FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY HAVE ACUPUNCTURE?
Acupuncture is effective because it aims to treat both the symptoms and the causes underneath. In this way it will look at the cause of the headache rather than just providing pain relief to suppress the symptoms. It can treat conditions which are not easily explained in western medicine. Approaching a condition from this different Eastern perspective can often find other solutions to the problem that western medicine cannot. Acupuncture can also provide treatment without the side effects that many drugs can induce.
WHAT INSURANCES DO YOU ACCEPT?
Some insurance plans have started covering acupuncture procedures, however others still do not. If you have a PPO health insurance plan, we can verify your benefit to make sure that your visit at Palos Verdes Acupuncture & Wellness Center is fully or partially covered. We do more than just acupuncture. Sometimes although your insurance plan itself will not cover acupuncture procedures, we may still be able to bill your insurance for the other procedures that we perform. We bill your insurance directly. So you don’t need to pay us at the time of service if your insurance plan can be billed. You also don’t need to worry about submitting lengthy paperwork to your insurance company and waiting anxiously for the reimbursement from them. We take care of all the paper work and make you benefit from our high quality services in the same way that you are used to at any other doctors’ offices.
We do not work with HMOs at this point, but you can contact your own insurance company to get reimbursed; and you can use your health savings account towards your expenditures. Right now, herbal medicine is not covered by insurance but may be covered by your health savings account. Medicare does not cover any of our services. If you have a PPO secondary insurance plan that is not a supplementary Medicare plan, however once again, we are able to verify the benefit to make your visit at Palos verdes Acupuncture & Wellness Center fully or partially covered.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
The Eastern Explanation for how Acupunctures works is that the life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee) can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced or is blocked.
Definition of Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.
Explanation of How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.
The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body's natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for P.M.S. and infertility.
The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate serotonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture.
Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.
DOES IT HURT?
Acupuncture in general is not painful. The needles are extremely thin (about the width of 2 human hairs), solid, disposable and flexible. Sensations that patients normally experience are a dull ache or tingling which is associated with the movement of energy stimulated by the insertion of the needles. This is a desired affect and should not feel painful.
HOW LONG DO THE VISITS LAST?
The initial visit includes your full health history, examination, an acupuncture treatment, and herbal formulas (if necessary) and can last anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 hours. During the initial visit we also take a close look at your diet and will give you insights how your diet might impact your condition. We will assist you in making recommendations that help to build your body’s system. Follow-up visits usually last about one hour to one hour and 15 minutes.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING A SESSION?
During the initial visit we discuss your medical history, take a careful look at your dietary habits, and perform a physical examination. The physical examination consists of checking your pulse on your wrists, looking at the tongue and performing diagnostic palpations around the abdomen, neck region or areas of complaint. Additionally, we might check points on your feet or hands to see if there is any pressure pain. Palpation offers further insights into the exact nature of your situation. The resulting treatment plan consists of acupuncture, and we may suggest custom-tailored herbal medicine, nutritional changes, and stress reduction techniques. In addition, we might give you homework such as pressing certain points that have proven helpful during the treatment.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?
Every Acupuncture & Asian medical treatment is custom tailored to address the individual patient’s needs. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, how long a condition has lasted, and if you are able to do “homework” (e.g. dietary and lifestyle changes, self-massage, etc), the number of treatments you need will differ also. In general, people receive a treatment every 1-2 weeks for the first month, then as improvement becomes significant and sustained, the time between sessions lengthens also. Some situations do not need treatments after a few visits, while others choose to have continued treatments once every 1-3 months in order to help maintain health.