Frequently Asked Questions
New Patient Visits $120.00 Return Visits $80.00
Do you take insurance?
Not at this time since acupuncturists in North Carolina are typically not covered entities under insurance plans. However, it’s always best to check your policy. I can provide a superbill for you to use for reimbursement. Payment can be made using cash, check, visa, mastercard, discover, and most HSA or FSA cards can also be used.
How do I schedule?
Treatments are by appointment only. You can fill out the “contact me” form or call (919) 561-6858 to schedule.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture is an ancient medicine that uses tiny needles to stimulate the body which causes both a local response at the needling site as well as activates neurotransmitters in the brain. Neuroimaging studies with functional MRI’s have shown that different areas of the brain are activated when stimulating acupuncture points. This helps to relax the body, release muscle tension, alleviate pain, and increase circulation. Acupuncture is a medicine that treats the whole body and research shows that acupuncture can affect different body systems including the nervous system, muscle tone, hormone outputs, circulation, allergic response/antibody production, as well as respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive system.
Does it Hurt?
NO! A common misconception is that acupuncture needles hurt and it will feel like getting a shot, but that can’t be further from the truth! Acupuncture does not hurt and is actually very relaxing, the needles are teeny tiny, about the width of 1-2 human hairs and solid (not hollow like the needles you get shots with). I have many patients who are nervous the first time and after they get acupuncture, they’re like “hey, that was no big deal.” Remember, it’s only new the first time, so don’t let fear hold you back from feeling better.
Are the needles safe?
Yes. Acupuncture needles are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are sterile and one-time-use. This means that they come out of a sterile package, are used just on you, and then disposed of in a biohazard container. I am certified in clean needle technique, which is all about patient safety, properly handling the needle, swabbing the site with alcohol, and proper disposal.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)?
TCM is really an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of modalities. In addition to acupuncture, other treatments might be employed when clinically relevant including cupping, qua sha, moxibustion, diet and lifestyle counseling, qi gong, tuina and herbal medicine. These will be explained in detail if they are needed.
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is an important part of TCM because it is a powerful tool that can aid in the healing process from the inside out by using plants and botanicals in carefully mixed formulas. Herbal medicine can be taken in various forms including teas, patents (pills) and tinctures (liquid). TCM herbal medicine is different than herbs and supplements you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy or Whole Foods. You have to be a licensed practitioner to dispense Chinese Herbal Formulas.
We chat for a bit about your current health complaint and wellness goals (longer during the initial visit), then you lay on a massage table and I feel your pulse in your wrist and take a peek at your tongue…I know it sounds weird, but these are a few important diagnostic tools in Chinese Medicine. I’ll likely palpate a few points to see what is tender, then I swab the points I’m going to use with alcohol and place the needles. Then the best part is you get to RELAX with no distractions and let the acupuncture do its work!
How long is a treatment:
The first appointment is usually 1.5 hours and subsequent treatments are typically around 1 hour.
How many treatments does it take?
There are many variables that go into answering this including severity and duration of a condition. For example, if you’ve had a condition for years, it’s going to take more treatments than if you sprained your ankle last week. Typically within 4-6 treatments patients have a noticeable improvement and know that the acupuncture is working. Then we can modify the treatment plan based on the results. Once I’ve done my initial evaluation, I can usually give a better idea of what kind of time frame is reasonable.
What does acupuncture treat?
The National Institute of Health (NIH) and World Health Organization (WHO) has compiled a long list of complaints that acupuncture successfully treats including pain, headaches, allergies, PMS, digestive disorders, and headaches to name a few. I like to say that I treat people, not diseases! So no matter what complaint you have, I’m going to do my best to help you reach your health goals.
Still not sure if Acupuncture is right for you?
That’s OK! I completely understand and want you to be with the practitioner and healing modality that is the right fit for you. If acupuncture and alternative medicine is new to you, take advantage of the free 15 minute consult to get any questions you might have answered!