Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, no.

The intention during needle insertion is to access the vital energy of the body at the point selected. As a sign of achieving this, some patients experience a slight tingle or sensation of heaviness or numbness around the needle. But this small sensation is rarely uncomfortable and most patients begin to feel very relaxed in a short time. Occasionally, a needle may elicit a sharp or burning sensation and if this discomfort doesn’t quickly subside or if the patient perceives pain, the needle will be removed.

Acupuncture is very different from the experience of having blood drawn or getting a shot. There are a few basic reasons for this:

1. Hypodermic needles used in western medicine for injections are large because they are basically “double-chambered”: a tube within a tube. The outer tube delivers the inner tube to the correct site for the deposit or withdrawal to be accomplished. Acupuncture needles on the other hand, are not making deposits or withdrawals of any fluids. Therefore they are ultra thin and single shafted — often as fine as a hair. They are made of stainless steel and are sterile and disposable.

2. Hypodermic needles are designed with a “cutting style” tip on them so they can cut into a vein to withdraw blood or cut deeply into the tissue of the body to deliver a shot or other injection. In contrast, acupuncture needles have more of a slightly rounded or “ball-point” style tip, which gently slides into the superficial body tissue. Since muscle tissue is formed by thousands of tiny strands of muscle fibers, side by side, the very tiny acupuncture needle simply slips between these strands without any need for cutting or bleeding. The sole purpose of the needle is to access the vital energy (Qi) flowing in the pathway at that specific point.

3. Most acupuncture needles are inserted into the superficial layers of the body. Only in specific situations is it necessary to needle deeply, and those areas are normally where the body has larger muscle mass. Usually, it is scarcely felt.

Acupuncture is very safe when performed by an NCCAOM certified, licensed, practitioner. Properly trained acupuncturists know the human anatomy very well and insert needles in a very safe fashion. The needles are pre-sterilized during manufacture and sealed in packaging until opened for use.

Then they are disposed of after one use in accordance with biohazard regulations. About one-quarter of the world’s population uses some form of acupuncture and the healing principles of oriental medicine in their health care. This system is so safe, cost-efficient, and effective that is has been endorsed wholeheartedly by the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations. Because of its safety record, high degree of efficacy, and freedom of side effects, acupuncture is now being used by millions of Americans every day to treat a myriad of conditions.

In addition to experiencing a deep sense of relaxation during the treatment, one common side benefit is that, while undergoing therapy for one ailment, other lesser problems often resolve concurrently. This demonstrates the holistic principles behind the approach of traditional Chinese Medicine, which seeks to identify the root cause, and attempts to restore balance to the whole being.

Absolutely not! Acupuncture has been used successfully on cats, dogs, horses and other animals for many years. These animal “patients” do not understand or believe in the theory or process behind what causes them to recover.

Of course, a positive attitude toward wellness may reinforce the positive effects of a treatment just as a negative attitude may hinder the effects of acupuncture or any other kind of treatment. Holding an open, neutral attitude. (“I want to feel better, and therefore I am open to see what may happen.”) is a recommended approach if one is doubtful.

Insurance companies are gradually seeing how cost-effective acupuncture treatment can be, and more and more are offering coverage. Each individual policy must be reviewed to determine whether this is a covered benefit. Here are some steps to follow and hints to help you learn about coverage.

Call the phone number on your insurance card or read your policy carefully to ascertain whether you have coverage under your current plan. If you do, consider getting the additional information below:

●  How many treatments are covered?

●  Is coverage limited to certain diagnoses?

●  Is a prescription or referral needed from a medical doctor?

●  Luna Acupuncture does not bill insurance but will provide receipts with billing codes so that you can submit for reimbursement from your insurance company.

If you do not have coverage, consider the following options: Voice your disappointment to the insurance company for not offering coverage as an option. If it is an option, but your employer has decided not to purchase this option in its benefits package for company employees, voice your dissatisfaction to the Human Resources Representative at your company. The popularity and acceptance of acupuncture over the past few years are greatly due to public demand. The more people ask for this benefit, the more likely it will be provided in the future.

Inquire about purchasing an “Add-on” optional package for holistic therapies. There are some available which you would pay for up front, but it might save you a lot if you take advantage of not only acupuncture but also massage and many other natural healing therapies included in this package.

Your employer may offer a medical HSA plan or flexible spending account whereby your acupuncture treatments are paid for by tax-free funds, which you have allocated for your health care.

The practice of acupuncture in the United States has grown exponentially in recent years and what has emerged are practitioners inserting acupuncture needles with varying levels of training. Sherri received a diploma in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, passed the NCCAOM national exam, and is a Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of Colorado.

Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.)
In the state of Colorado, acupuncture is regulated by the Colorado State Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Only those who have passed the national competency exam for acupuncture, given by the NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), are awarded the title of Licensed Acupuncturist. To sit for this board, a student of acupuncture must attend an accredited school and complete a minimum of three years and 1905 hours of training.

Physical Therapist (P.T.)
The State Board of Physical Therapy created a rule (Rule 211) in 2012 declaring that Physical Therapists are allowed to practice “dry needling” with acupuncture needles. The only requirement is a 46-hour training and no separate registration with DORA.

Chiropractors (D.C.) in Colorado may use acupuncture as an adjunct to their chiropractic practice after 100 hours of training and passing an exam approved by the Chiropractic board. Their certification is by the Chiropractic board and not by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine).

Medical Doctors (M.D.) and Doctors of Osteopathy (D.O.) have no minimum training requirements to practice acupuncture in this state. They are called “Medical Acupuncturists.” Although it is completely optional, doctors may complete a minimum of 220 hours of formal training in Medical Acupuncture in order to become members of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture.