Frequently Asked Questions
+ Does acupuncture hurt?
When people have a fear of needles it is often related to getting shots or having blood drawn. These procedures use hypodermic needles, which are thick and hollow.
Acupuncture needles, however, are solid and much thinner. While there are different sizes of acupuncture needles, most are at least 20 times thinner than hypodermic needles.
While acupuncture needles may cause a slight pinch when inserted, the pain is usually mild. Once the needles are in, they may cause tingling or warm sensations, but should not cause sustained pain.
In fact, an acupuncture treatment is incredibly relaxing, which helps you to quickly forget any mild discomfort experienced from the needles.
+ What does acupuncture do?
Acupuncture is a technique of Chinese medicine that uses points along the surface of the body to influence how it functions as a whole.
Because energy in the body moves through channels, on which the points are merely access points, a proper analogy for how it works is a subway system. Just as the lines of a subways system transverse a huge city like New York, but you can only access the subway at stations along the route, so are the channels of the body. The channels carrying energy in your body cover every inch of us, inside and out, but we can only access them at specific locations, the acupuncture points.
Acupuncturists are trained in the anatomy of these energetic systems, and how best to use them to balance the body and restore health.
+ Do I need acupuncture?
Most people can benefit from acupuncture, whether it’s several times per week for an acute injury or a few times per year at the change of seasons for and immunity and energy boost. When sick, in pain, or addressing a specific health issue, it's ideal to get acupuncture regularly.
I specialize in women's reproductive health, so if you have the goal of treating menstrual pain, regulating hormones, getting pregnant, or preparing/recovering from birth, then I definitely recommend acupuncture.
If you'd like to discuss your case to see if you're a good candidate for acupuncture, feel free to contact me.
+ How many treatments before I feel better?
That depends on the condition being treated. For very complex conditions or conditions you've had for a long time, it may take longer to treat. In some cases it can take 1-2 months of treatment to impact conditions such as infertility, chronic pain, or long-standing hormonal or metabolic imbalances.
However, for more recent or mild conditions, sometimes just one treatment is all that's needed to get you feeling back to yourself again.
Please keep in mind, as with every kind of medical treatment, results can vary. I promise to provide you with a reasonable estimate of how many treatments you'll likely need, based on my experience, but there is no guarentee of how exactly you'll respond.
+ Do I need to take herbs?
It depends on what you're being treated for. Some conditions respond best to acupuncture, some to herbal medicine, some to a combination of the both.
+ What herbs do you use?
Chinese herbs include hundreds of different substances. You may recognize some of the herbs, such as ginger or mint, but many of them from plants that are not recognizeable to most Westerners, such as bupleurum, rehmannia, or vitex.
Just as with any medicine, which herbs are prescribed relies completely on each patient and their unique presentation.
Sometimes herbs are used indivisually, but most often in Chinese herbs are combined into a formula which is designed to mediate the imbalances in their system. Most of the herbal formulas I use come in either the form of pill or tea.
+ Can you help me get pregnant?
That depends on a lot of different factors. If you'd like to discuss if you would be a good cadidate for Chinese medicine, feel free to contact me.
+ Do you take insurance?
No, I don't bill insurance directly for you. But that doesn't necessarily mean you can't use your insurance to cover part or all of the cost of treatment.
If you have an FSA or HSA (Flexible Spending Account/Health Spending Account) you can use your card/account to pay for acupuncture treatments, and in some cases herbs as well.
If you have out of network acupuncture benefits then I can provide you a SuperBill for you to submit for direct reimbursement (meaning you get paid by your insurance provider directly.)
In some cases your insurance plan covers 50% or more of treatment costs. If you'd like a list of questions to ask your insurance company to see if they'll cover you acupuncture treatment, contact me and I'll provide you with them.
A few things to keep in mind if you'll be submitting SuperBills for reimbursement:
- The cost of treatment is due to Sweet Beet Acupuncture at the time of service, if for some reason your insurance denies your claims the cost of treatment is still your responsibility and will not be discounted.
- Many plans have out of network deductibles that must be met before they begin paying on visits.
- Most insurance providers require some type of pain code for coverage, if you aren't seeking treatment for a pain condition, then it may not be covered by your provider.
- The SuperBill you will be provided with is a printed invoice with a signature and will need to be mailed into your insurance company. If you prefer, you can request several SuperBills to be printed out at once so you don't need to collect them at each visit.
- Only acupuncture and consultation fees are typically covered by insurance. The cost of herbs or missed appointment fees are not covered by insurance.
+ Why do different acupuncturists charge such different amounts?
As with any medical service, there are several different levels of care that are available at different price points.
For example, some of the cheapest options for acupuncture may be to get treatment from students are an acupuncture school or community acupuncture which is conducted in a group setting. Typically the less you pay, the less time you spend one-on-one with the practitioner, though this can still be incredibly effective for someone on a budget who needs treatment for a simple injury such as a sprained ankle.
When acupuncture treatments are at a higher price point, typically the sessions are more private (you're in your own room rather than in a group setting), you get more one-on-one time with the practitioner, and you get much more time to cover other information, such as dietary recommendations. This is the nature of my practice, which I find necessary since I work primarily in reproductive health, which requires much more one-on-one time, education, and recommendations.