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Q & A

Can Acupuncture Help Me?

Millions of people have experienced the benefits of Acupuncture over the years. With a 5,000-year history, Acupuncture successfully addresses chronic ailments and manages pain. Acupuncture is a stand alone therapy, but may also be combined with western medicine to provide a safe, effective treatment of:

Autoimmune disorders such as: Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, MS, AS, etc
Back pain, Neck pain, Carpal Tunnel
Respiratory Problems such as: Asthma and Allergies
Gastrointestinal Issues
Gynecological Problems such as: Infertility, PMS, Menopause
Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Insomnia and Stress
Drug and Alcohol Addiction
And Many More Physical, Emotional and Neurological Issues


What if I’m Not Sure If Acupuncture Can Help Me?

I provide free half-hour consultations, and would love to meet you, answer your questions, and explore how Five Element Acupuncture can help you to achieve optimal health and well-being.


What is the Format of Diagnosis and Treatment?

East Asian Medical Diagnosis consists of a thorough examination of the present condition, and a complete medical and life history. I combine this information with a physical assessment which includes a reading of the twelve pulses to determine the condition and level of energy in every part of your anatomy in order to determine the course of your treatment.
Treatment with acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles at particular points along energy pathways or Meridians. With proper usage of these points, the Qi energy flow of your organs and extremities is restored, adjusted, and equalized. This approach creates a healing that occurs from the inside out.


Do the Needles Hurt?

This is a common question. The answer varies from person to person because the experience of feeling the energy shift inside the body is so new to most people that it is difficult to find words to describe the sensation.

Please Note:
Acupuncture is an effective form of medicine w/o side effects.
Only sterile, one-time use disposable needles are used.


What should I expect on my first visit?

Usually the first visit can last from 1½ to 2 hours. We will start by talking about your situation – what has brought you in to see me; whether it is an acute or chronic issue, and what your goals are for your health and well-being. We will also discuss your life and lifestyle; your work, home life, what it is that you do on a daily/weekly basis, diet, exercise, how your body systems are functioning, and your health history.
Next, I will do a short physical exam which may include palpation of your back, abdomen, shoulders, arms and legs, taking of your blood pressure, and checking your eyes, tongue, and pulses for diagnostic purposes.
I will then begin the acupuncture treatment, which will consist of me placing very fine needles at certain points along your body. The needles will be left in for anywhere between 20 to 45 minutes, depending on what your system needs at that time.
During this whole process, I will keep you informed as to what I am doing, I will ask you questions, and answer any questions you will have for me.

On return visits, we will review the previous week’s treatment, and you will be able to inform me as to any affects, if any, you may have experienced throughout your week. There may be more questions for both of us, and I will let you know my treatment plan for you.
Return visits usually last from 1 to 1½ hour, depending on the treatment you require.


Do I have to bring anything or prepare in any way?

You need only bring yourself. Please do not bring children that need supervision, as I do not have the facilities to provide for them and their well-being.
You will want to make sure you have eaten within a few hours before your appointment.
Please do not wear perfume, cologne, or strongly scented lotions to your appointment.


How often do I need to come in?

Treatment is given on a weekly basis, occasionally twice a week for certain situations. It is usually necessary to receive 6-8 weeks of treatment in order to accomplish significant sustainable progress in your healing. Because each situation is different, I will recommend to you the frequency and duration of treatment that will best fit your individual needs.


Do you take insurance?

I am not contracted with any insurance companies at this time. You must check with your insurance company to see if they will reimburse you for out-of-network-provider treatment, and I will gladly provide you a receipt (called a ‘superbill’) to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. This has worked well for many people, with their insurance covering all but a nominal co-pay, so please check with your insurance company before-hand.

I do require payment at time of service.
I accept Cash, Checks, Visa & MasterCard


How do I schedule appointments?

All treatments are by appointment only. 

Online scheduling is available with Full Slate
You can call or email me at:
Phone: (206) 682-1512

This time is reserved exclusively for you.
24 hour notice is required if you need to change an appointment.
Late cancellations or missed appointments will have to be charged the full fee.


At Emerald Gate Acupuncture,
I am dedicated to the art of healing with the Five Elements.
I look forward to hearing from you and beginning our journey together to help you achieve optimal health and wellness!

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this noninvasive medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What will my acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive diagnosis of where Qi has become blocked or imbalanced. After the interview process, you may receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with your acupuncturist may last from thirty to ninety minutes.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Why did my acupuncturist recommend herbs?

Herbs can be a powerful adjunct to acupuncture care. They are used to strengthen, build and support the body or to clear it of excess problems like a cold, fever or acute pain. Your practitioner may suggest starting with herbs and then adding acupuncture to your treatment in the future. This is suggested to build up your internal strength so you can receive the full benefits acupuncture has to offer.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults. If your child has an aversion to needles, your acupuncturist may massage the acupuncture points. This is called acupressure or tuina.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take months or even years to achieve results. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones. Plan on a minimum of a month to see significant changes.

Treatment frequency depends on a variety of factors: your constitution, the severity and duration of the problem and the quality and quantity of your Qi. An acupuncturist may suggest one or two treatments per week, or monthly visits for health maintenance and seasonal “tune ups”.

How much does it cost?

Rates vary and depend upon what procedures are performed. It is best to consult with your acupuncturist about costs.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Insurance coverage varies from state to state. Contact your insurance provider to learn what kind of care is covered. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Will my plan cover acupuncture?
  • How many visits per calendar year?
  • Do I need a referral?
  • Do I have a co-pay?
  • Do I have a deductible?
  • If yes, has it been met?

How should I prepare?

  • Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Do not eat large meals just before or after
    your visit.
  • Refrain from overexertion, working out, drugs or alcohol for up to six hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding no side effects just feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Today, acupuncturists undertake three to four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at nationally certified schools. All acupuncturists must pass a national exam and meet strict guidelines to practice in every state.

What can acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Below are some of the health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Common cold
  • Constipation
  • Dental pain
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Dysentery
  • Emotional problems
  • Eye problems
  • Facial palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gingivitis
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • Incontinence
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low back pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Pneumonia
  • Reproductive problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Smoking cessation
  • Sore throat
  • Stress
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tooth pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Wrist pain
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