How should I prepare for a treatment?
Bring any questions you may have, a list of any medications or supplements you may be taking, and any pertinent paperwork or reports that relate to your condition. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easy pull up to your elbows and knees. We do have gowns and extra sheets that we can have you change into to keep you covered and comfortable during treatments if necessary. Make sure to eat a small meal within a few hours of the beginning of your treatment. We just don’t want you coming in on a completely empty stomach. Refrain from working out, overexertion, and drinking alcohol for at least 6 hours after your treatment or for the rest of the day if possible. Between visits make sure to take note of any changes in your body or symptoms that may have occurred. The initial session generally takes 60-75 minutes while most subsequent visit take around one hour, so please schedule appointments accordingly.
How many treatments will I need?
Every person’s body responds differently to acupuncture. Some people may only need one treatment while others may need ten or more. Typically chronic conditions that you may have been experiencing for more than a few months tend to require more treatments to see optimal and lasting results. Acute conditions may respond very quickly. Often times patients may not see major changes until they have received four to six treatments. For this reason discount packages are offered. The goal is to get your body back into balance so you don’t have to come in for treatments anymore or maybe just “tune up” or maintenance treatments every month or so. Often times people come in for treatments even when they are not experiencing any symptoms for general wellness, to boost immunity, prevent sickness, or just for general stress relief.
Will acupuncture work for me?
In our experience most patients notice some sort of improvement in some aspect of their health or well being with an acupuncture treatment course. Some patients respond better than others or more quickly than others. Your acupuncturist will spend a fair amount of time with you on your first visit deciphering the best course of treatment for your body’s needs as well as a good prognosis for your specific case. Acupuncture is very individualized and holistic. We take many of your bodies processing and patterns of symptoms into account with your treatment even though a layman or western medical provider may not see them as being interrelated. We do our best to provide you with as much knowledge on nutrition, exercise, and stress relieving measures to help you achieve and maintain optimal health in addition to provide acupuncture.
What will happen during the first visit?
Plan on spending 60-75 minutes at the office your first visit. We take a thorough investigation looking into your body’s current state of health through questions on your sleep habits, energy and stress level, digestion, menstrual cycle for women, pain levels and locations, spirit, and anything else you would like to discuss. We also perform an acupuncture treatment your first visit to get the healing process started right away. If you would prefer to have a free 15 minutes phone consult before your first treatment call 803.422.0545.
Is this a cure or temporary “band-aid”?
We pride ourselves on getting you the best the longest lasting results possible. Acupuncture does not just purely mask symptoms like western pharmaceutical medication or surgery can. We look for the source or root cause of underlying imbalances that may be contributing to any pain or suffering you may be experiencing. We work with your bodies own healing resources to teach your body to heal itself naturally from the inside out, without negative side effects. This may take a few treatments to achieve optimal and lasting results. Patients often get to a point where they just need to come in for “tune-up” treatments every month or so or even just seasonally to maintain the results of their initial course of acupuncture treatment. We ideally want to get you to where you don’t need to come in for acupuncture treatments unless you just really enjoy it, which many of our patients do. Acupuncture can be beneficial even if you don’t have anything ailing you or just to help relieve stress or provide time for relaxation or quiet meditation.
What kind of education/certification is required to become a licensed acupuncturist or L.A.C.?
A licensed acupuncturist, depending on the state, is typically required three to four years in a Master’s Program in either Acupuncture and/or Oriental Medicine from a nationally accredited university. Many acupuncturists also have a Bachelor’s Degree in addition to their Master’s Degree.
In the state of South Carolina acupuncturist are licensed by the Board of Medical Examiners and must pass national board exams and be certified by the National Certification Commission of Oriental Medicine or NCCAOM.
Why should I see a Licensed Acupuncturist versus a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist for “dry needling” or acupuncture?
A licensed acupuncturist has over 3,000 hours and over 3-4 years of graduate level training and coursework in the study of Chinese Medicine and Western Medicine as well as an extensive internship of practical training.
Although chiropractors have extensive knowledge of the body and typically are required over three years of graduate level education to become a Doctor of Chiropractic or DC, they are required less than 150 hours of additional training in Chinese Medicine to practice acupuncture.
Contrary to popular belief “dry needling” is acupuncture that is performed by a non-licensed acupuncturist practitioner such as a physical therapist with an insufficient amount of training in acupuncture theory and technique. Dry needling can be very painful for the patient and is a controversial form of treatment in the medical and acupuncture community.
Will insurance pay?
We currently do not have a contract with any insurance companies and we cannot bill your insurance directly . We CAN give you a specialized receipt or “superbill” for treatment that you can submit to to your insurance on your own for reimbursement from them directly.
Make sure to ask the following questions:
Do you cover acupuncture performed by a licensed acupuncturist?
How many visits per calendar year am I allowed?
Do I need a referral?
Do I have a co-pay?
Do I have a deductible? If yes, has it been met?
Think of the money you spend on your acupuncture treatments as an investment in your health. People who receive regular acupuncture treatments typically are sick less often, rely on fewer or no expensive prescription medicines, and miss less work due to illness.
Why was I prescribed Chinese herbs?
Chinese Herbal Medicine can be a powerful and effective adjunct to acupuncture treatments. Chinese Herbs are often used to strengthen, build, and support the body or to clear it of an excess condition like cold, heat, or acute pain. They are also used to help achieve and maintain an optimal state of wellness in between acupuncture treatments. Chinese Herbal Therapy is relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of medication. Herbs usually run between $10-25 a week depending on your body’s individualized needs.