Do the needles hurt?
Acupuncture needles are flexible and about the size of a human hair. Most people don't feel them during insertion, but often there is a sensation of "grabbing," pinching, or electricity as the needles contact the Qi. There is no pain when the needles are left in place during treatment.
Can the needles cause bleeding or infection?
Because the needles are so thin and the point is smooth (no cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) significant bleeding is very rare. Bruising is a possibility, but is not common. For certain conditions, a little bleeding after needle removal is encouraged and is a sign that energy has been unblocked.
All needles are sterile and are used only once. Your skin should be clean when you come for a treatment, but disinfectant is generally not needed. Infections related to acupuncture are very rare.
How many treatments will I need?
This depends on your response to the treatment and the condition being treated. As you would expect, chronic problems typically require more time and treatments to respond than acute illnesses or injuries. One to two treatments per week is a common schedule to begin with, and follow-up is based on your progress. Many people find it beneficial to receive a health maintenance treatment four times a year after the primary problem has been addressed.
Should I stop other treatments I am getting for my condition?
No! Acupuncture works well alone or along with conventional Western medicine, osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments, homeopathy and naturopathy. Some pain medicines can interfere with acupuncture's effectiveness, but these can be adjusted in consultation with your other doctors as you respond to treatment.
Do I need to do anything special before or after a treatment?
To get the most out of an acupuncture treatment:
Avoid large meals just before and for the rest of the day following your treatment;
Refrain from alcohol, exercise, and sexual activity for six hours before and after treatment;
Be gentle with yourself for the rest of the day following a treatment, especially the first few times. This allows your body to integrate the energy movement, and also to enjoy the relaxation many people feel after acupuncture.
Take prescription medicines as usual; however, use of alcohol or illicit drugs will inhibit the effectiveness of acupuncture.
Will my insurance pay for acupuncture?
Check with your health insurance company to find out if your policy covers acupuncture. Dr. Mauro does not contract with health plans, but if acupuncture is covered, your insurance company may reimburse you for visits to an "out of network" provider. Your plan may cover the standard Evaluation and Management portion of the charges even if it does not cover the acupuncture charge. It is a good idea to confirm ahead of time what your insurance company covers.
Patients who pay out of pocket at the time of service receive a discount.
What conditions can be treated with acupuncture?
Click here for a list from the World Health Organization.