Acupuncture to get you out of pain and back to your life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) to release chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either change the experience of pain or release other chemicals, such as hormones, that influence the body’s self-regulating systems. The biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being through three primary means: Conduction of electromagnetic signals, activation of opioid systems, changes in brain chemistry sensation and involuntary body functions.
Fort Collins Family Acupuncture does accept all types of insurance and is In-Network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Coventry, Aetna, Kaiser, the VA, United Healthcare (UHC), and UMR.
Please note that Tri-Care, Medicare, and Medicaid do not currently cover Acupuncture.
Also many patients use their HSA plans to cover Acupuncture visits.
Insurance plans differ greatly, so we ask that you please call your insurance to verify benefits prior to your first appointment. If you need guidance during this process we can e-mail forms to you before calling. We always recommend that you ask for a reference number (#) for the call.
This is unique to the individual. For an acute condition we will recommend 6-8 sessions over a 3-4 week period to get the patient out of pain or symptoms as quickly as possible.
From there we recommend a maintenance plan so that people don’t have a recurrence of acute symptoms. For chronic conditions, we recommend 7-10 treatments on a weekly basis to have the best outcome. Some people notice an immediate improvement in their health, while for others acupuncture tends to have a cumulative effect over several visits. Chronic conditions often require lifestyle changes in addition to regular acupuncture.
When performed by a competent practitioner, acupuncture is safe.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles and restricts their use to licensed practitioners. The FDA requires acupuncture needles to be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use.
Acupuncturists also take a required “clean needle technique” class. In developing the Clean Needle Technique Manual, experts from OSHA and the CDC were consulted to ensure that the recommendations in the manual meet current OSHA and CDC standards.
Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems.
Dry Needling is another name for a specific style of acupuncture.
The difference is that a person that 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 right away in most acupuncture practices.
Most people get results without using aggressive needling. We will do trigger point type needling for our patients if needed.sources:
In the cupping process, a partial vacuum is created by suction or heating special glass “cups.” When heated, a vacuum is formed inside them, and the rim of the cup is held gently against the skin. There is no chance the skin will be burned. More than one cup is usually applied. A bruise may form where cups are placed, but this is not painful and the bruise heals quickly. The bruise is not from blunt trauma like a typical bruise but from the suction pulling blood that is stuck in the tissues to the surface so that new blood flow can come to the traumatized area and heal the underlying tissues (like a hickey – but no necking involved).
Cupping has become more well known because so many olympians such as Michael Phelps have utilized it to help their recovery times during intense training.
Moxibustion, or moxa, is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of an herb called mugwort. This herb is used in various forms—loose or condensed into a cigar-shaped roll. The moxa technique involves lighting this bundle and holding it over but not touching the patient’s affected area, allowing it to warm it. According to Chinese medical theory moxibustion mitigates against sensations of cold and dampness in the body and it has also been used to turn “breech” babies.
Used in Asia for centuries, Chinese herbal medicine first came to widespread attention in the United States in the 1970s.
Chinese herbal medicine is not based on mainstream Western concepts of medical diagnosis and treatment. Rather, by using Chinese herbals (complex combinations of herbs, minerals, and plant extracts) practitioners seek to prevent and treat imbalances, such as those caused by cancer and other diseases.
Chinese herbal supplements consist of a number of different herbs and mineral and animal extracts. These can be taken in the form of teas, powders, pills, tinctures, or syrups. Typically two or more herbs are used to create a formula specific for the patient’s condition or conditions. Formulas are made of a combination of herbs. Herbs in each formula have differing actions and effects on the body and can be customized to the patients needs. Depending on the condition, a treatment plan may include both, or either, acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapies.
Tuina is a manual therapy—a kind of Chinese style massage. We often use this to treat painful conditions.
There are special protocols of “tuina” that we use for infants and children in lieu of acupuncture needles. Samantha is the practitioner in our office that works with children. Typically best for kids under 4.
Your first appointment will be 60- 80 minutes and follow up appointments will be 40-60 minutes depending on the complexity of the case and the modalities utilized.
It’s best if you wear loose fitting clothes to your acupuncture appointment. You may not have to remove your clothing depending on what we are treating to 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.
Unfortunately at this time Medicare/Medicaid/Tricare don’t cover acupuncture.
You may resume your normal activities after an acupuncture treatment. We ask that you don’t do anything out of the ordinary of your typical routine and to listen to your body if it’s telling you to take it easy or go to bed earlier than normal.
It depends on the person. We prefer you spread out these types of treatments with a few days in between. That being said if you are not focused on treating an acute condition you may do these treatments back to back for a day of total bliss.