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Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Below, you will find some of the most frequently asked questions related to acupuncture, along with our responses.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

From an Eastern medicine perspective, illness and pathology arise from imbalances of energy in our bodies. Acupuncture needles – which are hair-thin, disposable, stainless steel needles – are used to stimulate the body’s major meridians, or energy-carrying channels, to resist or overcome illnesses by correcting imbalances in energy flow.

From a Western medicine perspective, receiving acupuncture awakens your body’s own innate healing response. It does so through regulating the sympathetic (“Fight or Flight”) nervous system, and activating the parasympathetic (“Rest and Digest”) nervous system, which diminishes the stress response. Acupuncture supplies more nutrient-rich blood to the various systems of your body, including your digestive, reproductive, and endocrine systems. Receiving acupuncture also releases many “feel-good” and anti-inflammatory chemicals into your bloodstream, ranging from pain-relieving enkephalins and endorphins to oxytocin. From a biophysical perspective, inserting acupuncture needles into muscles can trigger tight muscles to soften and relax, improving mobility and range of motion, and easing pain.

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Is Acupuncture Safe?

When performed by a licensed professional, acupuncture has proven to be a very safe and efficacious treatment for many acute as well as chronic conditions. It has been used effectively for thousands of years, for people across all ages. On account of its safety and nominal side effects, acupuncture is also considered a dependable form of therapy for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

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Is Acupuncture Painful?

No, acupuncture treatment is not painful. Acupuncture needles are thinner than a human hair, and therefore feel nothing like receiving a shot at the doctor’s office. On the contrary, patients have often been reported as feeling very relaxed and sleepy during their “needle nap”!

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Is Acupuncture Recognized by Western Medicine?

Yes, the World Health Organization has endorsed this form of medicine, which is practiced by one-third of the population in the world as a primary form of medicine. It works well along with other medicinal practices, like Western medicine.

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What are the Health Conditions that Acupuncture Can Treat Effectively?

Acupuncture is considered effective for a wide range of conditions that includes, but is not limited to:

  • Respiratory ailments
  • Digestive and circulatory problems
  • Reproductive and menstrual problems
  • Pregnancy and Postpartum issues
  • Neuromuscular ailments
  • Insomnia and addictions
  • Depression, anxiety, trauma, and other psychological issues

Acupuncture helps by mitigating stress and anxiety, strengthening your immune system, decreasing systemic inflammation, and re-establishing and improving feedback within your nervous, endocrine, digestive, and circulatory systems. Moreover, working with a skilled practitioner, who truly takes the time to get to know you, deeply improves overall well-being and inner strength.

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Can I Receive Acupuncture When I Am Pregnant?

Acupuncture is considered safe during pregnancy, and has been beneficial in relieving varied pregnancy and postpartum conditions. However, considering there are some contraindications during pregnancy, it is advisable to inform the practitioner beforehand if you are pregnant. Acupuncture is hugely recommended through your first trimester as it helps in preventing miscarriage, supporting the development of embryo, and focusing on your comprehensive well-being. We also recommend regular (weekly) acupuncture treatments in the weeks leading up to childbirth. Research shows that regular treatment beginning around 36 weeks helps minimize birth interventions, and creates more efficient births.

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How Can I Prepare for My Acupuncture Treatment?

To provide your body with adequate energy for the acupuncture session, it is recommended that you eat some munchies or a light meal before the treatment. You should also avoid drinking caffeine a few hours prior to your treatment.

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What Can I Expect During a Treatment?

During the first treatment, which is 90 minutes, your practitioner will take an extensive health history, review any relevant lab work, and establish a complete evaluation of the condition you are seeking treatment for. Your acupuncturist will employ traditional Chinese medicine diagnostic techniques, including examining your pulse, observing your tongue, and palpating specific meridians to look for tender areas. After the needles are placed, you will rest comfortably for approximately 20-25 minutes. Many patients fall asleep or become deeply relaxed during this time. Follow-up visits are 60 minutes, and include tongue and pulse observation, a conversation regarding the improvement of your symptoms, and an acupuncture treatment.

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Who Can Practice Acupuncture?

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are practiced by a California state-licensed acupuncturist who has a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Your acupuncturist has completed 4 years of rigorous medical training and testing, and is thoroughly versed in both Eastern and Western medicine. Your acupuncturist is an expert in Chinese herbal medicine, including the safe combination of plant medicine and Western medications. To get the best possible acupuncture treatment, consult the right acupuncturist in Walnut Creek. If you are seeking an experienced acupuncturist, Monarch Acupuncture & Wellness is a name you can trust. Call us at 925-268-8830 or visit us online to schedule an appointment today.

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Do you accept insurance?

We are currently in-network with Cigna and Multiplan. Your copay benefits must be verified by us prior to your treatment. For all other insurance plans, we can provide you with an itemized receipt (called a Superbill) at the end of your treatment–just request one from your acupuncturist! A superbill is a document you submit to your insurance for direct reimbursement. Since we cannot guarantee reimbursement will be provided, we always recommend you check in with your insurance company prior to your visit and ask if out-of-network acupuncture is a covered benefit.

If you’d like assistance submitting your superbills to your insurance company for reimbursement, we recommend using the following service, Franklin, which makes the process very simple!

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