What does acupuncture treat?
What if I'm afraid of needles?
What is the difference between traditional Chinese acupuncture and Western medical acupuncture?
- What is involved in an acupuncture treatment at HolliBalance?
- How much time does an acupuncture treatment at HolliBalance take?
- How many treatments will I need?
- Does insurance cover the acupuncture treatments at HolliBalance?
Imbalances of the body cause discomfort and diseases. The ultimate goals of all the traditional Chinese medicine therapies are to help the body re-establish balance and harmony. The vital energy that supports all the body’s activities is called Qi (pronounced as ‘Chi’). Qi circulates in the body along channels, called meridians. Acupuncture influences Qi through needles inserted into points along meridians that simulate energy and flow. After the balance is restored, the therapies further help the body maintain its balance so that there is a minimum amount of stress on the body.
Acupuncture needles are considered to improve the blood circulation and reduce the inflammation locally. In many pain conditions, when the local inflammation goes down, the pain is alleviated. The enhanced circulation is also needed for the healing process.
When the body’s functions are enhanced and the inherent weaknesses are strengthened, the body can protect itself from many predisposing factors of illness. Modern biomedical research has proposed several hypotheses on mechanisms of acupuncture, such as manipulating neurotransmission by modifying the electric properties of the local insertion area, stimulating the release of endorphins that reduce pain, and even altering the brain activity shown on MRI imaging.
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Your treatment will begin with an extensive examination to find the patterns of imbalance in the body. There are four basic examinations in Chinese Medicine: first, the practitioner asks you about the symptoms and signs of the problem and then looks into your health history; next it is necessary to inspect your body focusing on complexion, the tongue and its coating; thirdly, the doctor listens to your voice and the sound of your breathing while examining you; last but not least, the doctor palpates various areas of the body and especially the pulse at both wrists which indicate internal organ conditions and whether the interaction between different systems of the body is well balanced. The patterns of disharmony are then determined based on Chinese Medicine theories.
A group of acupuncture points are chosen according to the patterns. FDA approved sterile single-use disposable needles (no more than one five-hundredth inch thick) are tapped into the superficial layer of skin very quickly. Most people have a split second sensation when the needle travels through the superficial layer of skin. Once the needle passes this layer, people may have various sensations, such as heaviness, warmth, tingling or numbness. This is what the acupuncturist wants as it means the right point is being activated. The goal is to help the body re-establish balance and harmony by simulating energy and circulation through certain trigger points. This process is not painful and many people get used to the sensations quickly. The treatment for most people actually becomes very enjoyable as it brings them deep relaxation.
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Dr. Song prides herself in her work and seeing positive results in her patients. Since everyone is built differently and has different health histories no two people are treated the same way for the same condition. Dr. Song gives her full-undivided attention to each patient catering the treatment towards his or her specific body. She takes the time to explain every part of the treatment, so you will never be left alone with needles in your body confused about what is going on.
At HolliBalance your whole body is treated. In China people do acupuncture almost every day if not, every other day. This allows simple problems to be fixed quickly with a few needles. Dr. Song has found that many patients in the United States come to acupuncture for help with chronic complicated conditions that have not been treated effectively with conventional Western medicine procedures. There are usually deep rooted problems that cause the chronic, difficult-to-treat conditions. Dr. Song’s practice focuses on regulating the whole body systematically rather then just one or two areas. This allows people to see improvements quicker and creates longer lasting effects.
Dr. Song uses other techniques to make sure the patient achieves more immediate and longer-lasting effects. Electric stimulation is used along with acupuncture needles in order to simulate the circulation internally. Some people have experienced electric stimulation during physical therapy however these are just pads placed superficially on top of the skin. Electric stimulation through acupuncture needles target the problematic area and break up the stagnation in the deep layer of muscles and joints. Massaging with Chinese herbal extract is another technique that complements acupuncture. Dr. Song also provides the patient with advice outside of the treatment. Depending on your need she provides exercises and recommendations that would further promote and accelerate the healing effects of each acupuncture session.
Dr. Song is also very well versed in many unique traditional Chinese medicine techniques depending on your conditions. There are special acupuncture points and combinations of treatments developed by Dr. Hu whom Dr. Song studied with and still keeps close contact with.See what Dr. Hu and Dr. Song are doing.
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The first appointment with Dr. Song is usually the longest because she takes time to really understand your current conditions and your health history. The initial consultation with an acupuncture treatment lasts between two to two and a half hours depending on the complexity of your conditions. You need to make sure you allocate plenty of time in order to have a proper treatment, for this will produce lasting effects. Acupuncture needles need to be left in for at least 30 minutes on each side to produce the maximum therapeutic effects. A typical follow-up appointment is about an hour and a half to two hours.
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This really depends on the person and the conditions. Dr. Song’s goal is to get clients feeling relief from their main complaints as soon as possible. Through taking the time during each treatment and Dr. Song’s unique acupuncture techniques many find her treatments to be more effective in both the long and short run. As healing progresses clients find each treatment having longer lasting effects while the body gradually reestablishes the balance. Again this really depends on the client since each person is different. Typically, most people need six sessions (once or twice a week) to achieve 80-100% relief of their main concerns although it takes some people only one to four visits to feel significantly better. Some people need to continue treatments after six sessions at a lesser frequency (once every two weeks to once a month or even longer intermission) to maintain the restored balance.
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Some insurance plans have started covering acupuncture procedures, however others still do not. If you have a PPO health insurance plan, we can verify your benefit to make sure that your visit at HolliBalance is fully or partially covered. We do more than just acupuncture. Sometimes although your insurance plan itself does not cover acupuncture procedures, we may still be able to bill your insurance for the other procedures that we perform. We bill your insurance directly. So you don't need to pay us at the time of service if your insurance plan can be billed. You don't need to worry about submitting lengthy paperwork to your insurance company and waiting anxiously for the reimbursement from them. We take care of all the paper work and make you benefit from our high quality services in the same way that you are used to as any other doctors' offices.
We are able to bill directly Worker's Compensation Plans and Personal Injury No-Fault Insurance.
We do not work with HMOs at this point, but you can contact your own insurance company to get reimbursed; and you can use your health savings account towards your expenditures. Medicare does not cover any of our services. If you have a PPO secondary insurance plan that is not a supplementary Medicare plan; however once again, we are able to verify the benefit to make your visit at HolliBalance fully or partially covered.
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Acupuncture has worked for thousands of years on billions of people. Modern biomedical research has proposed several hypotheses on the mechanisms of acupuncture, such as manipulating neurotransmission by modifying the electric properties of the local insertion area. This stimulates the release of endorphins that reduce pain and even alter brain activity. Acupuncture needles are considered to improve the blood circulation and reduce the inflammation locally. In many pain conditions, when the local inflammation goes down, the pain is alleviated. The enhanced circulation is also needed for the healing process.
The World Health Organization has selected acupuncture for worldwide propagation. In WHO's publication in 2002 on controlled clinical trials with acupuncture, acupuncture has either comparable or better effects as/than conventional Western Medicine in treating the following common conditions:
Dr. Song is specialized in Dr. Hu’s techniques
in treating many other difficult to treat conditions.See many conditions we have successfully treated at HolliBalance…
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Acupuncture needles are much thinner than standard hypodermic needles. They are thinner than your hair! The needles used are FDA approved sterile single-use disposable needles. They are tapped very quickly into the superficial layer of skin. Many clients barely feel the needle insertion and even people who dislike needles find it to be a painless and stress free experience. People have various sensitivities and we can cater to their needs to make their treatment more relaxing but at the same time achieving desired therapeutic effects.
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Medical acupuncture is often performed by Western Physicians who only have 120 hrs of Chinese medicine training. They do not have the training with regards to the theories behind the treatments, which Chinese acupuncturists do. They mainly use acupuncture as an alternative way of relieving pain based on its unique endorphin-releasing effects. Unlike Chinese acupuncture, Western medical acupuncture just focuses on local pain. Needle insertion decreases pain temporarily, however a lot of conditions are not simply rooted to the local pain area. Medical acupuncture follows western perspective of treating the symptoms of pain instead of focusing on correcting the underlying root cause. Chinese acupuncture addresses the root causes and imbalances of the body. This gives the client long lasting results and in some cases many less visits.
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