Frequently Asked Questions

Minneapolis Acupuncture, Minneapolis healing center

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine FAQ

How can acupuncture help me?

Acupuncture is used worldwide both as a primary and complementary form of medical treatment. In 1979, the World Health Organization cited over 104 conditions that acupuncture can treat – either alone or in conjunction with contemporary conventional medicine.

In 1998 the National Institutes of Health issued a Consensus Statement on Acupuncture and cited conditions for which acupuncture is an effective treatment.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid and are made from stainless steel. The point is smooth (not hollow with cutting edges like a hypodermic needle) and insertion through the skin is not painful like an injection or blood sampling. The risk of bruising and skin irritation is less than when using a hollow needle. People experience acupuncture needles differently. Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted; some feel no pain at all. Once the needles are in place, there is no pain felt.

How long is each treatment?

Your initial treatment will be approximately 1.5 hours and subsequent visits will be approximately 45 minutes to one hour. We will first discuss your condition, and decide upon a treatment plan. After needles are inserted, they are generally retained for 25-40 minutes.

What can I expect on my first visit?

Your first visit will take approximately 1.5 – 2 hours. We will gain insight into your health with a thorough intake, examining your tongue, and pulse. Once a treatment plan has been determined you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. At this point we will begin the treatment. You will be asked to lay on a table in a quiet, relaxed environment. Needles will be placed in points on your body. The room will be darkened and you will relax for 20-40 minutes. Then the needles will be removed, and your treatment will be complete. Most find their treatments to be very relaxing, and peaceful.

How many treatments do I need and how often?

Because each person’s health issues are different, and response to treatment is unique, the number and frequency of treatments will vary. As a general guideline, conditions that are acute will respond faster than chronic conditions. Typically, the recommendation for acupuncture is twice a week for three weeks to assess favorable results. Some patients may respond favorably after one visit, whereas others may require several months of treatments for maximum results. For a limited amount of people, despite best efforts, the patient does not respond to acupuncture. In those cases, we will do our best to find another experienced practitioner to help you.

What are the possible side effects?

The most common side effects are local bruising and mild discomfort at insertion site, but these effects are temporary and do not deter the effectiveness of the treatment. While extremely rare, more serious side effects include fainting, needle break, bent needle, or puncture of internal organs. It is quite common with the first couple of treatments to have a sensation of deep relaxation or even mild disorientation immediately following the treatment. These pass within a short time, and never require anything more than a bit of rest to overcome.

What other aspects of Asian medicine might be used during my session?

For many patients, acupuncture isn’t enough to fully treat the condition. In those cases, they may be treated with other techniques in addition to acupuncture. These could include chinese herbal therapy, cupping, moxa, and tuina (massage). We also provide basic dietary and lifestyle recommendations to allow you to play an acitve role in the healing process.

Is herbal medicine safe?

Red Cricket Acupuncture receives herbs for reputable sources who test their herbs for toxins; including pesticides, heavy metals and other pharmaceuticals. All herbs are from companies that comply with Good Manufacturing Practice regulations, which require herbs to meet stringent criteria to be sold in the United States.

Does my insurance cover the treatment cost?

Red Cricket Acupuncture accepts HealthPartners insurance. HealthPartners coverage may vary based on your policy, please contact us to learn more. We do not have contracts with any other medical health insurance providers at this time. However, many patients do get reimbursed directly from their insurance plans. Check with your insurance company to find out what type of coverage you may be eligible for.