Frequently Asked Questions
What can acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture has a regulatory effect on the body, and it can treat a large variety of ailments. At Sparkes Acupuncture we specialize in pain management, including but not limited to: back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, knee pain, headaches, migraines, and TMJ. We also frequently see patients who are struggling with anxiety, depression, insomnia, nausea, constipation, and fertility issues, to name some of the most common reasons for seeking treatment. Acupuncture is holistic, meaning it is a treatment strategy that sees the body's systems and reactions as interconnected, meaning it can help with multiple concerns simultaneously. We recommend scheduling a free virtual consult to talk directly to our acupuncturist & learn more about how acupuncture could help you feel better.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Acupuncture is not a painful experience. Often you will not feel the pins at all. On some occasions, you may feel a light pinch as they are inserted. Some sensation during treatment is normal and appropriate: normal sensations may include heaviness, spreading, a light buzzing or a gentle ache. Treatment plans always take a patient's comfort level into account: similar to how some people respond better to light massage while others get more relief from deep tissue massage, we will assess the type of acupuncture treatment your body responds best to. Once all of the needles are in place, patients are left to rest for a short time. During this time, patients tend to feel so relaxed that they could, and in many cases do, fall asleep on the table.
How long does a treatment take?
Usually the initial appointment takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. This includes a full evaluation and a health history interview. Your acupuncturist will perform a postural assessment, and may also look at your tongue and feel your pulse, which are methods of health evaluation in Chinese Medicine.
A followup appointment typically ranges from 40-65 minutes, depending on the necessary treatment.
How many treatments do I need?
The amount of treatments needed usually corresponds with the severity of the problem & how long you have had the condition. In cases of acute minor injuries, a patient may only need a few treatments. Conditions that are severe or have been around for a long time usually require more frequent treatment at the beginning, with the goal of spacing the treatments out as much as possible if continuing treatment is required.
Generally our acupuncturist recommends starting with 6 treatments, either starting at once or twice a week (depending on your chief concern) and tapering off in frequency from there. At your first session, your acupuncturist will review your recommended treatment plan after your evaluation.
Do you take my insurance?
Each health plan is different, even within the same insurance company. In order to know if your plan includes acupuncture benefits, we provide a courtesy call to your insurance company to obtain this information. When you schedule your appointment, please fill in your insurance information using the link you receive in your confirmation email. We will use this information to verify your benefits and get back to you before your first scheduled appointment.
We are in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and accept many other plans with out of network coverage. This includes many Cigna and Aetna plans. If you have another insurance not mentioned here, please ask us about it!
What should I wear when I come in for treatment?
Please wear loose fitting clothing with easy access to your lower legs and forearms. Many patients bring shorts and/or tank tops to change into once they arrive.
In some cases we may need to treat an area where clothing is covering (such as your lower back, upper back, shoulders). In this case your acupuncturist will communicate clearly what area she needs access to, and drape you properly so that you are comfortable.
Do you reuse needles?
Never ever! We always use single-use, sterile, disposable needles made of stainless steel. After your session, the pins used in your treatment will go into a sharps container and eventually be disposed of as medical waste.
What should I do after treatment?
It is important to stay hydrated and take it easy after receiving an acupuncture treatment. If you plan to work out on the same day as acupuncture, it is generally a better idea to do so before your session. If that isn't possible, just do the best you can to go easy on yourself for the remainder of the day.
How do I book an appointment?
Just click the button below!