What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. It involves the insertion of tiny needles into specific points located on meridians that traverse the body. The stimulation of these acupoints restores the smooth flow of qi and in doing so, balances the body and promotes healing. Acupuncture has the potential to reduce inflammation, modulate neurotransmitters, enhance immune function, balance hormones and more each time it’s performed.
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What can it treat?
Acupuncture has the potential to help most conditions to a certain extent and for some, heal or reverse them completely. In China, Acupuncture is considered a primary form of healthcare and used to treat most everything. In 2003, the World Health Organization published a report of various clinical trials researching the effectiveness of acupuncture and more than a hundred syndromes were reported to improve with its use. I find that 10% of people who try acupuncture have a ‘miraculous’ one-time-treatment resolution of their symptoms. 10% of those who try it discover, after a series of treatments, that they’re one of the unfortunate ones who don’t respond. But the vast majority, the other 80% of those who try it, get incremental and steady improvement throughout the course of a treatment series. So regardless of what you’re experiencing or what diagnosis you’ve been given, it’s absolutely worth a try.
What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine is a wellness-based healthcare model that aims to resolve symptoms and prevent disease by restoring the normal physiological function of bodily systems. Contrary to the mainstream disease-based model, it aims to address the root cause of conditions and treat the whole person as a whole, rather than an isolated set of symptoms.
Are the labs you recommend different than those my doctor does?
Yes. Most doctors run labs to see if something is out of range and heading into disease territory, in which case they’d recommend a medication to bring it back into range. Think cholesterol, for example. Functional labs compare the function of certain body systems of a patient’s to that of ideal physiological function. Since no one is perfect, we can always find something to improved upon, thereby enhancing the way the body works and the patient feels. The classic example is when someone comes in with a long list of symptoms and says that according to their doctor, everything is ‘fine’, but they don’t feel fine. It’s because that system is not functioning well. The thyroid gland is a classic example. A patient’s TSH may be fine, but they experience all the symptoms of hypothyroid. Chances are when we run a functional lab, it’ll show that the thyroid is not functioning ideally, and by how much. Then we can aim to restore the health and normal function of the thyroid gland.
Do you recommend functional labs for all patients?
Ideally, yes as they offer additional information by ‘looking under the hood of the car’ so to speak. They confirm which systems are challenged and by how much, helping to narrow down the focus of treatment. As a bare minimum, I recommend the ARL hair analysis as an annual wellness test. It’s $100 and covers a lot of territory, uncovering any potential mineral deficiencies or heavy metal buildup, as well as the illustrating the function of the adrenals, thyroid, blood sugar, sex hormones, and protein synthesis.
Do you recommend nutritional supplements and herbs for all patients?
Yes. Most people turn to me as a last resort and come in with multiple, chronic conditions. I get the quickest and most lasting results by combining acupuncture with nutritional supplements and herbs. The acupuncture helps to balance you every time you come in, and the supplements serve as daily support to provide relief and give your body what it needs to heal.
How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments necessary varies greatly depending on the severity and chronicity of the condition. Typically speaking, the longer you’ve had something and the more severe it is, the longer it’s going to take to improve. For most patients, we recommend starting with a series of 6-8 weekly treatments to allow time for the acupuncture to work and your body to heal. After that initial series, we reassess and if you’ve improved enough we move to every other week. Then every third, etc. Those who opt to take the recommended nutritional and herbal supplements will get better faster. The goal is to get you to a point where your chief complaints have resolved, where we then move onto a once-a-month ‘tune-up’ for your treatments and long term wellness plan with the supplements.
How often will I need to come?
It depends on the severity of your condition. If you rate your condition at a 8/10, 9/10 or 10/10 (with 10 being the worst), then I’ll recommend that you come twice a week. If you rate your condition as a 7/10 or below, then once a week. The goal is to get enough improvement during a treatment series that upon reassessment, you’ll be able to come less frequently.
How long will I need to come?
It depends on far you want to take it… how good you want to feel… how healthy you want to be. Some people come in with pain, for example, and just want to feel good enough to do a certain activity again- pick up the kids, play golf, ect.. Others are interested in a complete overhaul and view acupuncture as more of a long-term part of their healthcare. For most people, we recommend after their chief complaints have improved, that they continue to come in once a month for a tune-up as part of their self-care regimen. Those who do feel more balanced emotionally, have more energy, better digestion, improved sleep, don’t get sick as often, etc.
How long is each visit?
New patient appointments are 1.5 hrs and follow-up appointments are about 1 hr.
Do I need to do anything in preparation for my first visit?
Make sure you arrive on time, and with your paperwork filled out, so that you can get the most out of your appointment. For acupuncture, it’s good to have some food in your belly (but not overly full), refrain from wearing fragrance (as many people are sensitive), and wear loose and comfortable clothing. Most of the utilized acupoints are located from the elbows and knees down.
When will I notice improvement?
Some do after the first treatment. For others, it takes a few. We find many find their stride after the third treatment.
Are there any side effects?
No. Positive ‘side effects’ include: emotional balance, increased energy, weight loss, improved sleep, less pain.
How much does it cost?
Costs range from $75-$225. For the initial appointment, there are two options. A “Brief New Patient Appointment” allows for 25 minutes talk time and a 30 minute treatment, for $150. A “Comprehensive New Patient Appointment” allows for 55 minutes of talk time and a 30 minute treatment, for $225. Follow ups vary depending on how much talk time you need. “Brief Follow Ups”, with 15 minutes of talk time and a 30 minute treatment are $75. “Expanded Follow Ups”, with 30 minutes talk time and a 30 minute treatment are $100. For supplement and herbal plans, most people budget $4-6/ day. If you choose to do functional labs, they range from $67-$383.
Do you take insurance?
No, we do not. In the state of Louisiana, acupuncturists are not allowed to be in-network with insurance companies. However, a few companies and plans (usually the federal ones) offer some out-of-network coverage. We recommend calling the member service phone number on the back of your card, giving them your Member ID number, and asking if you have any acupuncture coverage. If so, you would still pay us at the time of service and then we’d provide you with a superbill to submit to your insurance company for you to be reimbursed directly.
Where are you located?
We’re located in the River Ridge area off of Jefferson Highway, between Citrus and Midway. Earhart is a fast way to get here if that’s near you.
How’s the parking?
We have a small parking lot and parking is typically not a problem.
What are your hours?
We are currently open on Mondays from 9-3 and Thursdays and Fridays from 12-6.