Frequently Asked Questions

How does Acupuncture work?

Chinese Medical Perspective

Qi (pronounced chee) or your body's "vital energy" is necessary for function, movement and protection.  The quality, quantity and movement of qi affect health.  Physical and emotional trauma, diet, lifestyle, stress and even seasonal changes can affect qi.

Qi flows through pathways in the body called meridians.  The meridians connect to organs in the body and can be accessed by acu-points on the body.  Qi should flow smoothly through the meridians and nourish the body's organs; disease and dysfunction develop when it does not.

Acupuncture and other Chinese Medical therapies rebalance the flow of qi through the meridians and promote proper function of the body's organs.

Biomedical Perspective

Currently, biomedicine is unable to completely explain the effects of acupuncture.  However studies suggest that acupuncture can affect the nervous, endocrine (hormone), and immune system.  These studies have shown that acupuncture affects the release of endorphins and other helpful hormones in the brain and changes in blood flow.  For more scientific information, refer to the National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement on Acupuncture

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin and most people report little or no discomfort while being needled.  Once in place you may experience sensations at the point such as warmth, tingling or distention which signal the body's response to the needles and are favorable.

How much does it cost/ does insurance cover acupuncture?

Some health insurance policies cover acupuncture.  Pre-authorizations can be submitted prior to the first treatment to determine if your health insurance plan includes acupuncture.  Please call the Second Floor North Clinic to learn more about submitting a pre-authorization request to your insurance company.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments and their frequency varies extensively based on the patient and their reason for seeking acupuncture treatment.  Generally the longer a condition has persisted the longer a course of treatment will be and more severe conditions will necessitate more frequent treatment.

Are the needles and herbs safe?

We use only the highest quality disposable needles.  Needles are discarded after each use and the practitioner adheres to strict Clean Needle Technique standards.

Our herbs are superior quality herbs that go through the strictest GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) regulations and testing for contaminants and purity.

Do I need a doctor's referral for acupuncture?

A doctor's referral is not necessary for acupuncture.  Patients at the Riverview Second Floor North Clinic are self-referred and referred by medical providers.

What should I expect at my first visit?

Your first acupuncture appointment will take approximately 90 minutes and involves a thorough intake regarding your primary health concern and overall wellbeing and an initial treatment.  Your pulse will be taken and your tongue examined which is unique to Chinese Medicine.  We will discuss treatment plans and recommendations for achieving your health goals.

How do I prepare for my first acupuncture appointment?

  • Please have all the necessary paperwork you received in the mail from the clinic completed prior to your appointment or arrive early to complete the paperwork (20-30 minutes).  Please arrive 10 minutes early for all appointments to complete registration.

  • Please hand carry records to your initial appointment, or complete a release of information for the practitioner to access your records.

  • Eat a small meal or snack an hour or so before acupuncture.

  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing.