Questions relating to Acupuncture


Washington Acupuncture Center offers expert Chinese medicine advice and information on diagnosis and treatment. We are here to answer any questions you may have about acupuncture.

Q.What is acupuncture?

a system of complementary medicine that involves inserting into the skin or tissues with thin needles, used to alleviate pain and to treat various physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

Q.How effective is acupuncture?

In the vast majority of cases acupuncture is considered very effective for appropriate conditions. Research suggests that acupuncture significantly manages pain, improves the fertility and some other conditions.

Q.Is acupressure a massage?

No, acupressure is much more than massage, although some techniques may be similar if they are regarded as an appropriate treatment to aid your recovery.

Q.Can I choose to be seen by a Chinese acupuncturist?

Shu Fan is the acupuncturist to help you.

Q.What types of problem can acupuncture diagnosis?

A typical TCM evaluation will include three components: Yin & Yang: The practitioner first assesses the balance between yin and yang–complementary but opposing qualities that represent the natural dualities of the world, such as male/female, day/night, and hot/cold. Five Elements (Wu Xing): The second criterion is the correspondence of your ailment to the five Chinese elements–wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. It is believed that each internal organ and body system is related to an elemental quality and that the body reflects the natural world in this way. Zang Fu: The third criterion determines which symbolic organ (referred to as Zang Fu in Chinese) or metabolic system requires the most support from therapy.

Q.Why see acupuncturist for pain management?

In the vast majority of cases acupuncture is considered extremely effective for appropriate pain conditions. Research suggests that acupuncturist significantly improves the rehabilitation.

Questions relating to Treatments


Q.What can I expect to happen in the initial assess?

A TCM examination is thorough, but non-invasive. The practitioner will take a careful medical history, noting your body’s reaction to stress and your tendencies toward illness symptoms. He will observe the color and form of your face and body, note the condition of your skin and nails, check how your breath and body odor smells, and look at your posture and demeanor. The condition of your tongue–its shape, color, and coating–also provides important data on the way your circulation and metabolism is affecting your internal organs. Your pulse will be felt at three different points on each wrist, each location corresponding to a different part of the body. Considered together, this information gives the practitioner a sense of your body’s current functioning. From this examination, the practitioner will consider the patterns of imbalance in your body and will choose the proper type of treatment for you.

Q.Is it hurt?

If your practitioner has obtained the correct stimulus of the needle, the patient should feel some cramping, heaviness, pressure, tingling, or electric sensation either around the needle or traveling up or down the affected meridian, or energy pathway. In Chinese, acupuncture is bu tong, painless. Some Western cultures may categorize these sensations as types of pain. In any case, if you experience any discomfort, it is usually mild after needle is inserted. There is rare chance that the needle hit skin nerve which has a pinch feeling. If that happens, we normally take needle out and reinsert b/c needle stick at skin surface has not be inserted in effective layer.

Q.Can I pay for my treatments by Credit Card?


Q.What should be felt after a session?

Normally patients feel relaxation, less pain, tingling in body and little bit spaced. At rare situation, small percentage of people may experience dizziness, nausea, sweating or faintness during an acupuncture treatment. This often occurs if you are nervous. Inform your practitioner immediately so he can readjust or withdraw the needles. You may note a spot of blood at one or more of the needle sites and/or a small bruise could develop. These should not be harmful, but please talk to your practitioner if you are concerned.

Q.Are the needles clean??

Acupuncturists in America today use sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles. Needles should not be saved and reused for later treatments. This eliminates the possibility of transmitting a communicable disease by a contaminated needle.

Q.Is there anything I need to do before receiving an acupuncture treatment??

Yes, the following suggestions will help you get the maximum benefits from your treatment. Maintain good personal hygiene to reduce the possibility of bacterial infection. Do not wear jewelry. Wear loose clothing. Women should not wear one-piece dresses. Avoid wearing tight stockings. Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, hungry, full, emotionally upset.

Q.What clothes shall I bring for my acupuncture appointment?

Generally loose clothes or just bring a pair of shots and T-shirt.

Questions relating to Medical Insurance

Medical Insurance

Q.What do I have to do if I want to claim costs through my medical insurance?

If you have coverage and we are in network, we can file insurance claims for you. In case that we cannot, we will email you a PDF file with detailed billing statement for your filing.

Q.I have an excess or treatment limit on my medical policy what should I do?

You can call your insurance for authorization of additional visits. Sometimes, we and your MDs will provide supporting materiel for your application.

General Patient Questions


Q.What is the dry needling?

Now in US some professions claim they are doing dry needling(another form under acupuncture). We don’t recommend patient to have DN from provider with only 40-50 hours weekends training.

Q.Do I need a Doctor's Referral?

Most of insurance benefits do not require you to get doctors referral now a day. However, a referral is preferred if your benefit does not have acupuncture coverage and your medical conditions need such treatment when other treatments could not cure.