What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of healing that was developed in China over 3000 years ago. Over the centuries acupuncture was refined and advanced, and today is used to treat a host of ailments ranging from muscle pain and body aches, to the common cold, and even more serious conditions such as HIV and cancer.

An acupuncturist uses tiny, hair-fine needles to penetrate the skin and interact with the Qi (energy) pathways that flow in the body. According to Traditional Chinese medical theory, illness occurs when the energy flow of the body is disrupted, thus the goal of acupuncture is to restore and maintain the proper flow of Qi.

Does acupuncture work?

Absolutely! Many people find relief from pain, faster healing for injuries, a way to deal with stress, support for their immune systems, and a way to promote health through acupuncture everyday.

How or why does it work?

Very little is understood about how or why acupuncture works from a western perspective. Research has determined that there is a physiologic response to needles placed in acupuncture points as opposed to “placebo” needles placed in non-acupuncture points. Acupuncture theory explains that by determining the source of an ailment, a practitioner can work on the flow of Qi to address the problem at its source, instead of just treating symptoms.

Can acupuncture treat ailments other than muscle pain?

Yes! Acupuncture is very effective for treating a variety of ailments. Some of these include, but are not limited to: chronic fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, seasonal allergies, PMS, stress, anxiety, depression, hypertension, insomnia, infertility, dizziness, cough, headaches, and the common cold.

Does acupuncture hurt?

No. The needles used by an acupuncturist are very tiny, and most people don’t feel the insertion of the needle into the skin. What you may feel are sensations such as heaviness, lightness, tingling, dullness or slight numbness, warmth, or just ‘something moving.’ These sensations occur when the needle activates your Qi, and are generally desirable and relaxing.

What should I expect on my first visit?

Your first acupuncture visit should take about an hour and a half, while subsequent appointments will range from 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your main concern. At the first appointment, you will need to fill out intake paperwork, and there will be a comprehensive interview to assess your chief concern and the main systems of your body (i.e. digestive, muscular, cardiovascular, etc.). After the interview, a plan for treatment is created, and I will insert needles into various points*. You can expect to spend 15-45 minutes with the needles in while you relax on the massage table. Needle retention time will vary due to the nature of your ailment. After needles are removed, we will discuss recommendations for further treatment, a follow-up visit schedule, and steps you can take to make your treatment more effective.

*Please note that needles may be inserted into areas that may not seem to correspond to your main complaint. For example if you are seeking treatment for knee pain, I may also insert needles into your hands, arms, back or feet. This is because pathways of Qi (called meridians) transverse the body, with points located along them. While your knee pain will most likely be treated at the site of pain, stimulating points in other locations as well may enhance the treatment.

Make sure to dress comfortably for your appointments, and try to eat lightly before coming in. Please avoid heavy meals, alcohol, and/or an empty stomach.

Do you accept insurance?

Sound Acupuncture is currently an In-Network provider with Aetna, Premera Blue Cross, Lifewise, First Choice Health Network, Regence, and Regence Uniform Medical Plan. We will bill other medical insurance as an out of network provider, if your insurance has that option. We also bill PIP insurance, which is through your auto insurance and covers you in case of an accident. Please call your medical or PIP insurance ahead of time to verify benefits. Most medical insurance covers acupuncture for pain only, so if you would like to be treated for a condition other than pain, please make sure your insurance covers acupuncture for more than pain or pain management.

2006 Sound Acupuncture.