Is there anything I should know for my first appointment?
For your first appointment be sure to wear loose, comfortable clothing and eat something at least one hour beforehand. The appointment will last an hour and a half, with all other appointments lasting one hour. The first half of the appointment will be a thorough interview process as we discuss the main reasons for your visit and all else relating to your health, past and present. I will then take your pulse and look at your tongue, two tools I use for diagnostic purposes. We will end the session with acupuncture, in which the needles are retained for about 30 minutes. There's a heat lamp, music and dim lighting. Acupuncture is very relaxing, and most of my patients fall asleep for a restorative power nap. The benefits of acupuncture start immediately. After your first treatment you could experience an excellent night of sleep, higher energy, more focus, less stress and a reduction in pain.
Do you take insurance?
More and more insurance policies now cover acupuncture. Before coming for your first visit check your policy for the details of your acupuncture benefit. I am happy to give you a superbill with acupuncture CPT codes so that you can bill your insurance yourself for out of network coverage.
Do you prescribe herbal medicine? Is it safe?
Chinese herbs or nutritional supplements may also be prescribed as an adjunct to acupuncture therapy, offering a way to extend the effects of treatment and bring about resolution of more significant health complaints faster than with just acupuncture alone. Herbs come in many forms, including pills and powdered teas for oral ingestion, or topical sprays or plasters for use directly on the skin.
I use Evergreen Herbs, which are some of the highest quality, well tested herbs you can find on the market. For more information check out www.evherbs.com. I combine a variety of herbs at different doses into a synergistic formula that is uniquely tailored to each patient's condition. I also give supplements and other herbal blends through Apex Energetics.
What does cupping do and why does it leave bruises?
I practice traditional glass cupping to create suction over areas where tension or injury has caused inflammation, congestion and pain. Most describe cups as feeling gentle and similar to a massage as the suction gently pulls and opens the skin and connective tissues underneath to increase blood circulation and improve toxin removal in areas of long-standing pain. Cups often leave light red or purple marks, which are painless areas where stagnant toxins that cause the deep ache in muscles are pulled to the surface of the body to be metabolized and removed. With subsequent cupping sessions, marks left are progressively lighter as long-standing toxins are removed and proper circulation is restored.
What is moxabustion therapy?
Moxibustion (moxa) is an adjunct to acupuncture therapy where heat is applied to acupuncture points or regions of the body to increase circulation and stimulate healing. Moxa uses a preparation of dried mugwort leaf (artimesia argyi) that is processed with charcoal. I perform moxa indirectly, using a mugwort-charcoal stick held a few inches above the body. This type of therapy is often beneficial for arthritis, neuropathy, frozen shoulder, chronic back pain, painful periods, low energy, and for an immune boost.
If I'm scared of needles can I get an acupressure massage?
Absolutely! Acupressure applies the same principles as acupuncture to promote relaxation and wellness and treat disease. You may request acupressure if you have a needle sensitivity and/or phobia, or would just like to try a massage. Acupressure is wonderful for restoring balance to the body.