Acupuncture is a needling technique that has been used for thousands of years to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. Founded in China, this modality has advanced across the Eastern world, starting at around 100 B.C.
The mind-body-spirit is treated as one in Eastern medicine traditions. While acupuncture is primarily used to treat physical issues, it is relaxing to the mind and emotions as well; hence a holistic approach.
As more evidence-based research has been conducted, acupuncture has become increasingly accepted as an effective form of treatment by mainstream doctors and institutions across the U.S.
Want to learn how acupuncture works from a biomedical perspective? Read more here: How Acupuncture works: a biomedical overview
From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture is based on the premise that energy or “qi” circulates throughout the body along interconnected pathways known as meridians. When this energy or life force becomes blocked or unbalanced, the result is discomfort, pain, or illness. By stimulating the meridians through specific points on the skin, ancient healers discovered they could redirect the flow of energy in the body. This restores the balance needed to promote healing in the body’s internal systems.
I primarily use non-insertive Japanese techniques to treat the root of exhibited problems. Through the style of acupuncture known as Shakuju Therapy, I stimulate specific points on the body with soft, pliable needles that do not break the skin. I also use traditional Chinese acupuncture, which involves inserting hair-thin needles into the skin.
Non-insertive acupuncture is never painful. In fact, most patients find it to be pleasant and relaxing. Some even fall asleep. Patients typically find traditional acupuncture surprisingly gentle as well. The needles I use are hair-thin and most often just barely penetrate the skin, so most people do not even feel them. If something is felt, typical descriptions are a soothing rush of warmth or a cooling sensation moving through the body. Some people experience a little achiness as well. These are the effects of the energy pathways being stimulated.
While acupuncture is the hub of my practice, I take a holistic approach to healthcare through the lenses of both Western and Eastern medicine. I am more than solely an acupuncturist; I also provide health coaching and other complementary therapies to enhance and extend the effects of acupuncture treatments. I encourage my patients to practice healthy habits so they can heal faster and maintain vibrant health.
I normally do not leave the room during a treatment. To ensure optimal results, I give patients undivided attention so I can closely monitor how they’re responding, and make treatment adjustments as needed.
I am also 1 of only 8 practitioners outside of Japan certified to teach the gentle, non-insertive Shakuju style of acupuncture.
The number of treatments depends on the nature of the problem, the patient’s overall health, and his or her goals. But I can generally determine the root causal factors in the first 3-4 appointments. From this assessment, I develop a prognosis and comprehensive treatment plan. At intervals, I reevaluate this plan based on input from patients and observations of their responses.
I am not on provider lists, although many insurers accept out-of-network healthcare. Health and flexible spending accounts plans usually cover acupuncture treatments, and injuries sustained on the job or in a motor vehicle accident may be covered for acupuncture under workers’ compensation or automobile insurance policies.
While patients are responsible for payment on the day of treatment, I do everything I can to assist with reimbursement from insurance policies. I provide all necessary documentation and will follow up on any submission that is rejected. For patients not covered by their insurer, I offer college student and senior citizen discounts. In addition, I offer scaled rates.
Yes. When done properly, there are almost no risks associated with acupuncture. As a founder of the New England School of Acupuncture’s institutional review board (IRB) for ethical clinical acupuncture trials, I go above and beyond safety protocols.
I use only sterile, disposable needles.
After a treatment session many patients experience:
- Deep relaxation
- Relief from pain
- Improved emotional wellbeing
- A renewed sense of energy
- A feeling of wholeness
- An enhanced sense of clarity
- Better sleep patterns