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WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?
The term acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the body by a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China, Japan, Korea and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation. Acupuncture promotes natural healing and improves functioning.
WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE FEEL LIKE?
Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel minimal or no pain as the needles are inserted. If any unpleasant sensation is experienced during insertion, it is often compared to a mosquito bite and disappears very quickly. Once the needles are inserted, they may be manipulated to obtain a mild "Qi" sensation. This is how an acupuncturist engages the energy and biochemical responses in your body in order to balance it. Often people describe their sensations as warming, heavy, numb or tingling. I take great care making my patients comfortable so that they can relax while the needles are in place. The more you can unwind during an acupuncture treatment, the better the results. Many people even fall asleep during treatment. Following a session it is common to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation.
IS ACUPUNCTURE SAFE?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners in 1996. The FDA requires that sterile, nontoxic needles be used and that they be labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture needles have been reported to the FDA in light of the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. Trained practitioners use a new set of disposable needles taken from a sealed package for each patient and swab treatment sites with alcohol or another disinfectant before inserting needles.
WHAT ARE THE NEEDLES LIKE?
Acupuncture needles are solid unlike the hollow needles used by doctors. They are small and hair-thin and can literally be bent with your pinky. Only sterile, disposable needles are used so there is no risk of infection. We use a needle once, then dispose of it.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The classic Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in regular patterns through the body and over its surface. These energy channels, called meridians, are like rivers flowing through the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these energy rivers is like a dam that obstructs a rivers. The meridians can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points; the acupuncture needles unblock the obstructions at the dams, and reestablish the regular flow through the meridians. Acupuncture treatments help the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption, and energy production activities, as well as in the circulation of their energy through the meridians.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals will either change the experience of pain, or they will trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones which influence the body's own internal regulating system. The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture result in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities, and in promoting physical and emotional well-being.
IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY INSURANCE?
At present, most Iowa state insurance plans do not cover acupuncture. Please check with your insurance company for their rules about acupuncture coverage and reimbursement. If you are a government or University of Iowa employee (i.e. UIHC) you may utilize your Flex Dollars for acupuncture. We gladly provide you with a form to submit for reimbursement. We also accept No-Fault and Workmen's Compensation.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY FIRST VISIT?
During your first office visit, the acupuncturist may ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior. We want to obtain a complete picture of your treatment needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition. Please inform us about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have. If you are seeing a Western medical practitioner, it will be helpful to know what treatments you are receiving so that we may work in tandem with each other.
HOW MANY ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
The number of treatments needed differs from person to person. The initial consultation will provide you with a full assessment and treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and concerns. Typically we expect to see a change in your condition after at least the first four treatments. Following the fifth session, we will re-evaluate the efficacy of treatment.
Call for your appointment today 319 331 9312