What To Expect During Your Acupuncture Visit At Our Mt. Pleasant Office
How do I prepare for a treatment?
- Arrive on time or a bit early to make the most out of your treatment time. This also minimizes stress from running late.
- Use the restroom before we start.
- Minimize caffeine the day of treatment.
- Plan on relaxing afterwards, avoiding vigorous activities and alcoholic beverages.
What should I wear?
This is very flexible. If you prefer to keep your clothes on, loose fitting clothes are best. Some people prefer to wear just their undergarments. I carry full sheets so you can cover up. Skinny jeans and tight long sleeves make specific points hard to access so they may need to be removed.
What should I do after treatment?
Moderation is the key word. Avoid strenuous activity, caffeine, alcoholic beverages and any sustained asymmetrical positions or poor posture (e.g. turning your head in one direction at the sushi bar, hunching over a laptop). A little soreness or desire to rest is quite normal after a treatment. If you have any concerns after a treatment, just call.
Is it painful?
You may feel some mild sensations such as heaviness, warmth or a slight muscle twitch. Most people find these to be minimal and often pleasant and relieving. Achieving some sensation (not pain) is associated with positive clinical outcomes. For especially sensitive folks, I use tiny pediatric needles that produce very minimal sensations. Others find they prefer more sensation and associate this with quick relaxation and pain relief.
Is it safe?
Acupuncture is a very safe modality when practiced by a practitioner with extensive training. Acupuncture licensees have approximately 3,000 hours of training. I use only disposable, single-use needles. Minor bruising is the most common, but infrequent side effect.
How many sessions will I need?
This varies between people, health conditions, re-aggravating factors and long term goals. If a health issue is recent, fewer sessions are needed. For complex and/or long standing conditions, more sessions are usually necessary. As a point of reference, a recent professional survey found that 8-12 acupuncture treatments are needed to address most conditions.
A reasonable start to acupuncture is to schedule 6 sessions and then re-evaluate the progress. For any pain issue, twice a week for the first two weeks is ideal. For other issues, weekly sessions are preferred. Often people find that acupuncture provides significant health benefits beyond the original goal and continue with monthly or bi-monthly sessions. Regular care is excellent for overall health, reduced stress and to address other issues as they arise.
What is your cancellation policy?
For cancellations or changes made within 24 hours of the session reserved for you there is a $37.50 fee to offset lost income. Though I understand that plans change and life happens, these fees are necessary. Exceptions are only made in cases of 1) contagious illness 2) severe weather and 3) extreme emergency situations. No shows for any reason will be charged the full session fee.
To minimize the chances of inadvertently missing an appointment, please opt-in to my email and text reminders. An email can be sent 30 hours in advance and a text messages 4 hours in advance.
Should I come in if I am sick?
If you have a contagious illness, it is best to stay home, rest and kindly avoid spreading germs at the clinic. Just keep me posted and there will not be a late cancellation fee. If you have a friend who can stop by, I carry herbs that may provide relief, such as reducing vomiting and diarrhea and fighting bronchial infections. If you are experiencing a high fever (above 103), unrelenting vomiting, dehydration or other severe symptoms, see your primary care provider right away or go to urgent/emergency care.
Do you bill insurance?
We can provide a super bill for you to seek reimbursement from your carrier. If you are in the military and might have acupuncture benefits or suffered an injury in an auto accident, please call to discuss.
Are trigger points the same as acupuncture points?
Research shows a high correlation between acupuncture and trigger points. In 2006, medical acupuncturist Peter T Dorsher published a paper comparing 255 trigger points with 747 acupuncture points. He found that 92% of the 255 trigger points corresponded to traditional acupuncture points. While trigger point therapy alone can provide temporary relief, I incorporate additional points for more sustaining results. Often I treat areas along the spine where corresponding nerves emerge and supply the affected muscle(s). This helps re-establish healthy nerve conduction and blood circulation. Another helpful strategy is to include points that specifically calm the sympathetic nervous system.
What do LAc, MSTCM and Dipl. OM stand for?
LAc - Licensed Acupuncturist
- I am legally licensed to practice in the state of South Carolina through the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
MSTCM - Masters of Science, Oriental Medicine
Dipl. OM - Diplomate of Oriental Medicine
- This is the highest level of national certification and indicates one has passed all of the national board exams, including Biomedicine, Foundations of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Herbal Medicine. More info at National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine