Frequently Asked Questions - Acupuncture

What is acupuncture and does it hurt?

Acupuncture is an ancient form of healing with roots in the Chinese wisdom traditions. It involves the insertion of very fine needles (the thickness of a few human hairs) into the skin to promote healthy organ functioning and balance the relationship between body, mind, emotions, and spirit. While there is some sensation with the needling, people are surprised at how little it is. Most treatments only involve a few needles. The sterilized, disposable needles come individually wrapped and are opened just before use. Most people are quite relaxed during and after an acupuncture treatment.

Who can benefit from acupuncture treatment?

Everyone can benefit! For those who are healthy, acupuncture is great preventive medicine that can reduce the frequency of illness and the downtime if you do get ill. Acupuncture can reduce the severity of most conditions (for example, pain, depression, anxiety, anger issues, fatigue, allergies, arthritis, asthma, digestive problems, menstrual difficulties). In the case of life-threatening illness such as cancer, lung, or heart disease, acupuncture helps you to maintain your spirits, improve your quality of life, and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and powerful medications. Because acupuncture addresses the body, mind, and spirit, it is a powerful support in times of personal growth and transformation.

What can I expect when I come for acupuncture?

The initial visit, lasting about two hours, is a time for your concerns to be heard and understood. Your medical and family history, life situation, and information from a brief physical examination and pulse diagnosis are taken into account. I will want to know how you view your life and what changes you would like to occur. Working in partnership with you contributes to the healing process. Subsequent visits last no more than an hour.

How often do you recommend being treated?

Treatments are initially scheduled for once or twice a week. As you begin to feel better, the time between visits is gradually extended. For maintaining health, checkups at the change of seasons provide an opportunity to correct imbalances that may, over time, manifest as illness.

Are you a licensed acupuncturist?

Yes. I hold a Master’s Degree in Acupuncture (M.Ac.) from Tai Sophia Institute (now Maryland University of Integrative Health) and have an active license in the state of Maryland. I have thirty years of experience as a practitioner and nineteen years experience in training acupuncturists. To support your acupuncture treatments, I may suggest that you take herbal formulas for a time. Any formulas I recommend will be available at my office.

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

The number of insurance plans that reimburse for acupuncture continues to grow. Check your policy, or speak to your insurance representative. I will provide you with a properly coded receipt at the time of your visit so you can seek reimbursement.

How do I find out more?

The quickest way to contact me is to call (301) 776-2692. My email address is: tomballes1@yahoo.com