Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does insurance cover the cost?
  2. How do I find a licensed acupuncturist?
  3. How many acupuncture treatments will I need?
  4. What are the needles like?
  5. Will it hurt?
  6. What symptoms does acupuncture treat?
  7. Why would I go to an acupuncturist?
  8. Will acupuncture help my condition?
  9. Will acupuncture interfere with my western medical treatment, medication, etc.?

Does insurance cover Acupuncture?

Many insurance companies and plans do cover acupuncture. I am a preferred provider for a number of plans. Included but not limited to Premera, Lifewise, Asuris, Aetna, First Choice Health Network, CIGNA, And Uniform. Please call your insurance plan to confirm that I am a preferred provider for your plan and check out these questions to ask your insurance provider.

If I am not a preferred provider or you do not have insurance benefits that cover acupuncture, I will give you a receipt with the ICD 9 codes that you may be able to submit to a cafeteria plan or your insurance and you may be reimbursed. I do offer a discounted rate for payment received at time of service and offer the community acupuncture session to make acupuncture as accessible as possible.
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How do I find a licensed acupuncturist?

Washington State grants licenses to acupuncturists who have passed the national exam of the National Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). In most cases, those who pass this exam have graduated from a three-year master’s degree program (denoted by “M.Ac.”). is a good website for locating an acupuncturist near you.

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How many treatments will I need?

In general 6 to 12 acupuncture treatments is considered a course of acupuncture. In many cases, at the end of a course of acupuncture you will notice significant improvement in your main health concern as well as an overall improvement in your sense of wellbeing. To begin with, treatments should be 1-2 times a week or more frequent if symptoms are severe. After the initial healing phase, treatments may be spaced to every other week or monthly for further improvement, and you may consider a maintenance schedule of monthly or seasonally. Your acupuncturist will help you decide the best treatment plan for you.

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What are the needles like?

Acupuncture needles are nice needles. These hair-thin, flexible needles are solid, rather than hollow, and are designed to glide smoothly into the skin.

The needles come directly from a sterile blister pack and are used once and then disposed of in a biohazard container.

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Will it hurt?

There is often no or very little sensation upon insertion, if there is it may feel like a slight buzz or prick. Once the needle is in place and tapped into your Qi (vital energy) you may feel heaviness or an ache or the sense of an electrical current flowing along the meridian. I often hear from first time clients: “Wow I already have a needle in me, hmmm that feels so interesting and relaxing.”

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What symptoms does acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture has been recognized by both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health as a useful means of relieving a great variety of symptoms. It has been used effectively for joint and muscle pain, problems of digestion and sleep, fatigue, depression, anxiety, migraine, and respiratory complaints, among others.

Acupuncture is great for women’s health concerns and support during the childbearing years.

It also helps keep the immune system strong and prevent seasonal illnesses or help recover faster from pathogen or stress related illness.

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Why would I go to an acupuncturist?

Acupuncture helps the body heals itself. It offers whole person healing. At its best it is a preventative medicine that keeps people well and in a space of needing minimal if any pharmaceuticals or surgery.

People often come to acupuncture as a last resort for their chronic health concern that has not been remediated by other efforts. Acupuncture will help in this case; though it will take more time than if a patient had come before the point of last ditch desperation.

Many patients find acupuncture to be an important key to their wellness plan. They receive acupuncture to provide extra support during times of stress or seasonal transitions to help them be vital throughout their lives.

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Will acupuncture help my condition?

Since acupuncture helps the body to heal itself almost any person can benefit from acupuncture. Acupuncture is a part of system of medicine that has been going on for thousands of years. Rather than focusing on nerves and biochemicals, your acupuncturist will focus on how Qi is moving in your body. Assessing which systmens may have too much stuck energy and which systems have too little energy. The whole person is treated, not just the condition. In fact many people discover that in addition to their main complaint that they wished to improve through a course of acupuncture, many other systems begin functioning better.

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Will acupuncture interfere with my western medical treatment, medication, etc.?

No, in fact acupuncture has been used to speed recovery from surgery and counter the side-effects of chemotherapy. It is a useful adjunct to a host of therapies including psychotherapy and physical manipulations such as osteopathy, physical therapy, chiropractics and massage. Some patients who have managed chronic symptoms with medication find they are able to reduce or eliminate the amount of medication they are taking.

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