Frequently Asked Questions

All this sounds really great, but what I really want to know is does it hurt?

The needles a licensed acupuncturist uses are different than the hypodermic (hollow) needles you may be used to from shots or vaccinations.  Acupuncture needles are very thin, fine, and solid.  They are about the diameter of a hair on your head.  Most report feeling nothing, or a brief "pinch" upon insertion.  

Are acupuncture needles clean?

Acupuncture needles are sterile and in clean packaging.  Needles are single-use and then are disposed of properly after your acupuncture treatment.  Needles are not reused.

Why do you need to see my tongue and take my pulse?

Chinese medicine uses several tools to help diagnose a patient.  Pulse and tongue diagnosis are two of the most common tools.  Pulse diagnosis involves positioning three of the acupuncturist's fingers on the radial artery on each wrist, just as you would get your pulse taken at your Western health provider's office.  The difference is, acupuncturists aren't just feeling for your heart rate.  They are also feeling for qualities in each position our fingers are placed that reflect imbalance in organ function and circulation.  Evaluating the tongue can also give a lot of information as to what your areas of imbalance are.  The tongue is literally a reflection of what is going on inside your body.  The tongue body, color, coating and topography are all observed, and the acupuncturist uses this information to determine what body systems need support and improvement in function.

How do you know what acupuncture points to use?

After examination, pulse, and tongue diagnosis, acupuncture points are chosen based on their location to the area being treated, on the acupuncture meridian needing support, or an empirical point that has been shown to improve the imbalance based on thousands of years of Chinese medicine experience.

How many treatments will I need?  How often? 

Because acupuncture and Chinese medicine do not mask symptoms, but instead removes the underlying cause(s) of the symptoms, each treatment plan is based on each individual's health needs, the number and frequency of treatments may vary. It is common for most patient's to initially be treated 1-3 times a week, depending on the severity of their symptoms and how long they have been experiencing them.  Chronic conditions oftentimes take more time to remove underlying cause(s) than acute conditions.

Can acupuncture be used in conjunction with other health modalities?

Yes!  It is very common for patients to be using other forms of therapy based on what their needs are.  It is also very common for other health providers to refer their patients for acupuncture.

Do you accept insurance?

At this time, Waconia Women's Health does not accept insurance.  However, check with your insurance company to determine if you can receive any sort of reimbursement.  If so, we are happy to provide a detailed superbill for you to submit for reimbursement.  We do accept flex spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA).