What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is part of a larger system of medicine know as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which has a recorded clinical history of over 2,000 years. Several modalities of treatment are included under the umbrella of TCM. The most common include: acupuncture, herbs, massage, and dietary therapy. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine, sterile and disposable needles into the body at specific points. The stimulation of these points restores balance to the body’s energetic systems, healing body, mind and spirit.

How Does Acupuncture Work?
  • Releases endorphins, the body’s natural pain medicine
  • Activates certain brain centers, resulting in a broad spectrum of effects
  • Alters neurotransmitters, affecting mood and regulatory functions
  • Changes the regulation of blood flow
  • Benefits immune function

The Chinese diagnostic system is based on a system of pattern recognition. Through question and examination, the TCM practitioner determines patterns of imbalance in the flow of vital energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”). Once the pattern is identified, acupuncture and herbs can be used to bring the body back into harmony.

What Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Treat?
  • Specialties of treatment include:
    • Musculoskeletal Pain and Injuries
    • Infertility and Enhancing ART
    • Allergies and Sinusitis
    • Headaches
    • Menstrual/Menopausal Symptoms
    • Weight Loss and Digestive Issues
    • Stress/Anxiety
    • General Medicine

TCM is a complete system of medicine that treats numerous other conditions. For more information on a specific condition, email or call Rachel.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

No! Acupuncture needles are close to the diameter of a human hair. They are nothing like the hypodermic needles used to administer shots or take blood. In almost all cases, insertion by a qualified practitioner is performed with minimal discomfort. Many patients feel an incredible sense of calm during the treatments, and some report even falling asleep!

Does Insurance Cover Acupuncture?

Many insurers in Tennessee do not offer coverage for acupuncture, but some do. You will need to call your insurance company and find out. I can provide you with the proper paperwork to file with your insurance for reimbursement. Payment is expected at the time of services. Health savings accounts can be used as payment for acupuncture but not for herbal medicine.

How Many Sessions Will I Need?

The exact duration of treatment depends upon your condition, your basic level of health and how you respond to acupuncture. The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative in nature, and treatment typically requires multiple sessions. Improvement is generally felt after 4-6 treatments. Acute conditions tend to resolve more quickly while chronic ailments may take longer to improve.

What Can I Expect In My First Treatment?

First of all, the initial appointment will probably last longer than most other medical appointments. I typically allow for an hour an half as we will spend a lot of time reviewing your health history and lifestyle habits. Then, I will examine your tongue and pulse. Tongue and pulse observation are the cornerstones of Chinese medical diagnosis. The pulse is taken manually on both wrists and felt at three positions. I am feeling the strength, rate and depth of the pulse. This information helps me differentiate which patterns are at the root of your imbalance. The appearance of the tongue, the color, shape, and coating – also helps refine this diagnosis. After the initial intake and examination, I will insert the needles for treatment. The needles are typically retained for 25 minutes. Many people describe getting relaxed during the sessions and some patients fall asleep. After the needles are removed and disposed of, I will discuss with you any lifestyle or herbal recommendations.