A lot of insurance companies are incorporating acupuncture treatments into their plans, especially for pain management. That being said, I personally don't bill insurance directly. Instead, if your insurance company covers acupuncture, I am more than happy to provide you with a superbill outlining what we've done which you can then send to your insurance company for reimbursement. I also have the ability to accept HSA (Health Savings) and FSA (Flex Spending) cards.
Acupuncture often utilizes points along the extremities for most problems. Typically, I suggest bringing clothing that allows for easy access to the forearms and legs. For pain conditions, I will typically need access to the site or area of pain. If you don't bring loose clothing, don't worry! I have gowns and clinic shorts available if needed.
This question is difficult to answer and can vary from patient to patient. I typically let people know not to expect their problem to completely disappear overnight after the first acupuncture session. That being said, you should begin feeling some sort of relief after the first few treatments. Complete resolution of a condition typically depends on the intensity and duration the problem has persisted. For most short-term problems, expect anywhere from 4-12 treatments for long-lasting results. For more chronic issues, expect regular treatments for as many months for years the problem has persisted (eg. for a 12 year problem, expect 12 months of regular treatments to fully resolve). While this isn't the case for everyone, it's typically a good estimate.
Acupuncture is, in general, relatively painless. That being said, it's not necessarily sensationless. There is always the possibility of discomfort upon insertion of the needle (the pin prick) as well as when the point is stimulated. There are multiple factors that may determine a person's needle sensitivity such as the amount of inflammation at the needle site, the location of the needle site, a person's hydration levels, if they've eaten, and anticipation of the needle insertion. I do try and let each patient know what to expect per point (certain points elicit certain common sensations), and if anything is too uncomfortable a slight adjustment to the needle often makes the discomfort go away.
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