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Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What will my acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis of where Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with your acupuncturist may last from thirty to ninety minutes.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

Sometimes an acupuncturist will feel for pulses.  This is especially true of the main complaint involves internal stress and individual organs.

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health.

If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. Dr. Milhan may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem, and the quality and quantity of your overall blood flow and lymphatic flow. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”. 

Acupuncture generally works by stimulating the body’s innate healing responses.  The number of treatment’s for you depends on how much support the healing process needs.  Most people will progress over a few common stages of treatment.

In the RELIEF STAGE, we will primarily focus on reducing your symptoms to get you out of destress.  During this time, treatment will be close together, usually 2-4 visits per week until you start to feel better.

In the HEALING STAGE, we will begin correcting the underlying causes of your symptoms with a series of regular treatment, generally 1-2 visits per week.

Finally in the MAINTENANCE STAGE, we will keep you tuned up, take care of smaller problems before they grow, and generally provide you with support for the everyday stresses of Life.   This may be 2-4 visits per month, or just as needed.

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Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Acupuncture Wellness Mount Airy is currently working with the Veteran Administration to care for our country’s veteran population here in Surry County and its surrounds.  Veterans must contact the VA and their VA PCP to acquire authorization for services.

AWMA is also currently taking new patients from WellCare. Please call 336-755-2158 for additional clarity for the use of WellCare in North Carolina.

Medicare participants have been told that Medicare covers acupuncture. However because acupuncturists can not become Medicare providers, the acupuncture must be performed by doctors or nurse practitioners.  Medicare also places strict guidelines for this acupuncture coverage to that only back pain with specific restrictions is covered.

Other insurance coverage varies from state to state. Contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Will my plan cover acupuncture?
  • How many visits per calendar year?
  • Do I need a referral?
  • Do I have a co-pay?
  • Do I have a deductible?
  • If yes, has it been met?

How should I prepare?

  • Fill-out an initial intake form – or at the very least read over it.  We often have lengthy and complicated health history. But at least visiting the questions presented within an intake form it will jog the memory.
  • You will start to think about where your health is.  What parts of your health currently concern you the most?  How well is your body operating today?  What major events have influenced your health eg injuries, major illness and surgeries.  We often forget many of these as they fall into the past.
  • Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
  • Aim to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.  This offers you the opportunity to settle and arrive.  It provides space to use the bathroom or have a drink of water before treatment. It also allows for some of the unpredictable events that may occur.  A buffer means you can arrive without stress.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points, plus you will want to be comfortable on the table.
  • Do not eat large meals just before or after your visit.  Acupuncture works to move energy, fluids and blood around the body.  Having nutrition and energy for your body provides something to work with. It provides your body with the resources it needs to heal.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Keep it Simple, do not schedule other therapeutic appointments on the same day. Seeing your massage therapist, acupuncturist and osteopath all in one day is to much for the body.  Your body will be unable to receive the best and clearest message from each of the interventions.  Ideally, plan a rest day between treatments of different modalities. At the very least try and keep them on separate days.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.
  • Don’t forget to TURN YOUR PHONE OFF so you can be fully present for this time you have set aside for your body, as well as others in the office.  Your commitment to attending your local acupuncture office.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

What can acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Below are some of the health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Dysentery
  • Emotional problems
  • Eye problems
  • Facial palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gingivitis
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low back pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Pneumonia
  • Reproductive problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Smoking cessation
  • Sore throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wrist pain

What are your services for facial wrinkles and acne?

We offer micro and nanoneedling for the face. We also perform cosmetic acupuncture sometimes call an acupuncture face lift.Please see the sister website for full information on this topic.

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