If you have questions about acupuncture, you’ve come to the right place. We address all of the most common questions that we hear everyday. Please look below to see answers to:
- Do the needles hurt?
- Where to you decide to put the needles?
- Is acupuncture safe?
- What should I wear to my appointment?
- What is that smoky smell?
- I’ve heard of Five Element Acupuncture, Eight Principles Acupuncture and TCM. What kind of acupuncture do you do?
- What are acupuncture points?
- Does my health insurance plan cover acupuncture?
- Can I use my Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account to pay for acupuncture?
- What forms of payment do you accept?
- Where is your clinic located?
Do the needles hurt?
Generally, no. Sometimes you may not even feel them go in. Other times they can briefly sting for a moment or two on insertion. Resting with the needles in place is not painful at all. In fact it’s usually deeply relaxing. People regularly fall asleep during their treatment. See my Learning Center article- Does Acupuncture Hurt?
How do you decide where to put the needles?
The most important part of what I do is listening to people and coming up with a correct Chinese Medicine diagnosis. I’m listening for what aspects of your body (and spirits) are functioning well and what aspects are out of balance. I get a clear picture of what imbalances exist and how those imbalances relate to each other. With a really clear diagnosis knowing where to put the needles is pretty straight forward. The points all have different and specific actions on how the body functions. I chose the points that are going to restore a healthy functional balance for the particular imbalances that exist in your body at the time of treatment.
Is acupuncture safe?
Correctly performed, acupuncture is extremely safe. The needles I use are sterile, single-use disposable needles. Adverse reactions to acupuncture are much more rare than adverse reactions to medications or surgery. Acupuncture has been performed and refined over thousands of years on many millions of people.
What should I wear to my appointment?
If possible please dress in comfortable loose-fitting clothing you can often reduce the amount of disrobing you may have to do. One-piece outfits, such as dresses can also make it impossible to access acupuncture points on the torso without having to change into a hospital-style gown. However you happen to come dressed, be assured that your privacy and dignity will always be respected. I have a page on what to expect at your first appointment.
What is that smoky smell?
The Chinese word for acupuncture is zh?nji? (??), roughly meaning “needle burn”. The second character “burn” refers to moxibustion- the practice of burning the herb mugwort over acupuncture points or areas of the body in order to bring energy and stimulate blood flow to achieve various therapeutic effects. The sensation of receiving moxibustion is usually a very pleasant feeling of warmth at the area being treated. I consider moxibustion to be an very important technique in the practice of acupuncture.
I’ve heard of “Five Element” acupuncture, “Eight Principles” acupuncture, and “TCM”. What kind of acupuncture do you do?
I do an uncommon form of acupuncture called “Classical Chinese Medicine” or Classical Acupuncture. Classical Chinese Medicine is especially powerful because it utilizes both the principles of the “Five Elements” (in Classical Chinese Medicine we prefer to translate this term as “Five Phases”) and the “Eight Principles” in a single integrated system. This integration is how acupuncture used to be performed before it splintered into simplified “styles” in modern times. I can not imagine practicing acupuncture without both of these very fundamental concepts. It would be like driving a car with either the brake pedal or the gas pedal but not both!
What are acupuncture points?
The short answer is that acupuncture points are points on the body where needles are inserted in acupuncture. These particular points are chosen because they provide deep access to the energy of the body. For a more extensive explanation please see the article I wrote called “What are Acupuncture Points?“
Does my health insurance plan cover acupuncture?
Not usually, but some plans do. Check with your to health plan administrator for the specifics of what your insurance plan covers. If your plan does cover insurance I will produce a form for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Can I use my Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for acupuncture?
Yes, acupuncture is a qualifying health care expense. We will provide you with a receipt that contains the information needed by your tax-deferred spending account manager to document your acupuncture expenses. Check with your account manager (and IRS Publications 969 and 502) for more details about payment by Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account.
What forms of payment are accepted?
We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.
Where is your clinic located?
Our office is located in Durham, North Carolina on Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, near Academy Road. Our office is inside a fabulous holistic healing center called Collective Wellness. This page contains a map and directions to Balanced Being Acupuncture.