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We understand that new treatment plans come with a lot of questions. With that in mind, we would like to answer the questions we are asked of most, and provide you with some specific information about how to prepare, and what to expect during your first treatment session. If you have any additional questions, please ask—

Will Acupuncture Help Me?

The broad answer is that acupuncture is capable of treating nearly every condition. The response to treatment, however, will differ with each individual. Factors such as age, the onset, duration, complexity and severity of the condition, and lifestyle need to all be taken into consideration. Having a condition that has been going on for months, maybe years may put you on a slower path to recovery, though the journey is well worth it.


Achieving the best results requires the patient's willingness to be open to the process through participation and cooperation. Acupuncture is typically not, a one-shot deal. It works cumulatively, meaning one treatment builds on the next. On average Six consecutive treatments will resolve most common issues, quickly and efficiently. At the very least you will find that acupuncture will effect a positive change in the right direction, and your general health. At its core acupuncture is good preventive medicine that supports and fosters overall health and well being, so you will reap unexpected benefits!



Does acupuncture hurt  and how safe is it?

The style of acupuncture Christine Ellis provides along with her approach to treatment is very gentle. Specialized techniques using very, very fine flexible needles, the size of about three hairs in thickness are used. It is common for patients to feel relaxed and well, during and following a treatment. 


If at all, the patient may feel a mild reaction upon insertion of the needle, experience tingling or warmth around the site, and possibly a traveling sensation from the site to other areas, most likely along a meridian's pathway.  If any of these mild reactions occur it is seen as a good sign that vital energy is being activated. 


The regulated licensed acupuncture profession has one of the highest positive safety rates among healthcare providers. Throughout the United States, sterile-disposable packaged needles are used. Acupuncture physician-practitioners are trained, and adhere to universal precautions for the safety of their patients and themselves. Licensed acupuncture practitioners are trained extensively in proper techniques of needle placement, insertion, and theory It's their profession! Unlike other medical providers who may offer a similar technique, though may receive a nominal amount of training, equivalent to taking a few short weekend courses.


What to expect of Consultation and Examination -

You will be asked to fill out New Patient Forms which will help us gain some information about yourself and your condition. Please take your time to fill them out completely and honestly. The more information you provide, the better we will be able to help you.

The practitioner will ask you directed questions to assess your condition and how it is affecting you, then will proceed with an appropriate examination. Further questions may be asked of you during the exam. The exam process includes pulse diagnosis, tongue diagnosis and palpation to the body. Areas of palpation will include the extremities and abdomen and may include the head, face, neck, and trunk. All this enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances that may have contributed to a person’s health problem(s)


After the practitioner has gathered and analyzed the information you provided along with the examination information, a differential diagnosis will be made according to the principle of Eastern medicine. The information is then organized into a well-structured treatment plan.


Following the preliminary diagnostics, a baseline acupuncture treatment will be given if time permits. The baseline treatment is to see how you initially respond to acupuncture treatment.


At your follow-up visit, your practitioner will review the findings with you and explain recommendations for your treatment plan and begin your individualized plan of care.




How to prepare for your acupuncture treatment - 

It's best that you do not arrive rushed, or hungry. We recommend to have eaten 1 - 2 hours prior to receiving treatment, and avoid caffeine products and stimulants.

Wear loose fitting clothes that can be easily moved away to access your arms and legs commonly from the elbow and knees down. Normally, it is not necessary to disrobe when receiving acupuncture treatment, however there may be times when less accessible areas need to be reached, like your hip or shoulder. In these cases a professional draping will be provided. 


Useful tips for preparing children can be found on our Shonishin pediatric page


Does Insurance cover Acupuncture?

Some insurers cover acupuncture. You can find out by calling the number on your insurance card. We do not bill insurance. You pay for the services you receive at the time rendered. You may then obtain a “superbill” from us that provides all the information you need to submit a claim to your insurance company for direct reimbursement to you. It is a standardized form which insurers expect, and expedites the process for timely reimbursement. When services are covered by their plan, our patients tell us they've not had any problem in receiving their direct reimbursements in a timely manner. We can assist you if needed. 


* Medicare and Medicaid has restrictions to cover services at this time.



Medical Saving Account - 

Many Flex Spending and Health Savings Accounts support the use of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Our system is set up to accept the use of your MSA debit card.


Is Acupuncture Tax Deductible?  

"Yes!”  So keep track of your treatments. The costs of acupuncture and prescribed herbal medicine can often be a deductible medical expenses.

What to expect: Consult/Exam/Tx
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