frequently asked questions

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture attempts to normalize physiological function by tapping into the body’s innate capacity for repair and renewal. Ultra-fine needles are placed into specific anatomical points that lie along energetic channels throughout the body, and these points stimulate the central nervous system and the connective tissue; triggering biochemical responses that can relieve pain, reduce inflammation, create feelings of calm and contentment, and even help the body regulate metabolic function and the operative energy of organ systems.

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How do I prepare for acupuncture treatment?

No special preparation needed, you can come as you are! Most people opt to disrobe and be draped with a sheet during the treatment (as one would for a massage), but if choosing to remain clothed be sure to wear or bring clothing that allows for easy access to arms and legs.

How many times will I need to come?

It depends on a number of factors, including the condition being treated and/or goal of treatment, as well as one’s general health, lifestyle, age, etc. There is a cumulative benefit to this medicine so it is often the recommendation to come more consistently for a period of weeks at first, and then adjust to a less frequent “maintenance” schedule—which can be monthly, or seasonal, or as needed. Case-specific treatment recommendations will be given following initial assessment and treatment.

Can acupuncture help with my _________?

The short answer is yes! Acupuncture is based on the principle that any and all troublesome symptoms that may arise are the result of internal disequilibrium. Acupuncture supports homeostasis of the body and mind by facilitating the body’s self-healing mechanisms.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Most people feel very little to nothing at all with the insertion of acupuncture needles, which are very fine in general relative to a hypodermic needle—about the width of a strand of hair. People may feel some internal sensation after the needle is placed, which can be local to the point or not, and that sensation can range from an electric-type sensation to a feeling of warmth, pulsing, expanding, or heaviness in the body. These sensations are normal to feel during treatment and are typically transient, indicating the movement of the vital energy known as Qi through the body.

Where do the needles go?

The needles are placed in points along energetic channels that traverse the body. The selection of the points is based on the patient’s presenting pattern, which is determined through diagnosis by pulse and channel palpation. During a typical treatment session you will be treated both face-up and face-down, unless opting for an “Express” treatment.

Are there any side effects associated with acupuncture?

The most common side effects of acupuncture are positive ones: improved sleep, improved energy, improved digestion and reduced stress.

Other less common side effects of acupuncture can include:
• A temporary increase in the intensity of the symptom (typically lasts no longer than 12-24 hours after treatment) before beginning to feel better .
• Some people feel tired after acupuncture, though a more common result is increased energy. Feeling fatigued after acupuncture is not cause for concern, but it is an indication that the body needs rest.
• Bruising can occur at the needling site. These are typically small superficial bruises that will dissipate within a few days after treatment.

What is cupping and what does cupping treat?

In a cupping session, suction cups are placed on the body in order to mobilize blood and lymph circulation, decompress tissue, and aid in the release of toxins and cellular waste. Cupping can be effective in alleviating different types of pain, digestive stagnation, menstrual discomfort, respiratory congestion, insomnia, and the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Does my insurance cover this?

Hillary Wells is in-network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and out-of-network with all other insurance providers.

If you are a Blue Cross member, please note that acupuncture benefits vary according to your policy and you may not be covered for acupuncture services.
Call your health insurance to verify your benefits and understand how your plan covers acupuncture. If covered your insurance will be billed directly by our office and you will only be responsible for associated co-pay or co-insurance, and any fees for services not covered by your plan

If you do not participate with Blue Cross and have out-of-network benefits, full payment is expected at the time of service. A receipt for services can be provided for you to submit to your insurance company.