FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU TAKE?
We currently accept payment in CASH, CREDIT, CHECK, most HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS (HSA), and most FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (FSA). Although uncommon, some HSA and FSA cards are declined for various reasons. Please bring an alternate source of payment if you plan to pay with either HSA or FSA.
We DO NOT accept insurance. If you would like to pay out of pocket and be reimbursed by your insurance company, we can provide you with a superbill to do so. It is not guaranteed that you will be reimbursed for the acupuncture service by your insurance company and Blackbird Acupuncture Clinic is not responsible for any denied claims.
Payment is expected at the time of your service. If you forget payment or your payment is declined, we will bill you for your visit with a $30 fee. The total payment including fee will be expected at the time of receipt.
DO YOU CHARGE AN INITIAL CONSULTATION FEE?
No. As a gift to you, we do not charge extra for an initial consultation for two reasons. We think it's extremely important, especially for someone who has never had acupuncture before, to be able to try the modalities and see if you like them for a reasonable amount of money. We also think it's incredibly important for you to be able to try us as a practitioner and our clinic so you can know if we're the right fit for you without it costing you extra.
All we ask in return is, if you loved your appointment with us, continuing referring your friends and family OR leave us a Google or Facebook review! Nothing helps a small business in a small town like word of mouth from happy customers!
DOES ACUPUNCTURE HURT?
Everyone experiences acupuncture differently! Most of my patients say they don't feel much of anything. Some people say they can feel pressure, twitching, slight irritation, a tiny pinch, warming, cooling, or calming at the insertion site. We use tiny, filiform needles which means they have a comfort tip and a solid from which allows for a smooth insertion unlike hollow hypodermic needles which bore a hole in the tissues.
What's important to know is that at any time during your treatment if you feel discomfort or a sensation from the needle that's annoying to you, you can always let me know. I will readjust that needle so you don't feel the sensation and we will continue on! I always want my patients to feel relaxed and comfortable during their treatments!
WHAT DO I WEAR TO MY APPOINTMENTS?
Wear whatever you would feel comfortable to take a nap in! That will allow me to work around your clothing to get to all the points I need. However, often times it is easiest to just remove your clothing. In that case, I always have clean sheets and a blanket on the bed for you to remain covered and warm. I will drape those accordingly to get to your areas of main concern.
I have two private rooms so you can be assured that you will have plenty of privacy during your treatments!
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING A VISIT AT BLACKBIRD?
We always want to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed before, during, and after your appointments with us! In the waiting room you will be offered a cozy area to sit overlooking the Red Cedar walking trail and Red Cedar river. We have a variety of hot teas and water for you to sip on while you wait.
Your first visit will take approximately 90 minutes. You will complete a health history form and we will have a brief one-on-one interview before your treatment begins.
It typically takes 15 minutes or less to insert all of the needles. After they are inserted you will have approximately 25 minutes to relax in a private room with a heated bed and light music in the background. After that time we will withdraw the needles and add in additional modalities if your main complaint supports the need for them.
At any time during your treatment if you feel uncomfortable, anxious, etc. you can ask me to stop the treatment or return to the room and we will withdraw the needles.
When your practitioner leaves the room your treatment will be over. All follow-up appointments will be approximately 45-60 minutes.
DO YOU REUSE THE NEEDLES?
Absolutely not. Every needle we use comes from a sterile, one-use package. When the needles are removed they are immediately deposited into a sharps container.
HOW MANY VISITS WILL I NEED?
Just like taking medication, one pill won't cut it. It is typically recommended that a series of treatments is necessary to resolve any condition. Each case and condition is treated individually and every person responds to treatment differently; lifestyle, diet, medications, severity, and longevity of the condition can all play a role in how you respond to acupuncture. All of these factors will determine how many treatments you may need.
We tell our patients that it can sometimes take three treatments or more to even notice a change so be patient and give it time to work. For these first three treatments we recommend coming it at least one time a week for three weeks in a row. Our goal is never to keep you coming in indefinitely; we want you to see results with us too as soon as possible! Once results are achieved, your treatment plan will be adjusted accordingly.
WHY DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Acupuncture can be looked at a couple different ways.
From a biomedical perspective, acupuncture creates tiny micro-traumas in your body's tissues witch activates a series of events to occur; a) increased blood flow, b) dispersed inflammation, c) healing micro-traumas and scar tissue from previous injuries, and d) relaxing muscles and tendons.
Acupuncture simultaneously suppresses the sympathetic nervous system and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the body that tells us to rest and relax so when the body does relax, blood vessels will dilate and circulation is improved bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to all organs and tissues.
There is also evidence that the insertion of needles into designated acupuncture points speeds the conduction of electromagnetic signals within the body. These signals activate the nervous, immune and endocrine system and releases oxytocin, endorphins, norepinephrine and enkephalin.
Traditionally, acupuncture works to balance and manipulate your body's energy or qi (pronounced “chee”) using precise and strategic acupuncture points along the channels and meridians. When qi is disrupted within the channels and meridians of the body, illness and pain occurs and emotional health is impaired. Because acupuncture is holistic, one single needle can stimulate and connect the meridians to restore internal homeostasis.
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I COME IN FOR A FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT?
If your main complaint has not changed since your previous visit, you can enter one of the two rooms and begin getting yourself ready just as you did for your initial/previous visit. If the door to one or both treatment rooms is open and the bed is made, you can make yourself comfortable! Carrie will be in to treat your shortly and will discuss changes in your complaint or constitution with you while you're being treated.
If the treatment room doors are closed, they are occupied and you can wait in the waiting area until the bed has been made over. If the door is open and the bed is not made, again, please wait until the bed has been made over.
If your main complaint HAS changed since your previous visit, you may wait in the waiting area to discuss those changes with Carrie before your appointment begins.
WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE TREAT?
Acupuncture promotes overall health and well-being, prevents illnesses, and can treat various medical conditions. Many people have no idea the treatment scope acupuncture can positively affect. Below is a list that is in no way complete, but intended to educate on the range of conditions or symptoms acupuncture can address.
In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the World Health Organization has listed the following symptoms, diseases, and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:
low back pain
periarthritis of the shoulder
facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
induction of labor
correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
nausea and vomiting
adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
acute bacillary dysentery
acute and chronic gastritis
The foregoing list is scientifically proven and absolute concerning acupuncture’s effectiveness. There are many more conditions that are treated with acupuncture as well; ask your practitioner about your specific needs.
WHAT IS CUPPING?
Cupping is a type of soft tissue manipulation that stretches and massages muscles, tendons, and fascia while also promoting blood flow. Aside from the cardiovascular system, muscles are an essential part in circulating blood and lymph flow. When muscles are tight, have knots or adhesions, or are continuously stressed, blood and lymph do not circulate properly and become stuck in those areas with old, deoxygenated blood and waste products such as lactic acid.
Cupping pulls the old blood and lymph out of the muscles and into the skin layer where it can be broken down and reabsorbed; meanwhile, surrounding capillaries become dilated and new, fresh, oxygenated blood can circulate through the muscles allowing them to relax and repair.
The cups are applied to the skin by heating the air within a round, glass cup which causes a quick suction that pulls in soft tissue anywhere from a half inch to an inch and a half. While typically applied to the back to relieve pain and tension, cupping can be used to treat chronic pain, scar tissue, adhesions (knots), tight IT bands, headaches/migraines, cellulite, clogged lymphatic system, constipation, bad posture, PMS, lower back pain, asthma, insomnia, and many other disorders.
WHAT IS TUI NA?
Tui Na is a traditional Chinese massage technique used to manipulate soft tissue. It can be used for many concerns such as reducing pain and tension, healing injuries, moving lymph, promoting blood flow, and minimizing joint and muscles stiffness among other complaints.
WHAT IS E-STIM?
Electro-acupuncture/E-Stim/Stim is a form of acupuncture where a small electric current is passed between pairs of needles that have been strategically placed in the skin. The impulse generates continuous electric pulses from point to point that with frequency and intensity that can be adjusted by the practitioner during the treatment. The current delivered through the needle stimulates a larger area than the needle itself, which makes electro-acupuncture very effective for pain management, paralysis, injury recovery, etc.
WHAT IS MOXA?
Moxabustion/Moxa is a heat source, usually dried mugwort, that is burned on or near specific acupuncture points to add stimulation to an area of pain. Moxa can be burned on or near an inserted needle, on the skin, or near the skin with a moxa cigar. Moxa can be used alone or in conjunction with acupuncture. For example: an 8 month pregnant woman with low back pain should not be needled in the low back area so moxa could be applied to ease her pain.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY NEEDLING AND ACUPUNCTURE?
Many states in the U.S. are trying to pass bills which will end the practice of dry needling due to the overwhelming similarities of that and acupuncture. Those who practice dry needling, however, practice the same techniques as acupuncturists without an acupuncture license or degree, they use the same tools as an acupuncturist, and all with fewer qualifications; ultimately resulting in an increase of patient injury.
Education: Acupuncturists, or Chinese Medical Practitioners, are highly skilled healthcare professionals who earn a 3-year Masters Degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, gain 2,000 hours of clinic experience before graduating, and have extensive training in needling, needling techniques, biomedicine, safety, etc. In contrast, dry needling practitioners receive a 300 hour training in needling skills, safety, and clinical practice.
Diagnosis: Dry needling practitioners use Western Diagnostics to diagnose and treat a patient whereas Acupuncturists use traditional theories and diagnostics to create a unique and individualized diagnosis from holistic symptoms.
Treatment: Dry needling is a modality that uses acupuncture needles to accesses trigger points deep in the muscle bellies to activate a therapeutic response. Acupuncture is a modality that uses acupuncture needles to access trigger points, traditional points along meridians and channels, and "ashi points" aka points of pain with the intent to activate a therapeutic response within the body. Acupuncture points can be accessed anywhere from .20 inches deep to 6 inches deep and can access muscles, fascia, tendons, channels, and meridians. Strong, mild, or no manipulation either manually or electrically can be applied to the needles.
For more information check out our video on the topic!
You can also learn more here:
CAN I GET ACUPUNCTURE IF I'M PREGNANT?
Of course! Acupuncture can be very helpful in treating conditions of pregnancy such as morning sickness, fatigue, anxiety, pain, constipation, and many other ailments you can experience during pregnancy, as well as inducing labour at the end if you're past due! There are certain points on the body that are contraindicated during pregnancy which will be avoided during your treatment, but aside from that, acupuncture is considered a safe treatment during pregnancy! If you have any concerns about specific acupuncture points before your treatment, we'd be happy to talk with you about them!