Frequently Asked Questions
Does acupuncture hurt? Acupuncture needles are very thin and flexible and generally do not induce pain. Most of the time you won’t even feel them go in, especially in areas of the body that are fleshy. Areas of the body where the skin is thinner, a slight sting (similar to that of a mosquito bite) might be felt, but not always. Sensations of heat and heaviness are considered normal and help induce a state of deep relaxation.
What can acupuncture treat? Acupuncture can treat many ailments including chronic and acute pain, internal disorders, women’s health issues, mental and emotional problems, immune dysfunction, neurological disorders, addiction and respiratory ailments. For a more complete list please see conditions treated.
How many sessions do I need? This will depend on your condition. Generally, chronic conditions will take longer than acute, but to give acupuncture enough time to build on itself and do its work, approximately 4 – 6 visits are required. Acupuncture helps facilitate your body’s natural healing process and this can take time. It took years for your body to reach a state of imbalance, so it’s unlikely that one treatment will reverse it all. You should begin to notice positive improvement almost immediately, but complete resolution of the problem may take time.
How often should I be treated? Typically, once a week is sufficient. In more acute cases 2 or 3 times a week might be necessary. Once you achieve your health goals, it’s beneficial to receive acupuncture on a maintenance basis of once or twice a month or even once every other month depending on the individual. We refer to this as a tune-up. These tune up treatments are used to re-establish balance quickly and are preventative in nature.
Does insurance cover acupuncture? Some insurances do cover acupuncture. Typically at Scottsdale Acupuncture, you will receive a Super Bill to submit to your insurance for reimbursement.
Where do the needles go? The places most needled are from your elbows down to your hands, and from your knees down to your feet. Extra needles may be placed on your abdomen, back and ears, depending on your treatment.
Are the needles sterile or are they reused? All needles are packaged sterile and only used once. Used needles are put in biohazard containers and are never reused.
Are there any negative side effects to Acupuncture? Basically, the answer is no. If done correctly by a licensed and board certified acupuncturist there are virtually no negative side effects. Some people feel energized after a treatment, others feel so relaxed they are ready for a nap. Generally the worst thing that can happen to you from an acupuncture needle is a hematoma (bruise). This is rare and generally not harmful at all. The bruise generally goes away within a few days.
Unfortunately, dry needling is not illegal in the state of Arizona which allows some Physical Therapists and Chiropractors to practice a form of “acupuncture” without being licensed as an acupuncturist. Many of those practicing dry needling lack extensive training in needle technique and safety. Reported side effects of dry needling include pneumothorax (punctured lung), nerve injury, and broken needle. So make sure you are being treated by someone who is properly trained and licensed in acupuncture.
How does acupuncture work? Acupuncture enhances the energetic system of the body. Disease and disharmony can not exist in a body that is energetically balanced. By stimulating the acupuncture points, we unlock the innate healing response in the body.