What is Qi?

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The body's energy, called Qi {chee}, flows all over the body.   Qi flows along invisible pathways called meridians.  Qi delivers energy throughout the body, so the body can maintain its healthy function.  When Qi is blocked, physical or mental disease will occur. 

How does Acupuncture Work? 

An acupuncturist uses thin, solid, generally metallic needles for penetration of specific locations on the skin, called acupuncture points.  This is to improve the flow of Qi in order to remove obstacles on the meridian, and allow the Qi to go smoothly.  Hundreds of acupuncture points in the body can be opened like gates to balance and harmonize the flow of Qi, relieving pain and many other symptoms of disease.  Acupuncture mobilizes Qi and blood, and invigorates the proper functions of the body to hasten the healing process.

Is Acupuncture Safe?                

Acupuncture needles are not the needles people are familiar with in the doctor's office, and the sensation is remarkably different. An acupuncture needle is solid, as thin as a strand of human hair, and has no drugs in it. We use only pre-packaged, sterilized, disposable acupuncture needles made of surgical stainless steel, which cause no damage to the tissues and organs.  We discard them after one use.

How does Chinese Herbal Medicine work?

Chinese herbal medicine differs from Western folk herbal medicine in that it usually uses a larger variety of herbs in each formula.  Western folk herbal medicine typically uses one or a few herbs to treat symptoms, but a Chinese herbal formula can contain as many as 15 herbs. Each Chinese herbal formula has four components, which are:

(1) The major function of treatment herb(s);   (2) Supporting herbs;   (3) Herbs which limit side effects;    (4) Harmonization herbs.  

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Also, Chinese herbal medicine diagnosis includes not only a disease diagnosis, which identifies the symptoms, but also a comprehensive diagnosis, which identifies a person's particular pattern of behavior that is causing weakness and disease.  The variety of herbs is specially selected to deal with each individual's immediate as well as long term problems.  They hardly have any side effects, and if a patient does experience any unpleasant feeling, the practitioner can adjust the herbal formula until the treatment goal is achieved.

Is Chinese Herbal Medicine Safe?

Chinese herbal medicine represents the time-tested theories and cumulative clinical experience of more than 4000 years of continuous practice by traditional Chinese herbalists. It remains the world's oldest, safest, and most comprehensive system of medical care today, as it has been throughout its long history.

How Many Treatments Should I Try?

It is understandable that people want to get better as soon as possible. In fact, recovery times vary based on everyone’s constitution and symptoms. Generally speaking, clients feel an obvious improvement in their health after from 2 to 6 treatments. We recommend that clients give it a try at least 4 times to feel the improvement. Your practitioner will observe your energy changing during the initial 4 visits, and will discuss how many treatment you may need after.

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How Long Does Treatment Take?

The first treatment is about 90 minutes, including a detailed consultation (25 minutes), diagnosis (15-20 minutes) and treatment (45-50 minutes). From the 2nd through the 4th treatment, it usually takes about 75 minutes.  On the 4th treatment, 

the acupuncturist will discuss your progress with you and estimate how many more treatments will be required.  After the 5th one, every treatment takes about one hour.

What can Acupuncture & Herbs help?   

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs can help with:

GI: Abdominal pain; Constipation; Diarrhea; Indigestion; etc.

EMOTIONAL: Anxiety; Depression; Insomnia; Nervousness; Neurosis

GYNECOLOGICAL: Premenstrual syndrome; Menopausal symptoms;  Infertility; Irregular menstrual cycle

EYE-EAR-NOSE-THROAT: Cataracts; Poor vision; Toothache; Gingivitis; Tinnitus

RESPIRATORY:  Asthma; Bronchitis; Common cold; Sinusitis; Smoking cessation; Tonsillitis; Allergies 

MUSCULO-SKELETAL: Arthritis; Back pain; Neck pain; Muscle pain; Muscle weakness; Muscle cramping; Sciatica; Stroke rehab; paralysis 

NEUROLOGICAL: Headaches; Migraines; Neurogenic bladder dysfunction; Parkinson's disease; Post-operative pain 

MISCELLANEOUS: Addiction control; Athletic performance; Blood pressure regulation; Chronic fatigue;  Immune system toning; Stress reduction

What is Heat Therapy?  

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We use special medical heat lamps designed for acupuncture to apply heat to the areas where it is needed. The lamp transmits warmth into the body, which invigorates the smooth flow of Qi (energy). An old Chinese proverb says, “Where there is no blockage of the flow of Qi, there is no pain.”  The heat lamp also acts to increase circulation, bringing more blood to the local area to heal and replace damaged tissues.  Heat therapy is relaxing for the patient, making it easier to rest during treatment.

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 What is Cupping Therapy? 

Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese form of medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin to release stagnant or stuck energy from inside the body, and bring it up to the surface.  It is used in areas which have very tight muscles or aching pain - often the back and shoulders.  Many people find that cupping therapy relaxes muscle and releases pain.  Cupping often leaves a circular bruise-like mark where the cup was, though this varies from person to person.  Such marks usually last a few days.

 What is Auricular (ear) Acupuncture?

The body has many different acupuncture points, including the ear. The ear is universal, because there are points in the ear which can treat the whole body.  For some conditions, the acupuncturist may use auricular acupuncture, in which needles are used at acupuncture points on the ear.  There are specific points in the ear to treat internal organs as well as limbs.  When disorders occur in any part of the body, they 

can also show at the corresponding points in the ear.  Stimulating these sensitive areas on the ear serves to prevent and treat diseases and illness.  PTSD, weight control, addiction problems, as well as many other chronic problems can be treated with acupuncture in the ear.

For chronic problems, the acupuncturist may suggest the use of ear seeds, or ear press balls.  In this case, the acupuncturist finds the most sensitive spots in the ear, and then tapes a small herbal ball to the ear.  These treatments are hidden in the ear and do not stick out, so they can be kept in for up to a week.  The client can stimulate those points by gently pressing on the seeds daily.  This gives the client an opportunity for longer lasting and more constant relief treatment.  If any of the points become uncomfortable, ear seeds can be removed right away without any problem.

Does Health Insurance Cover Acupuncture in Massachusetts?   

Most insurance plans do not cover acupuncture. However, check your insurance policy, since yours may. Simply call your insurance company and find out.

In our office, we honor many different major insurances by offering a discount. If you are a student or a senior, we also offer a discount plan or sliding scale.  Please discuss this with us.  We can work it out.

In New England, some large insurance providers are looking closely at consumer demand for acupuncture and are implementing discount plans. Unlike covered services, discount plans don’t pay for acupuncture services; instead they require participating practitioners to discount their services for subscribers. Some companies and unions with self-insured plans are funding coverage for their members. In some cases injuries sustained while on the job or in a motor vehicle accident may be covered for acupuncture care under Workers Compensation or automobile insurance policies. A bill currently under consideration in Congress provides for coverage of acupuncture care for seniors under Medicare. 

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