Frequently Asked Questions
Do acupuncture needles hurt?
No, most people barely feel a thing when needles are inserted. Some people feel a slight pinch, and others ask “Is that it?” If any discomfort is experienced, it is mild and very temporary. Acupuncture needles are solid, flexible, and very, very thin (about the width of two hairs). There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture, the most common of these being drowsiness at the start of your treatment.
Also, we have every comfort item you could want here at the clinic. Blankets, earplugs, sleep masks for your eyes, and pillows are all available for you. You are welcome to bring a music player and earphones. An acupuncture treatment here is very relaxing and comfortable, in addition to helpful for your health & wellbeing.
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes, acupuncture is widely acknowledged as one of the safest and most studied forms of medicine. Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized at the factory where they are made, arriving to us in individually packaged, single use, and disposable packs of 10. Acupuncturists undergo extensive training and are regulated by the individual states’ medical board. The owner/acupuncturist at Revive holds a license from the state’s Dept. of Health as do all Maryland acupuncturists.
One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that it has virtually no negative side effects. Occasionally a small temporary bruise may appear at the site of an acupuncture needle. When compared to the laundry list of cautions and side effects for the average pharmaceutical drug, acupuncture is very low risk.
How often do I need to come in for treatment?
That depends on your medical condition. One of the benefits of the affordable fee we charge here is that allows patients to come in frequently. Multiple, frequent, regular visits within the first week to two weeks of treatment may be recommended if your symptoms are severe. If you are working on a health milestone we may recommend less frequent but still regular visits until the goal is met. When you come in for your first treatment, we’ll formulate a specific, written, treatment plan for you.
How does acupuncture work?
The mechanism of how acupuncture produces results in the body is not yet known. In acupuncture theory, pain and illness are caused by an imbalance of a system or pathway in the body. Basically, if you have a health condition, some part of your body’s system is seen as being out of whack. Acupuncture theory allows us to identify the imbalance… and balance it. In this way, acupuncture is helping your body remember how to heal and function the way it should. This is a somewhat metaphorical way of looking at the body that developed before modern medical science, yet it contains valuable insights into the health of the body even today.
In medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating parts of the brain. It also stimulates the body to release natural biomolecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones, including the body’s own natural painkillers. Also, acupuncture is shown to do a great job at lowering inflammation in the body. The exact mechanisms which brings these effects about are unknown, but the effects are measurable.
Do you accept insurance?
No. Insurance companies have big restrictions on how often you may receive treatment (regardless of how you feel getting acupuncture or what your acupuncturist recommends) and for what conditions it will cover. Additionally, our fee is lower than the co-pay most insurance companies have their enrollees pay. For these reasons it makes more sense for us to just charge a small fee and get you feeling better quickly based on how you respond to your treatments. If you have health insurance that pays for acupuncture, we can provide a “superbill” that provides all the information you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is a standardized form which insurers expect. If you have an HSA or flexible health spending account there is usually no trouble using it with our credit card payment system.
I have friends in family in other cities who want to try acupuncture. Where should I send them?
Great question! We are a member of a multi-stakeholder cooperative called POCA, the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture. POCA member clinics all offer affordable acupuncture in a group setting. Visit POCA’s Locate-a-Clinic page to find other affordable acupuncture clinics across the country and beyond.
How can I learn more about how acupuncture works?
We highly recommend a great little book called “Why Did You Put that Needle There?” by our friend Andy Wegman of Manchester Acupuncture Studio. Click here to download a free copy.