Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

What Are The Needles Like? Do They Hurt?

People experience acupuncture needling differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not as painful as injections or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle.


How Many Treatments Are Needed?

The number will differ from person to person and will depend on your treatment goals. Acute problems need fewer sessions, whereas complex or chronic conditions may require one or two treatments per week for several months. Acupuncture effects build and strengthen with repeated visits. After a condition has been treated successfully, some people consider periodic health maintenance “tune-ups” to keep their energy flowing and in good balance.


Are There Any Side Effects?

Usually not. Change in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination pattern may be triggered but is actually a signal that the acupuncture is starting to work. It is quite common after the first one or two treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or invigoration. Other than that, one of the needled points may develop a small bruise but that is generally rare.


What Are The "Do's And Dont's" On The Day Of A Treatment?

  • Do not eat an unusually large meal immediately before or after your treatment.
  • Do not over-exercise, engage in sexual activity, or consume alcoholic beverages within six hours before or after the treatment.
  • Plan your activities so that after the treatment you can get some rest, or at least not have to be working at top performance. This is especially important for the first few visits.
  • Continue to take any prescription medicines as directed by your primary care physician. Substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), especially in the week prior to treatment, will seriously interfere with the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments.
  • Remember to keep good mental or written notes of what your response is to the treatment. This is important for your doctor to know so that the follow-up treatments can be designed to best help you and solve your problem.

Is Acupuncture Covered By Health Insurance?

Before treatment, each health policy should be reviewed to determine acupuncture benefits. While some insurance companies currently cover the cost of acupuncture, other companies do not yet recognize its value. You can help by insisting that your insurance company offer you reimbursement for medically indicated acupuncture treatments before you accept their policy.

Acupuncture & Nutrition Specialists of Wisconsin accepts Personal Checks, MasterCard, Visa and Discover. If your health insurance plan does cover our services we ask that you submit your receipt to your insurance company for reimbursement.

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