Michelle Bellanger - Acupuncture Physician
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::     Most patients find treatments very relaxing which brings on a feeling of wellbeing.

::     You will find yourself relaxed in the sacred space of the treatment room, the light will be soft and soothing music will reach your ears allowing you to drift into a peaceful state.

::     You will usually remain fully clothed or dressed in a gown provided.

::     Some patients may feel a slight sensation when the needles are inserted but the needles are tiny and designed to be painless. Nothing like injections.

::     Only one-time use sterile, disposable needles are used.

::     Some treatments require the use of moxa which is a warming herb called Artemisia Vulgaris (Mugwort) used to tonify Qi and blood. It is used in raw form, rolled into small cones and lit on Acupuncture points to prepare the point for needling. Someone once described this to me as lighting a fire in the fireplace before inviting your guests for dinner. Sometimes a moxa stick is used to warm the points on a stagnant area indirectly. 

::     During most treatments some structural integration will be included to help to align the body and ground the treatment to assist in the healing process.

What can I expect during my Acupuncture treatments?

::     The average session usually lasts 45-75 minutes; your first appointment usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours. The number of treatments depends, of course, on your condition and how well you respond. For some chronic or complex problems, you may need a 1 to 2 sessions a week for several months. Some conditions require maintenance therapy, just as they do in Western medicine.

::     If youíve had bad experiences with shots and drawing blood, acupuncture will be different. Acupuncture needles are smooth and solid; hypodermic needles are hollow with cutting edges. This makes insertion much less painful and reduces the likelihood of bruising.

::     You may feel something akin to a mosquito bite, or perhaps a dull ache, numbness, a tingling or a warm feeling.

::     During most treatments, the needles are inserted then immediately removed but for some treatments needles are left in for 10-45 minutes. Once the needles are in place -you probably wonít feel anything. However, you need to stay relatively still and relaxed, since you could feel achy or tight in the needle spots if you move suddenly or you tighten your muscles.

::     If you are uncomfortable, tell your Acupuncture Physician. If you feel faint, dizzy, nauseated, become short of breath or break into a cold sweat, speak up. Itís often a function of nervousness, but your practitioner can readjust or withdraw the needles if necessary.

::     Acupuncture, performed correctly, has almost no side effects. You may notice that your original symptoms may seem to be aggravated after the first treatment; this is called the Law of Cure. You may notice changes in appetite, sleep, bowel or urination patterns. Although rare, you may also have a little bleeding and/bruising where the needles were inserted.

::     Some of these side effects indicate the acupuncture is starting to work, and they donít last for long. If they do, talk to your regular health care professional and your Acupuncture Physician. Often, the first one or two treatments may leave you deeply relaxed or even mildly disoriented. You should also take precautions while driving, especially after the first several sessions.

::     Emotionally speaking, most patients feel relaxed, energetic or even cheerful after treatment.

How many treatments will I need?

::     Each person is unique and individually evaluated. A detailed treatment plan is devised after a lengthy, detailed interview.

::     Except for serious conditions most individuals begin with 1 treatment a week for 6-8 weeks.

::     Treatments usually take 45-75 minutes.

::     Patients should begin to see improvement within 3-5 treatments, most experience changes after their first treatment.

::     Length of time in treatment depends on type, severity, and duration of the condition.

::     As symptoms improve fewer visits are needed.

::     Frequency of treatment will be reevaluated in 6-9 weeks and sessions usually begin to be spaced out further apart until a patient ideally is seen seasonally or as imbalance occurs.

What happens when I come to the office?

::     During your first visit, you will have the opportunity to tell us what you would like to address with acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs. Many times just telling your story will help us both understand you better and your needs.

::     Occasionally, we will have time for a short treatment during the first visit, but more commonly we begin to use needles with the second visit.

::     The first session differs from subsequent treatments in that a thorough diagnostic interview is conducted in order to evaluate a patientís needs and to determine a diagnosis and treatment plan specifically suited to that individual.

::     This interview is usually from 1 1/2 Ė2 hours.


::     A brief physical exam is also conducted in order to gather as much information as possible and note any physical imbalances present.

::     We use several methods of observation in order to best meet the needs of each individual including pulse and tongue diagnosis.

::     Subsequent sessions usually last from 45-75 minutes and are usually done with the patient lying on the treatment table in their own clothes or a robe provided.

::     A treatment usually consists of the use of warming moxa (an herb sometimes used to nourish and prepare the point for needling) and the insertion of acupuncture needles into specific points chosen for this particular individual.


Do all Acupuncture Physicians work the same way?

::     Throughout history, Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs have undergone many changes and there are many approaches to treating patients.

::     Some differences are in diagnostic techniques while some differences are in treatment techniques.

::     The important thing to remember is that the basic objective remains constant with all practitioners. The goal is to balance the system, remove blocks and achieve equilibrium so that the body can begin to heal itself.

Does Insurance cover Acupuncture?

::     Yes, many insurance policies cover acupuncture but individual policies differ so you must consult with your representative regarding reimbursement.

::     Fees are due at the time of service but insurance reimbursement forms will be provided for you to submit to your insurance.

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