieve the best result. We are very interested on educating you about acupuncture. The more you understand your treatment the better you can be a part of the healthcare team.