Frequently Asked Questions
OUR PHILOSOPHY & APPROACH: Many of our patients are brand new to acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. With our help, they discover how their body has an innate ability to heal. FSW provides a space where your health concerns can truly be heard and you will receive treatment tailored specifically to your needs.
WHO IS ACUPUNCTURE GOOD FOR?
- Those who want to better their health through natural methods
- Those for whom western medicine has not been successful
- Those seeking support in achieving a health goal
- Those interested in taking an active role in their health
- Those experiencing pain or discomfort
- Those looking to address addiction
- Those wanting to make a lifestyle change
- Active, physical individuals looking to relieve strain on the body or to improve athletic performance
- Anyone not aware of or familiar with traditional Chinese medicine who wants to investigate how it may support them, their health, and healing
WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE GOOD FOR?
- Relief of pain
- Easing digestive issues
- Improving the quality of sleep
- Supporting the immune system
- Promoting a positive mental state and outlook
- Increasing relaxation and calm in today's stressful world
- Supporting the healing process after injury, surgery, or chronic disease
- Stimulating lines of energy to address blockage or stagnancy in the body
Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe, effective, and drug-free approach for treating a range of conditions. Based on scientific research, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment in the following cases:
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS, OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH ACUPUNCTURE HAS BEEN PROVED-THROUGH CONTROLLED TRIALS-TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TREATMENT:
- Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
- Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
- Biliary colic
- Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
- Dysentery, acute bacillary
- Dysmenorrhoea, primary
- Epigastralgia, acute (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
- Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
- Hypertension, essential
- Hypotension, primary
- Induction of labor
- Knee pain
- Low back pain
- Malposition of fetus, correction of
- Morning sickness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Neck pain
- Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
- Periarthritis of shoulder
- Postoperative pain
- Renal colic
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS, OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH THE THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF ACUPUNCTURE HAS BEEN SHOWN BUT FOR WHICH FURTHER PROOF IS NEEDED:
- Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
- Acne vulgaris
- Alcohol dependence and detoxification
- Bell’s palsy
- Bronchial asthma
- Cancer pain
- Cardiac neurosis
- Cholecystitis, chronic, with acute exacerbation
- Competition stress syndrome
- Craniocerebral injury, closed
- Diabetes mellitus, non-insulin-dependent
- Epidemic hemorrhagic fever
- Epistaxis, simple (without generalized or local disease)
- Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
- Female infertility
- Facial spasm
- Female urethral syndrome
- Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
- Gastrokinetic disturbance
- Gouty arthritis
- Hepatitis B virus carrier status
- Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
- Labour pain
- Lactation, deficiency
- Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
- Ménière disease
- Neuralgia, post-herpetic
- Opium, cocaine, and heroin dependence
- Pain due to endoscopic examination
- Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
- Postextubation in children
- Postoperative convalescence
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Prostatitis, chronic
- Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
- Raynaud syndrome, primary
- Recurrent lower urinary tract infection
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
- Retention of urine, traumatic
- Sialism, drug-induced
- Sjögren syndrome
- Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
- Spine pain, acute
- Stiff neck
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Tietze syndrome
- Tobacco dependence
- Tourette syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis, chronic
- Vascular dementia Whooping cough (pertussis)
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH THERE ARE ONLY INDIVIDUAL CONTROLLED TRIALS REPORTING SOME THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS, BUT FOR WHICH ACUPUNCTURE IS WORTH TRYING BECAUSE TREATMENT BY CONVENTIONAL AND OTHER THERAPIES IS DIFFICULT:
- Choroidopathy, central serous
- Colour blindness
- Irritable colon syndrome
- Neuropathic bladder in spinal cord injury
- Pulmonary heart disease, chronic
- Small airway obstruction
DISEASES, SYMPTOMS, OR CONDITIONS FOR WHICH ACUPUNCTURE MAY BE TRIED PROVIDED THE PRACTITIONER HAS SPECIAL MODERN MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND ADEQUATE MONITORING EQUIPMENT:
- Breathlessness in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Convulsions in infants
- Coronary heart disease (angina pectoris)
- Diarrhea in infants and young children
- Encephalitis, viral, in children, late-stage
- Paralysis, progressive bulbar, and pseudobulbar
Source: World Health Organization
An important part of our approach to traditional Chinese medicine is to understand the patient as a whole being. Our initial intake form helps build that understanding. Please take a moment to fill it out and bring it with you to your first visit as it will help us prepare for your treatments and get to know you and your health goals better.
OTHER THINGS TO BRING:
▪A list of your current medications and supplements
▪Any recent x-rays, blood work, or other medical tests that are relevant to your health concerns
Your First Visit: Chinese Medicine Intake
This is an all-inclusive consultation that generally runs 90-120 minutes. During this time we will do an in-depth traditional diagnosis which includes taking a thorough patient history and physical exam. Once we have gathered sufficient information, we will determine a treatment plan personalized to your specific needs and discuss the goals of treatment. We will at that time outline a strategy to work towards achieving them.
- Pre-Acupuncture Recommendations: Please arrive for your session well hydrated and have had a light meal a few hours prior. We recommend wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing so that your acupuncturist can access your arms and legs easily. Feel free to bring a change of clothes with you if you can’t arrive in them.
- During-Treatment: Once you’re here, we will discuss your chief health concern, as well as diet, sleep, stress, and other lifestyle aspects that are affecting your health. The treatment itself will consist of ultra-thin, sterile, disposable needles inserted gently into specific areas of the body. Once these are set, you get to lay back and relax – many of our patients like to call it “taking a needle nap”! Needles will at times be inserted and removed immediately and in some instances, they may be retained for 15-30 minutes.
- Post-Acupuncture Recommendations:We recommend resting as much as possible, drinking plenty of water, and refraining from vigorous exercise or alcohol consumption following your treatment. Your body needs time and energy to heal, so this is the best way for acupuncture to have maximum effect.
Returning Patients: Acupuncture w/ Herbs
After your initial consultation, subsequent visits will run 45-60 minutes. Generally, follow-up treatments consist of 10-15 minutes of discussion and follow-up diagnosis followed by the treatment during which you will be left to relax for approximately 30 minutes while the needles do their job!
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK? The most basic principle of how acupuncture works is that the insertion of needles into specific points stimulates the body's innate ability to heal itself. The acupuncture points follow routes on the body that relate to the muscles, nervous system, and internal organs. These points are based on an over 2,000-year-old Chinese understanding of how to treat disease and neuromuscular conditions.
WHAT IF I'm AFRAID OF NEEDLES? Have no fear, fire cups (and moxa, and herbs, and etc., etc., etc.) are here! One of the wonderful things about Chinese Medicine is that it uses a wide variety of modalities to help bring about health and healing. While needling is the most well-known Chinese Medicine modality, have a lot of tools in our toolbox. We will work with you to find the right form of therapy to address your needs. Read more here...
WHAT CAN ACUPUNCTURE HELP? Most people think of pain management when they hear the word acupuncture. But acupuncture and all traditional Chinese medicine modalities (such as cupping, herbal medicine, etc.) can help with a variety of symptoms and diseases. Visit FSW if your digestion is out of whack if you've been having trouble getting a good night's rest, or even if your seasonal allergies start to flare up. Click here for a list of what acupuncture can treat...
DOES IT HURT? No, in fact, many patients fall into such a deep state of relaxation that they often fall asleep on the table. The sterile disposable needles (or "pins" as some of my needle-phobic patients like to call them) are as thin as a whisker and generally feel like a tiny mosquito bite upon insertion. Once in place, you can feel a variety of sensations such as tingling, heaviness, or warmth. If at any time you experience discomfort, do not hesitate to tell us and we will adjust or remove the needle.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY FIRST TREATMENT? We recommend that you arrive wearing loose, comfortable clothing so that your acupuncturist can access your arms past your elbows, and your legs below the knees. It is also recommended to eat at least a little something if your appointment is first thing in the morning. Please bring a list of your current medications, supplements, and any recent x-rays, blood work, or other medical tests that are relevant to your health concerns.
HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO BE TREATED? Since every health concern is as different as every person, and because every person responds at different rates, there is no cookie-cutter answer. Typically, more acute conditions respond faster than chronic ones. We will come up with an individualized treatment plan together that will be used as a road map for your path towards health.
DO YOU BILL INSURANCE? DO YOU ACCEPT HSA CARDS? Patients file directly with their insurance companies. We can provide an itemized receipt for your visit and the necessary filing form with your diagnostic codes and our treatment code (SuperBill). Depending on your insurance, some companies cover both acupuncture treatment and supplements. We advise patients to check with their insurance company.
We DO accept HSA’s (Health Savings Account) at Five Shen. Many patients use Health Savings Accounts (HSA) cards or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to pay for their treatments.
What does FSW believe that Chinese Medicine can treat? It is important for us at FSW to be very clear that while we believe strongly in the body's ability to heal and the power of Chinese Medicine, it should not be mistaken that we recognize the importance of and the role of a patient's primary care and the western medicine model. We strive to provide care and support and are always willing and happy to communicate with other healthcare professionals, directly or indirectly, when the expertise of such professionals fits more properly the needs of a particular patient.
FSW will therefore not discourage essential medical treatment for conditions where western medical supervision or advice should be sought. We will always advise patients, in the case of serious illnesses or uncertain diagnoses, to seek advice and treatment from their GP/consultant. FSW will also, with the patient's consent, liaise with that patient's other health professionals, where appropriate, when offering complementary treatment.
We believe that Chinese herbal medicine has a role to play in the treatment of the following conditions and possibly more that may not be listed:
- Skin disease, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, urticaria
- Gastrointestinal disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, ulcerative colitis
- Gynecological conditions, including pre-menstrual syndrome and dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, infertility
- Hepatitis and HIV: some promising results have been obtained for the treatment of Hepatitis C, and supportive treatment may be beneficial in the case of HIV
- Chronic fatigue syndromes, whether with a background of viral infection or in other situations
- Respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis, and chronic coughs, allergic and perennial rhinitis, and sinusitis
- Rheumatological conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)
- Urinary conditions including chronic cystitis
- Psychological problems (e.g. depression, anxiety)
Many of these conditions, especially in their chronic forms, can create difficulty for conventional medicine, whilst Chinese Herbal Medicine has a great deal to offer. The results that can be expected and how long a patient will have to take the herbs will depend on the severity of the condition, its duration, and the general health of the patient.
Our herbalists at FSW take great pride in the thoroughness of the medicine and will be happy to discuss their experience of treating your type of problem with you before you commit yourself to take Chinese herbal remedies.
Who can take Chinese herbal medicine? Chinese medicine can be used by people of any age or constitution. Your practitioner will take any previous or current illness or medication into account before prescribing herbs to you. With suitable adjustments for dosage and with some provisions which will be determined by your practitioner, children and pregnant women can be treated very well by Chinese medicine.
How are herbs dispensed? Herbs are now available in a number of formats, both traditional and modern. The traditional method is to boil a mixture of dried herbs to make a tea or to use pills. The herbs are also now commonly prescribed as freeze-dried powders or tinctures. The herbs will at first taste unusual and often bitter to anyone who has not tried them before, but the vast majority of people get used to the taste very quickly.
Are herbs safe? Chinese herbs are very safe when prescribed correctly by a properly trained practitioner. Over the centuries doctors have compiled detailed information about pharmacopeia and placed great emphasis on the protection of the patient. Adverse reactions can occur with any form of medicine. In the case of Chinese herbal medicine, these are rare. Your herbalist will provide guidance on this to all patients.
What about reports of Endangered species? FSW is greatly concerned about the threat to wild animals and plants that have come as a result of the growth in demand for traditional medicines. We strongly condemn the illegal trade in endangered species and have a strict policy prohibiting the use of any type of endangered species by any of our Members.
How much does it cost? Why are there no prices on your page? Consultations are available and a great opportunity to discuss any concerns you have with one of our team. This is a perfect time and opportunity to discuss your needs and what you hope to get out of treatment. This is also the time where we get to discuss treatment plans, frequency of treatment, and realistic expectations to reach your treatment goals. We are happy to discuss pricing in this consultation and cover the options and packages available to help you get the most out of your treatments based on your individual needs.
Does insurance cover acupuncture? Some insurance does. You should check with your insurance plan directly. We do not bill insurance at Five Shen Wellness. We are always happy to provide you with a receipt for services rendered if you would like to submit a claim on your own behalf to your insurance company.
Can I use my flexible spending account for treatment? Many patients use Health Savings Accounts (HSA) cards or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to pay for their treatments.
Do you have payment plan options? There are options available once we have determined a course of treatment.
Are there any discounts, packages, or other options available to offset the expense of regular treatment? There are several options available to offset the cost of regular treatment. These options are usually discussed during your initial intake and arrangements are made on an individual basis with your practitioner to ensure that you can get the care required.