How many treatments do I need?
This varies from patient to patient and depends on many factors, including what you are seeking treatment for, how long you have had a condition and your overall health. I am happy to discuss your unique situation before you make your first appointment. In general, while some people have immediate results, it is more common need several treatments to achieve the best results.
For acute painful conditions, 6 to 8 treatments may be enough. For more chronic conditions, weekly sessions over several months or longer may be necessary.
For menstrual or fertility issues, you should plan on treatment for at least 3 menstrual cycles for women, and at least 60 days for men.
Treatment frequency can be once or twice per week at the beginning of our time together. As your condition improves, we lengthen the time between sessions to make sure treatments are holding.
It is always my goal to get you well as quickly as possible. Many find their sessions so beneficial that they choose to continue for wellness on a monthly or seasonal basis.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
Few patients describe acupuncture as painful. However, many patients report a variety of sensations, including, tingling, numbness, warmth, and a sensation of “spreading,” which is associated with the renewed flow of Qi. Some patients feel nothing at all when the needles are inserted. Most people leave feeling deeply relaxed and renewed.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is extremely safe when performed by a qualified licensed acupuncturist. Licensed acupuncturists undergo 2,000 to 3,000 hours of training, several hundred of which is supervised clinical training on real patients. We are well schooled in anatomy, proper needle insertion depths, and clean needle techniques. Aside from the occasional bruise at a needle insertion site, adverse reactions are extremely rare.
We use only sterile single use acupuncture needles as is required by law.
It is important to note that when performed by professions other than licensed acupuncturists, the risk of adverse events rises and includes the potential to puncture a lung (pneumothorax), tissue damage, and puncturing other organs. It is vitally important that you receive acupuncture from a qualified, licensed acupuncturist.
How do I know if I am seeing a qualified licensed acupuncturist?
This is an important question, especially in the state of Connecticut where many other professionals besides licensed acupuncturists are allowed to insert acupuncture needles with little or no training. Physical therapists may call the acupuncture that they perform “dry needling”, but unless your physical therapist is also a licensed acupuncturist, he or she may only have a weekend course in dry needling with no clinical training before they start sticking needles in you. Chiropractors and Naturopaths are also able to perform acupuncture with minimal training. Even some psychotherapists are treating people with acupuncture after taking a weekend course!
If your acupuncturist has the credentials L.Ac., or Licensed Acupuncturist after their name, they have met the rigorous requirements of training for licensure in the state. A certificate is not the same as a license. In Connecticut, your licensed acupuncturist is also required to receive 30 hours of continuing education every two years. No other professional practicing acupuncture in Connecticut has this requirement.
If you are seeking a specialized form of acupuncture, such as for fertility, dry needling, or sports therapy, ask your licensed acupuncturist about their training and experience.
Does my insurance cover acupuncture?
Many plans are beginning to cover acupuncture. I am in network with Cigna. I also accept insurance from Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, and Connecticare as an out of network provider, if you have acupuncture coverage as part of your benefits. I also accept Workman’s Compensation Insurance with pre-approval from your caseworker. For other providers, I am happy to give you the correct paperwork to submit for reimbursement.
It is important for you to know that even if you have an acupuncture benefit under your plan, your particular condition may not be covered. Insurance can be complicated and I can help you to determine your benefit.
You can also contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask:
Can I use acupuncture during pregnancy?
Acupuncture is very safe during pregnancy when performed by a qualified licensed acupuncturist. I often treat women throughout their pregnancy and help them manage morning sickness, back and hip pain, carpal tunnel and any issues that may arise. Additionally, I can assist with cervical ripening during the final weeks of pregnancy.
Is acupuncture good for children?
Absolutely! I have treated many children in my 20 years of practice for a variety of health conditions, including frequent colds, allergies, stomach upset, anxiety, pain, including muscle sprains and strains, Amblyopia (lazy eye) and menstrual issues.
I will see children beginning at 5 years of age.
Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine
45 South Main St., Suite 206
West Hartford, Connecticut 06107
Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday & Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.