Upon booking your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email with a link to fill out forms online. These include a consent form, your contact information, and a complete health history questionnaire. If this is not convenient, you may also fill them out in the office before your appointment.
How long does each session last?
Your first visit will last between 60-90 minutes and will include a lengthy discussion about all aspects of your health, and an acupuncture treatment. Follow-up visits last between 45 minutes-1 hour.
What happens during an acupuncture treatment?
After reviewing your symptoms and discussing your treatment plan, you will be asked to lie down on a heated bed. Usually patients remain dressed, with their shoes and socks off. Loose and comfortable clothing is preferable. If it is necessary to undress, you will be provided with sheets and blankets to keep you warm and covered.
All acupuncture points will be cleaned with alcohol, and then extremely thin filiform needles will be inserted into the acupuncture points. All needles are sterile and single use, and are disposed into a biohazard container after your treatment. The needles are about as thin as a hair from your head, and feel nothing like getting a shot or blood drawn. Usually patients report not feeling them, or possibly may feel a slight pinch upon insertion, with a tingling sensation afterwards. A deep feeling of relaxation is the most common sensation reported.
You will then be left to relax while listening to soothing music. Generally the needles will remain in for about 20-40 minutes. Occasionally your treatment will include both a front and back treatment.
Cupping, Gua sha, electrical stimulation, and moxa, may also be used to increase the effectiveness of your treatment. Cupping and Gua sha feel like a massage, and increase circulation, while decreasing inflammation and pain.
If herbal medicine is part of your treatment plan, your prescription will either be made on site or ordered for your next treatment. This prescription is a customized formula made specifically for your constitution and symptoms. It is a blended formula made up of between 5-15 individual herbs. All herbs used are KPC brand, and undergo rigorous testing for heavy metals and contaminants, and are USDA organic. You can read about KPC and their certifications here: https://www.kpc.com/certification/
Many of the herbs used may be found in your kitchen or garden. Ginger, Licorice, Mint, Peony root, Rhubarb root, Asparagus tuber, Dates, Rose petals, Oyster Shell, and Barley are some examples of familiar herbs commonly used.
Most often, your prescription will be in powder form, and you will add it to warm water, and drink twice a day as a tea. Occasionally, your herbs may be in pill form if drinking them does not work for you.
What forms of payment are accepted?
We accept cash, check, credit cards, FSA and HSA cards, as payment on the date of service. We are also in-network preferred providers with: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, Allways Health, Aetna, Humana. This means that if your insurance plan has acupuncture benefits, we can bill your plan directly, and you will only be responsible for a specialist co-pay. We are happy to provide super-bills for all other plans.
There has been some confusion lately with regards to Medicare covering acupuncture. Although Medicare has said that they will cover 12 visits of acupuncture for low-back pain, Acupuncturists are not currently able to bill Medicare directly. We may bill supplemental Medicare plans such as Medicare Advantage, for acupuncture as a treatment for low back pain.