Frequently Asked Questions
Do you take insurance?
Yes! I accept Blue Cross, Tufts, United, Aetna, Allways, HPHC, and others. If you're unsure if your insurance will cover the visit, contact me and I'll check.
I have questions!
Acupuncture Specific FAQ (From Ashley):
What kind of training does an acupuncturist have?
An acupuncturist needs to be licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, and nationally certified by the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine). The post-graduate school must be recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, which requires at least 1,000 hours of clinical experience. Beyond that, I hold a Masters in Acupuncture (from The New England School of Acupuncture) and am certified as a Diplomate of Acupuncture from the National Certification Committee for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
What will happen at my first appointment?
Like all medical appointments, everything involving your appointment will happen in a private room. I'll sit down with you, and we'll go through questions about your health and what brought you in. I might do a basic exam of feeling your pulse or looking at your tongue. Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing can help make the process a little easier so that I have access to the points I need; it's always a good idea to bring shorts/tank top in case you need to change. Once we've gone over your treatment plan and answered any questions you might have, I'll begin the cupping or acupuncture. Then, you'll relax in the treatment room for between 15-30 minutes, depending on the treatment. I will then remove the needles or cups - you're done and have taken your first step toward feeling better!
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical field that has been practiced for thousands of years (certainly adapting and improving with medical knowledge and science), gently inserting needles to different points on the body.
How long does it take to get better with acupuncture?
Every individual is different. Feel free to schedule a free consultation and we can discuss your specific needs and a potential treatment plan. That said, on average noticeable change begins after just a few treatments, and it takes around 10-12 sessions to make a significant change.
Does acupuncture hurt?
I won't lie - acupuncture means needles, and needles are sharp. But it's not what you think - these needles are barely a hair's width thin. You’re not going feel most of them. In rare cases, I don’t even use needles. It just depends on the case; I'll work with you to find what's best for your body.
Is acupuncture safe?
Absolutely! The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine certifies and oversees all doctors in the state, including acupuncturists. However, please make sure to let me know in advance if you have any allergies to metal so I can make appropriate accommodations. Usually, the needles are stainless steel; rarely, they may instead be made of either silver or gold.
What can acupuncture treat?
Everything. I mean it - everything! Below is a short list of examples, but its usefulness goes far beyond this. If you'd like help with something that isn't on this list, just send me an email and ask if acupuncture could benefit you.
Most commonly used for treating musculo-skeletal pain, it can also be just as effective in treating neurological disorders, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, pain from Gallstones or kidney stones, and migraines or headaches.
Mental/Emotional: Insomnia, depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress.
Women’s Health: "Unexplained infertility", induction of labor, malposition of fetus, morning sickness, endometriosis, PCOS, menstrual cramps, PMS, hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
Respiratory: Asthma, allergies, colds, and rhinitis.
Digestion: Stomach pain, acid reflux, irritable bowl syndrome, constipation or diarrhea, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Others: Auto immune disorder, stroke rehabilitation, and thyroid imbalances.
What is used besides needles?
Any technique will be discussed with you first, but beyond acupuncture needles, we might use cupping or guasha to relieve muscle tension and break up knots in your body. For patients extremely adverse to needles that still want the benefits of acupuncture, we can use magnets to stimulate acupuncture points.
I've had acupuncture before and it didn't help. Why should I try again?
No two acupuncturists practice exactly alike! While we're all taught the same core foundation, many acupuncturists practice a specific style they think is best - Chinese, Japanese, Korean; working off pulse versus working off feel; the list is quite long. I've worked in many styles of acupuncture and am happy to work with you to find what works best for you.
If you're feeling like maybe you'd like to give it another try but are still on the fence, just reach out! We'll talk about your previous experience and come up with an alternative plan of action for you.
Cupping Specific FAQ (Still Ashley):
What is cupping used for?
Cupping is commonly used to loosen tight muscles, but it is also extremely useful in treating a small variety of issues, such as respiratory issues, high blood pressure, stress, and fatigue.
How does cupping work?
Cups are placed on the skin surface; then, the air is removed between the cups and the skin. When the air is removed, a vacuum is created in the cups that pulls the muscle tissue upwards. Think of it like reverse massage - pressure is still applied to your body moving lymph, loosening fascia, and increasing blood circulation in an area. It's just using a different direction to do so.
Does cupping leave a mark?
Because the cups are pulling upwards, they can leave a temporary red to purplish color. This is indicative of stuck blood and congested tissue being newly loosened and beginning to move again - essentially, breaking up a beneath-skin bruise you might not have known you had.