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Frequently Asked Questions:







Does Acupuncture hurt?


Acupuncture is very different from receiving an injection, since the main source of pain from an injection is the larger diameter, hollow needle and a liquid medication being forced into the tissue by pressure. The sensation produced by an acupuncture needle is much milder than a shot or having blood drawn. Acupuncture needles are almost as thin as a human hair, are solid and quite flexible. Usually the insertion of acupuncture needles is painless if performed by a skilled practitioner. Some patients report a sense of heaviness or tingling at or around the area where an acupuncture needle is inserted, or merely an increased sense of relaxation. To some, it is similar to the sensation of noticing a mosquito bite as it occurs. Sometimes, you don’t even notice it! But most patients find that the session is quite relaxing and often fall asleep during the treatment.


Why does my acupuncturist check my pulse and tongue?


Pulse and tongue diagnosis are two of the more important diagnostic tools in Chinese medicine. They are both used to derive a TCM diagnosis for your condition which is used to plan your treatment. Pulse diagnosis is one of the more important tools used in Chinese acupuncture and herbal medicine. While tongue diagnosis provides valuable clinical information, the pulse can be used to gain a deep understanding of the patient on many levels. The pulse provides immediate and specific information that can help clarify contradictory diagnostic information and symptomology


How does the Herbal medicine works?


Today, practitioners of Chinese medicine continue to prescribe herbal formulas because they are a powerful therapeutic method. Chinese Herbal medicine act to reduce problematic symptoms, support immune systems, and bolster the body’s own natural resistance to ease problematic symptoms. In order to create the most effective formula, the herbs are use in different quantities for different purpose. This allows the herbalist to create a formula aimed at addressing individual needs.


What can I expect at my first visit?


Prior to arrival please dress in loose and comfortable clothing. It is also important that you refrain from brushing or scraping your tongue as it is part of an important diagnostic technique in Chinese medicine. We are always willing and ready to answer any questions you may have. Before receiving your first acupuncture treatment, you will need to fill out a few forms to authorize treatment and provide preliminary information. You can fill them out once you arrive at our office, or fill out and print our Intake Form before your appointment to save time.Usually a session runs between a half hour to an hour, although the first visit is often longer. Dr Helen will discuss your concerns with you, make a diagnosis and discuss treatment. After options have been explored, acupuncture is performed. At the end of the session, Chinese herbal therapies may be prescribed for the patient to use at home. Typically, the majority of the time during a session is spent on the actual performance of acupuncture and related therapies such as cupping or GuaSha.


How is insurance handled, and will it cover my visit to Dr Helen He, Acuherbal Natural HealthCare Center? How much of my treatments will be covered by insurance?


Between 30-80% for most PPO insurance plans. Herbs and nutritional supplements are not covered. If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA), usually it will cover all of your treatment(s) and herbal remedies. We accept most insurance, including Atena, CIGNA, UnitedHealthCare, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, etc. Eligibility and co-payment for acupuncture varies by plan. Many insurance companies provide coverage for acupuncture, but it is best to check with your insurance company to see exactly what your coverage is. You can always call Dr Helen He and we can check your coverage for you and if you have coverage, as a a courtesy we will bill your insurance company directly for your services. Dr Helen He and Acuherbal Natural Healthcare Center may be considered an out-of-network provider for some health insurances but that does not mean that your insurance company will not pay for treatment at Acuherbal Natural Healthcare. The coverage will be different for an out-of-network provider. Reimbursement depends primarily on whether your plan allows coverage for acupuncture. Please contact your insurance provider for more information.


What Education Training and Examination Requirements do Licensed Acupucturist (L.Ac.) receive?


Acupuncturists receive 4 years of Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine (MTCM) program consisting of over 3208 hours education and training. This training includes Western Sciences (including biochemistry, chemistry, biophysics, anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, Western Physical Exam, medical diagnosis and treatment principles, Western Case Management, Pharmacology and Diet and Nutrition), Chinese medical theory (including TCM theory, TCM diagnosis, acupuncture meridian theory and the location and functions of points, Clinical medicine, Qi Gong, Tai Ji, needling techniques, moxibustion, acupressure, herbology), medical ethics and minimum of 900 hours of clinical training.


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