Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is full system of medicine. It is a centuries old medicine modality. In many countries it is used as primary care medicine to treat a wide range of aliments from digestive disorders to psychological disorders.
In the United States it is a medical care system that has an ever growing audience of individuals who utilize it. Included in Traditional Chinese Medicine is Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Moxa, Guasha, Tuina, and Cupping.
Generally speaking no, Acupuncture should not hurt. A momentary prick is often felt around the needle as it is inserted, eventually creating a dull pressure or tingling around the area during the treatment.
Most people are amazed by how relaxed they feel during and after the treatment.
Acupuncture is very safe as long as a competent practitioner performs it.
If a person is planning to get Acupuncture it is important to choose a practitioner who is licensed. Being licensed, at least in Arizona, means that the person has completed many, many hours of training and education and is qualified to perform Acupuncture.
Acupuncturists are required to use disposable needles that are discarded after one use. Acupuncture needles are FDA approved.
- Digestive disorders
- Chronic pain
- Weak immunity
- Menstrual cramps
- Menopausal symptoms
- Stress management
- And much more…..
Call us today to see if Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you.
Prices as of January 1, 2023
* The fee for an initial appointment is $130.00
--------(this is for a 90-minute comprehensive review of the patient's current concern(s) in addition to reviewing any past pertinent health history.)
* Follow-up appointments are $90.00
--------(these appointments are 45-60 minutes depending on complexity.)
With certain problem-specific complaints such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, or knee pain, often we can eliminate the initial comprehensive review.
* Celluma treatment - $30 for a 30-minute session
-----------(these appointments are 30-minutes and can be an add-on treatment to an Acupuncture appointment session, or can be booked as a stand-alone Celluma appointment.)
* The fee for herbals begins at $35.00
At Acupuncture Alternatives, payment for services can be made with cash, your personal check, or any major credit card such as Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.
Payment is expected at the time of service.
More and more insurance companies are covering Acupuncture treatment, but not all of them do.
Check with your insurance provider for your plan details. When talking with your insurance representative ask about applicable co-pays, plan deductibles, and which providers you can use. With this information Acupuncture Alternatives may be able to help you submit most insurance claims.
A superbill is another commonly used device for insurance billing; when you submit this form to your insurance company the reimbursement goes directly to you.
** Medicare and Acupuncture **
Update January 2022 - Regarding issues whether Medicare covers any Acupuncture treatment - bottom line the issue is confusing and deceptively complex.
Summary - On January 21st, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced their decision to cover Acupuncture for chronic low back pain. This is defined as localized pain in the lower back that persists for more than three months. The decision was momentous because it marked the first time Acupuncture services could be reimbursed by Medicare.
Unfortunately, the decision also created a great deal of confusion. While Medicare now covers Acupuncture services for lower back pain, there are a number of important conditions that must be met for treatment to actually be eligible for Acupuncture billing.
For example, the treatment must be administered under the “adequate supervision” of a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner. This may sound simple enough, but the language used by the CMS ruling to define who may administer that treatment is deceptively complex.
Bottom line - all of this generally still means that licensed Acupuncturists are not able to perform Acupuncture services and file under Medicare.
(For more detail regarding this matter, this link to a third-party article offers a pretty good explanation of where things currently stand regarding this issue. )
.... Update June 2023 ....
Check our June 2023 Blog post to learn more - 'H.R. 3133 the Acupuncture for our Seniors Act' Bill was reintroduced to the 118th Congress on May 9, 2023
It’s best if you wear loose fitting clothes to your Acupuncture appointment. You may not have to remove any of your clothing, depending on what we are treating, and your level of comfort.
We do have sheets to cover you up if it’s required for you to remove your clothing during a session to treat your condition.
Your first visit is comprised of a thorough health history review. This includes a Chinese Medicine physical exam where your pulses are felt and analyzed, your tongue is inspected for tongue diagnosis, and key points on various meridians may be palpated for tenderness. Upon the completion of these evaluations we will determine what patterns will be addressed and develop an appropriate treatment protocol.
The Acupuncture needles will be placed and retained approximately 20 minutes during your first treatment. Prior to any follow up treatment we will evaluate the effectiveness of the previous session. A report of findings and treatment plan will be discussed after 2-3 sessions.
The number of treatments needed is unique to each individual, but in most cases we start with 1 session per week for 3 weeks. This approach provides the opportunity to evaluate changes over time, and see how you are responding to the treatments. It also allows me to evaluate and introduce different techniques if needed.
Providing we have made progress during the initial 3 weeks, most chronic conditions require 6-10 treatments.
After this we may schedule a 4-6 week follow-up to insure the condition we’re treating remains resolved.
The difference is that a person who says they do 'Dry Needling' has not gone through the same training as an Acupuncturist.
Most Dry Needlers do a weekend course before they start needling the public.
Acupuncturists have a minimum of 1000 hours of needling training over several years of schooling. The technique used by Dry Needlers is part of our training, but due to it’s very aggressive and often painful nature is not used in most Acupuncture practices.
Dry Needling is another name for a specific style of Acupuncture.
At Acupuncture Alternatives we use two approaches. Patent formulas are dispensed in pill form and granules. Or for some conditions there are custom formulas designed to be dissolved in hot water and consumed as teas.
We utilize high quality manufacturers utilizing good manufacturing practices (GMP) such as Evergreen Herbs and Kan Herb Company.
Chinese herbal formulas are safe and effective; they are backed by thousand of years of use and practical experience as well as extensive modern research.
Chinese herbals are available at time of appointment, or may be shipped between appointments if needed.
- Jim Burnis M.Ac., L.Ac. has multiple years of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture education and training. Additionally he routinely participates in ongoing educational opportunities to stay on top of the latest research. He is a fully licensed professional.
- A comprehensive diagnosis is clearly communicated to you
- We love what we do and are devoted to top quality patient care.
- We take our time with you: we focus on you and just you when you are in the clinic
- We educate you about what’s wrong, why and how things can be improved/or healed according to Chinese medical principles.
- When you get come in for a treatment you will get full care including Acupuncture, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, herbal consulting, cupping, moxibustion, and tuina (Chinese style massage) as needed.
- All of our herbs are GMP certified, safe and effective.
- You can speak to Jim Burnis, the owner of Acupuncture Alternatives, directly about your needs.
- At Acupuncture Alternatives, your treatment specifically reflects your unique individual dynamics and your treatment is personally tailored to your needs.
- Saturday and/or late afternoon appointments are available if needed and your situation warrants.