Frequently Asked Questions About Acupunture

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture needle in earThe Chinese speak about Ch’i as the vital life force that is basic to the universe and every human being. This life energy, Ch’i, flows regularly through the body along definite paths (meridians), entering and leaving the body at specific points (acupuncture points). These points are used to restore the balanced flow of the Ch’i energy in the whole person, body, mind and spirit. Since imbalances and blockages of this flow often are precursors of disease, each of the twelve main meridians must have the proper quantity and quality of energy for health to be present.

An acupuncturist takes the pulses at twelve locations, and reads the specific quantity and quality of the Ch’i energy flowing along each of the twelve meridians of the body.

Combining this information with the presenting symptoms, the sound of a person’s voice, color, emotion, odor, appearance of the tongue, complexion, hair, skin, nails and medical history – all give the acupuncturist information about where the balancing is needed.

Then with the use of hair-thin sterile disposable stainless steel needles, inserted into the acupuncture points, the Ch’i energy is increased, decreased or altered qualitatively as appropriate. These actions assist your own system’s ability to heal itself.

Taking notes before a treatmentWhat can I expect on my first visit?

Your first visit consists of a complete medical history and acupuncture treatment to determine the nature, location, and depth of your condition, the strength of your defensive capacity, and any causative factors involved. The acupuncture treatment is usually done as you lie on a treatment table Your pulses are taken and needles are applied to the acupuncture points. You may rest for a bit after the treatment, after which your pulses are taken once more to assess change.

How many acupuncture sessions will I need?

Acupuncture modifies the body’s own biological functions. Some people respond quickly. Others with more serious or deep-rooted conditions require a longer course of treatment.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture needles are approximately the thickness of a cat’s whisker, and are extremely flexible. Some patients say the needle feels like a mosquito bite or report a prickling sensation Others feel nothing. After acupuncture treatment many patients report feeling deeply relaxed and calm.

Is acupuncture an accredited medical practice?

In Maine, acupuncture practitioners are licensed through the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Licensed acupuncturists are trained in both Western science and in Eastern systems of physiology and treatment of pathology.

What is your fee structure?

The Traditional Acupuncture and Wellness Center charges $80 per treatment, payable at the time of your visit. We accept checks, credit cards, and cash.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture treatments?

Acupuncture, performed by licensed acupuncturists, is now covered by many insurance companies. Check with your insurer to see if your policy covers treatment.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work? 

Absolutely not—but experiencing is believing. We welcome any questions you have about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Can acupuncture be used on animals?

Yes. We have successfully treated pets presenting with a wide range of  symptoms.

Also see the Resources & Links page for more information on acupuncture.