Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has been used in China for at least 2,500 years and is one of the world’s oldest medical systems.

It is the insertion of hair-thin needles into the body at specific locations.  The insertion of these needles triggers the body’s own natural healing mechanisms, and nudges you toward restored balance and vitality. Acupuncture is safe, effective, and has no side effects or drug interactions.

Does it hurt?

As the needle glides through the skin, you will usually not notice it.  If you do feel something, it is similar to a mosquito bite.  After the needle is in place you can feel various sensations, but none of them should be painful.

How big are acupuncture needles?

The acupuncture needles are very small…in fact, they are about the size of a kitten’s whisker!

Are the needles sterile?

Yes. We use sterile, single-use acupuncture needles for every treatment.

What can acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization created a list of conditions that can be treated with acupuncture based on controlled clinical trials.  Here are just a few from that list:

  • Hay Fever
  • Dental pain
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Female infertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Knee pain
  • Low back pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Periarthritis of the shoulder
  • Postoperative pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Shingles
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow
  • TMJ dysfunction
  • Tobacco dependence
  • Ulcerative Colitis

What does the research on Acupuncture say?

The National Institutes of Health have supported extensive research on acupuncture and recent studies have found that acupuncture:

  • complements standard medical care and relieves pain in treating osteoarthritis
  • provides relief for chronic low back pain
  • helps alleviate nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
  • helps with the side effects of hormone therapy for breast cancer

What can I expect during a treatment?

The acupuncturist begins by asking some health-related questions.  Some of these questions may seem unrelated, but in Chinese Medicine, everything is connected.  Then the acupuncturist feels your pulse and looks at your tongue.  This may be the only time it is actually polite to stick your tongue out at someone!  After this, she inserts sterile, single-use needles into specific acupuncture points on the body.  Relaxation sets in once the needles are in place.  While you rest peacefully, the needles will be doing their work for about 20 to 30 minutes.  After the treatment you will likely feel relaxed and revitalized!

Is there anything I need to do for my treatment?

Eat before your treatment, preferably something with a little protein.  The thought of needles can make people a little woozy sometimes.  Wear loose, comfortable clothing.  The acupuncture points are usually located at or below the knees and elbows, so please wear clothing that is loose enough to access these areas.  To make your experience more pleasant, be still when the needles are in place. If it is your first experience with Vitality Acupuncture, please provide a current list of medications you are taking.

How many acupuncture treatments will I need?

The answer to this question isn’t the same for everyone.  Your health concerns and severity of symptoms are very individual.  In China, a common treatment plan requires treatment every day for 10 days and then taking a week off to let the body adjust to the changes taking place.  If the condition persists, the patient goes in for another course of treatment for 10 days.  In the U.S., our schedules interfere with that kind of treatment plan.  If we are working on a specific complaint, I like to see people 2-3 times per week for 2-3 weeks.  After that period of time, we discuss and modify the treatment plan according to your needs.

If someone wants to come in for general wellness and health maintenance, then I recommend coming in once or twice per month.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Yes!  Many insurance plans do cover acupuncture treatment.  It is worthwhile to give us your insurance information, so we can check your acupuncture benefits for you.  Our office is always happy to check on that information for you.  Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover any acupuncture.

See what acupuncture can do for you, call 208-629-4920 or schedule an appointment online!