Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine at AIM
Acupuncture is the most well known aspect of Chinese Medicine, and part of an Integrative approach to your health care. Each of the organs of the body has its own associated meridian: channels or pathways of energy. In an acupuncture treatment, very fine needles are inserted into points along the meridians with the aim of bringing the body to a point of balance and harmony. Every aspect of the patient’s life is considered by the practitioner before the points are selected – sometimes it may be impossible to change someone’s life circumstance, but by using Acupuncture the person may be strengthened so that they are more easily able to deal with what life brings their way.
A visit to an Acupuncturist will usually take an hour, with the needles being left in place for 20-45 minutes of that time, depending on the patient’s needs. Very often people go into a state of deep relaxation while the needles are in place and many drift off into a brief but sound sleep. Beyond the needles themselves, there are a number of other techniques, such as cupping, that can be provided in a treatment. Acupuncture is best done with consistency, and may require multiple treatments to be most effective.
Stress and Anxiety
Stress is more of a known issue in our society now than ever before. The impact of stress on our bodies and minds has a massive impact, and finding a routine for reducing stress is part of a sustainable health and wellness strategy. Even a single session of Acupuncture can have incredible results for people suffering from stress generally or anxiety more acutely.
Insomnia and Sleep
Acupuncture is well known for its ability to help people sleep better, and even control their body temperatures while asleep. Regular treatments produce the best results for insomnia, and your acupuncturist can also suggest other treatments at AIM that can help you sleep better.
Digestion and GI
Digestive issues are a strength of our clinic. From a medical perspective, Dr. Kimball's expertise is invaluable. But did you know that Acupuncture can help with your digestive health? If you are looking for an alternative way to treat your GI issues, book a visit and talk with an AIM Acupuncturist.
Is Acupuncture at AIM Right for You?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that has been used for centuries to promote health and well-being. The treatment involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy, or “qi,” through the body’s meridians.
There are many reasons why a person may want to seek acupuncture treatment. One of the most common reasons is to alleviate pain. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in treating a variety of pain conditions, including back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
In addition to pain relief, acupuncture can also help with a range of other health issues, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, digestive problems, and infertility. By promoting the body’s natural healing abilities, acupuncture can help to restore balance and promote overall health and well-being.
If you’re considering acupuncture, it’s important to find a qualified practitioner who can provide safe and effective treatment. Many practitioners are licensed and certified by professional organizations, such as the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).
During your first acupuncture session, your practitioner will conduct a thorough evaluation of your health history and current symptoms. They may also ask about your lifestyle habits and any medications or supplements you’re taking. Based on this information, they will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
While acupuncture may not be a cure-all for every ailment, it can be a valuable tool for improving your overall health and well-being. So if you’re struggling with pain, anxiety, or other health issues, consider giving acupuncture a try. With the help of a skilled practitioner, you may find relief and improved quality of life.
Traditional Chinese Medicine at AIM is Comprehensive, Going Beyond Just Acupuncture Itself.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic system of medicine that has been used for thousands of years to promote health and well-being. It incorporates various modalities and therapies, each with its own unique benefits and uses. Here are some of the most common modalities and therapies associated with TCM:
Acupuncture: This involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of energy, or “qi,” through the body’s meridians. Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of health issues, including pain, anxiety, and digestive problems.
Chinese Herbal Medicine: This involves using a combination of herbs to treat health issues. The herbs are typically combined into a formula tailored to the individual’s needs. Chinese herbal medicine can be used to treat a variety of health issues, including allergies, asthma, and skin problems.
Cupping: This involves placing cups on the skin to create a suction effect. Cupping can be used to help with pain, inflammation, and respiratory issues.
Moxibustion: This involves burning dried mugwort on or near the skin to stimulate acupuncture points. Moxibustion can be used to help with pain, digestive issues, and menstrual problems.
Tui Na Massage: This involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to stimulate the flow of qi. Tui Na massage can be used to help with pain, stress, and digestive problems.
Qigong: This involves gentle movements, breathing techniques, and meditation to improve overall health and well-being. Qigong can be used to help with stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
These are just a few examples of the modalities and therapies associated with TCM. When you visit AIM for Acupuncture, we will work with you to determine which therapies are best suited for your individual needs. By using a combination of therapies, TCM can help to restore balance and promote overall health and well-being.
Your Acupuncturist may also provide suggestions on diet, exercise, recommend herbal products, or even recommend treatment by a colleague at the clinic.
At AIM, our practitioners may also include tuning forks, electrical stimulation/TENS, essential oils, or Thai massage, and cold laser as part of their treatments. It’s important to note that not all of these treatments are billable to insurance, and may be subject to an additional cost to add-on.
How are Herbs and Supplements important to your health?
Chinese herbs and high-quality natural supplements can be important for a person’s health in several ways. Here are a few key benefits:
Supporting overall health
Chinese herbs and natural supplements can help to support the body’s natural healing abilities and promote overall health and well-being. They can provide essential nutrients and antioxidants that help to keep the body functioning optimally.
Addressing specific health concerns
Chinese herbs and natural supplements can be used to address specific health concerns, such as digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, and immune system dysfunction. They can provide targeted support to help the body overcome these issues and restore balance.
Promoting natural healing
Chinese herbs and natural supplements are often used in conjunction with other natural healing modalities, such as acupuncture and massage. They can help to enhance the effectiveness of these modalities by promoting natural healing and reducing inflammation.
Minimizing side effects
Chinese herbs and natural supplements are generally considered to be safe and have few side effects when used as directed. This makes them a good alternative for people who cannot tolerate prescription medications or are looking for a more natural approach to healthcare.
When considering Chinese herbs and natural supplements, it is important to choose high-quality products from reputable sources. At AIM, your healthcare provider can help you select the right supplements for your individual needs and guide you in their proper use. By incorporating Chinese herbs and natural supplements into your healthcare routine, you can support your body’s natural healing abilities and promote optimal health and well-being.
TCM for Every Season!
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasizes the deep connection between our bodies and the natural environment. The concept of living harmoniously with the seasons is a fundamental aspect of TCM, and understanding this can greatly enhance your health and well-being. Here’s a brief overview of how each season influences our health according to TCM principles:
Spring is seen as a time of renewal and growth. It is associated with the liver, an organ that in TCM is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (vital energy) throughout the body. The liver can be vulnerable to wind and changes in temperature during this time. To support liver health, it’s beneficial to engage in outdoor activities, eat green and sprouting vegetables, and embrace flexibility in both body and mind. However, if unbalanced, the liver energy can lead to issues like irritability and headaches.
Summer is related to the heart, which in TCM is not just a physical organ but also the seat of the mind and spirit. It’s a time of warmth, joy, and social activity. The heart energy encourages us to be more outwardly focused and active. Foods like fruits and light, cooling dishes are recommended to balance the heat. However, too much heat can disturb the heart, potentially causing restlessness or insomnia.
Late summer, a unique season in TCM, corresponds to the Earth element and affects the spleen and stomach. It’s a period for nurturing and supporting our digestive system. A diet with mildly sweet foods, yellow or orange in color, and grounding practices like meditation can be beneficial. However, worry and overthinking, often associated with spleen Qi imbalance, can be a challenge during this period.
Autumn is associated with the lung and large intestine and is a time for letting go, much like the falling leaves. It’s important to focus on lung health as it is susceptible to dryness in this season. Practices like breathing exercises, eating moistening foods like pears, and staying hydrated can help. Emotionally, unprocessed grief can affect lung health, manifesting in issues like a dry cough or feeling of sadness.
Winter, linked with the kidneys, is a time for conservation, reflection, and replenishment. The kidneys store our basic, vital energy, so it’s important to protect this energy by avoiding excessive stress and cold. Warm, nourishing foods and gentle, restorative exercises are recommended. Fear is the emotion associated with kidney imbalance, which can lead to issues like fatigue or lower back pain.
In TCM, each season offers a unique blend of opportunities and challenges for our health. By aligning our lifestyle, diet, and emotional well-being with these seasonal energies, we can maintain balance and harmony within ourselves and with the natural world.
Acupuncture and TCM Pricing
Our goal is to be as transparent as possible with our pricing and billing practices, while taking into account that cost of visits can vary somewhat depending on the complexity of the visit and what happened in the visit. We contract with a 3rd party billing company to ensure that we are adhering to appropriate billing standards.
AIM does bill accepted insurances for acupuncture visits. As always, and especially, with acupuncture, we ask that patients contact their insurance company to verify their Acupuncture coverage. While we do work to verify benefits, it has been our experience that despite our best efforts, insurance does not cover acupuncture from time to time for various reasons. If after being billed, your insurance company responds to us by stating that the cost is patient responsibility, we are required to collect the payment from you directly.
Please keep in mind that often insurance does not pay for Cupping or other specialized treatments, and in that case, patients may be billed a charge for such services. In other cases, cupping or other specialized treatments may be billed as manual therapy when possible.
Just like our ND cash prices, our cash prices for Acupuncture are based on the billable codes used in your visit, minus a 10% time of service discount. Established patients are typically billed two codes for the insertion of needles: 98011 at $65, and 98012 at $50. Your first office call as a new Acupuncture patient would include an office visit code, such at a 99204, in addition to the two insertion codes. After every few visits, due to the need to check in and assess your progress, a return office visit code, such as a 99213, is billed.
If we are not in network with your insurance company, you may be billed for the cost of your visit per the instructions and policies of your insurance company. We recognize that pricing for medical services can be confusing, and are here to answer any questions you may have.