The basis of acupuncture is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain." In other words, any kind of pain or illness represents an obstruction in the normal flow of Qi or life force. Simply put, acupuncture moves Qi, restoring free flow.
10 Most Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture is performed with extremely thin, flexible stainless steel needles. More often than not, the experience is relatively painless. You may experience brief discomfort as the needle pierces the skin, sometimes followed by minor soreness or a drawing sensation. As the energy changes, there may be numbness, heat, dull aching or tingling.
2. Is acupuncture safe?
We only use sterile, one-time use, disposable needles. Therefore, there is no risk of blood-borne disease transmission.
3. How long does a session last?
The average treatment lasts about 45 - 60 minutes, but can go longer, depending upon the problem being treated. Office visits on average can take up to an hour and a half for the initial visit, and an hour for follow-up visits.
4. How many treatments will I need?
No two conditions or people respond exactly the same. The course of treatment depends on the condition, the severity, and the duration of the condition. Some conditions are improved with one or a few visits; other treatments will involve multiple visits over a period of time. Acupuncture treatments have a cumulative effect. While you may experience relief with your first treatment, symptoms typically return. It is necessary to receive treatment regularly and frequently in order to provide long term relief. This is why we designed the sliding scale and the community style clinic, we want treatments to be affordable so that you can get the number of treatments you need to return to wellness. On average, a condition should show some improvement within 8-12 visits. If you do not see any improvement during that time, it may be appropriate to re-evaluate with the doctor whether or not to continue in treatment.
5. What should I expect during treatment?
Most patients find the treatment very relaxing. Most are surprised to find how comfortable they are during an acupuncture treatment and how easily and painlessly the needles are inserted. Some patients even go to sleep during treatment. A patient may feel a sensation upon insertion and pressure or a "dull" reaction when the feeling of the arrival of qi is obtained.
6. Does acupuncture really work?
Yes. In the past 2,000 years, more people have been successfully treated with acupuncture than with all other health modalities combined. Today acupuncture is practiced extensively worldwide and is being used more frequently in America by patients and physicians. Acupuncture treatments can be given in conjunction with other forms of health care, such as conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, and homeopathic or naturopathic prescriptions. It is important that your acupuncturist know everything that you are doing, so she can help you get the most benefit from all your treatments. The World Health Organization recognizes the ability of acupuncture to treat over 43 common disorders including:
- Gastrointestinal Disorders, such as food allergies, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, anorexia and gastritis
- Gynecological Disorders, such as irregular, heavy, or painful menstruation, infertility in women and men, and premenstrual syndrome
- Respiratory Disorders, such as emphysema, sinusitis, asthma, allergies and bronchitis
- Disorders of the Bones, Muscles, Joints and Nervous System, such as arthritis, migraine headaches, neuralgia, insomnia,
dizziness and low back, neck and shoulder pain
- Circulatory Disorders, including hypertension
- Emotional and Psychological Disorders, including depression, and anxiety
- Addictions, such as alcohol, nicotine and drugs
- Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
7. How does acupuncture work?
Eastern Explanation: Acupuncture is a therapy that uses the insertion of tiny thread-like needles to specific points on the body along meridians (energy channels of the body). As long as the energy flows freely through these pathways, health is maintained. When the flow of energy is disturbed for any reason, there is disruption in health, resulting in pain or illness. By stimulating the proper acupuncture points along these meridians, the energy is regulated, and health is restored.
Western Explanation:Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect. Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.
The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility. The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate seratonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture. Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.
8. Is Acupuncture covered by health insurance?
The good news is that yes, some insurance companies now offer policies that cover acupuncture and related services performed by an acupuncturist. A growing number of insurance companies will reimburse for acupuncture treatments. You can find out if your insurance provides acupuncture benefits by calling your insurance company's patient information or benefits line. This number can be found on your insurance card.
If your insurance provider does cover acupuncture, you should determine whether or not they will accept a "superbill" for reimbursement to you. The "superbill" is an invoice we can provide you which contains the codes that insurance companies typically require. Here are a few questions that you should ask to determine your eligibility and coverage:
- How many treatments do I get?
- How much does the insurance company pay?
- What percentage will I pay for out-of-network practitioners? (This is the amount you would pay out-of-pocket for each visit to a
practitioner who is NOT on their provider list.)
- Will I need a referral from an MD to see the acupuncturist?·
- What is my deductible?
- What conditions are covered for acupuncture? (Many plans only cover the treatment of pain) Do Medicaid and Medicare cover
- At this time, Medicaid and Medicare do not provide coverage for acupuncture.The California MediCal program offers limited coverage
when you see an acupuncturist that is a MediCal provider, however, we are not MediCal providers. Is acupuncture covered by
Workers' Compensation?Any request for acupuncture treatments through Worker’s Comp. benefits must be specifically authorized
by your case worker or Workers' Comp. Administration company.
9. What if I'm afraid of needles?
First, there is a common fear of needles based on experience with vaccinations and other encounters with hypodermic needles. Acupuncture needles are very different from the hypodermic needle. They are solid and very thin gauge, some nearly as thin as a hair. Acupuncture needles are virtually painless when inserted.
There are also alternative treatments for those who are needle phobic. These methods include acupressure, moxibustion (burning of herbs on acupoints), ear acupuncture with press seeds, and cupping. We can also provide treatment using very superficial needle technique that is virtually painless.
10. What is Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and improve function. This is done by inserting sterilized, stainless-steel needles (that are as fine as a human hair) into specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to treat a wide variety of illnesses.
Traditional Chinese Medicine views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other. Unlike Western medicine which attempts to isolate and separate a disease from a person, Chinese Medicine emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person.
Your practitioner will make a Chinese medical diagnosis based upon a thorough examination and consultation. The examination includes the assessment of the pulse and tongue. Once a diagnosis is made, your acupuncturist will choose the most appropriate acupuncture points for treatment.
Qi - Qi (pronounced chee) can be defined as the "force" or "vital substance" that animates and controls the observable functions of living beings. The basic foundation for Asian medicine is that this vital substance flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.
We provide a calm, welcoming environment designed to put our patients at ease; and our warm, caring staff members want nothing more than to help you feel better. If you're suffering from a disorder, we want to help.
If you and your partner are having difficulty conceiving you may want to consider acupuncture as a means to stimulate fertility.Acupuncture has been shown to improve chances of conception and also to reduce chances of miscarriage.
Clinical studies have shown that acupuncture can also help regulate chemical and hormonal levels in the body, which is good for women with chemical imbalance. If you are undergoing IVF, acupuncture can also aid the process as a combined treatment. Acupuncture can even help men with abnormal sperm.
At Harmony Community Wellness Center we specialize in using acupuncture to treat infertility. Our talented staff are all licensed acupuncturists with their Masters Degrees whose focus is aiding conception and giving you the family you always wanted. Our community treatment rooms are clean and comfortable, to help make your acupuncture experience as relaxing as we can. We want your session to be as stress free and soothing as possible, in order to better the chances of conception.
If you’re struggling with a chronic or painful disorder, our team wants to help. Acupuncture works by using tiny needles to access and manipulate the body’s vital energy at specific points. Clinical studies show that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for a number of disorders and conditions, many of which are known to cause chronic, debilitating pain. At Harmony Community Wellness Center, we’re committed to helping our clients improve their health and their lives.
280 East 3rd Ave. Escondido, CA 92025
Harmony Community Wellness Center