Blue Heron practitioner taking patient's pulse

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

You can review our FAQs are below, or let us know if you have other questions.

WHAT IS ACUPUNCTURE?

Acupuncture is a form of holistic health that has been successfully used to treat a variety of conditions for thousands of years.  Using specific acupuncture points, which appear to relate to minute nerve endings, along meridians (channels or pathways) of the body, we are able to affect the electrical, nervous and neurotransmitter systems of the body, thereby enhancing communication systems within the body and inviting healing along the entire mind-body-spirit spectrum.  This interconnected, holistic perspective recognizes the interweaving of physical and emotional symptoms and achieves significant improvement for both.  It is a detailed, specific medicine that is both a science based on empirical observation and data and an art of listening, perceiving and seeing the whole person.

Chinese Medicine is a comprehensive medical system, so we use acupuncture as well as herbal medicine to treat any and all health issues.  This is a wonderful form of medicine used on its own or in conjunction with your modern, allopathic medical care, treatments and medications.

WHAT IS CLASSICAL CHINESE MEDICINE?

Classical Chinese Medicine incorporates the ancient texts, theories and meridian systems that comprised the foundation of this tradition prior to the formation of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is the predominant form found in the United States and China today. Many of these texts and systems were lost when Communism came into China in the 20th century. The Chinese government attempted to streamline the medicine in order to make it easier to teach and disseminate. At this time, Chinese Medicine became more “Westernized” by standardizing treatment methods and reducing the number of meridian systems that practitioners use. This is the form of acupuncture that is now being taught in most Chinese Medicine schools.

Under the tutelage of such leaders in the field as Jeffrey Yuen, under whom we have studied, many acupuncturists are striving to reclaim the classics in order to utilize a more comprehensive form of this medicine. Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts, where several of us obtained our Masters Degrees, is one of the few Classical Chinese Medicine schools in the nation. This return to the classics is equipping practitioners with a deeper knowledge of Chinese Medicine and providing more diverse tools with which to treat patients. In addition to Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have studied Primary Channel Theory, Luo, Sinew, Divergent and Eight Extraordinary Vessel Meridians, and Five Element Theory. We are honored and excited to share Classical Chinese Medicine with the Lowcountry.

HOW MANY TREATMENTS SHOULD I RECEIVE?

Acute issues, such as pain, respond quickly and are typically resolved within one to three treatments. A general rule of thumb for chronic or internal problems is four to six weekly treatments. While patients often experience immediate relief after treatment, they may require care every other week or once per month for several months to sustain improvement. The length of treatment needed depends largely on how long an issue has been present. Changes in diet and lifestyle have great significance in the speed and longevity with which one’s health improves.

IS ACUPUNCTURE COVERED BY INSURANCE?

That depends on your insurance policy.  When you call your insurance company, it is usually a straightforward answer as they are likely to cover a certain number of treatments if it is covered at all.

If your insurance covers acupuncture, you will still be responsible for payment in full at the time of your treatment as we do not process insurance claims.  However, we are happy to provide detailed statements that include your diagnosis and procedure codes so that you may be reimbursed by your insurance company.  Our patients have had great success at obtaining reimbursement!

WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?

We accept checks, credit cards and Health Savings Account cards.  We accept cash, however it is not preferred.

DO YOU SELL GIFT CARDS?

Yes!  What a wonderful gift to help the loved ones in your life feel their best.  You can purchase emailed gift cards at this link or call us if you would like to pick up a paper version at our clinic.

DO YOU TREAT CHILDREN?

Yes. What better time to improve one’s health than early in life? We use a very gentle touch to insert acupuncture needles on children. For those who are afraid of needles, we use essential oils, tuning forks, gua sha, acupressure, herbs and/or cupping. Learn more about children’s treatments.

DO YOU PERFORM ACUPUNCTURE ON ANIMALS?

No, only veterinarians who have received at least brief training in acupuncture may do so.

HOW DO YOU TAKE MY PULSE?

A fundamental piece of Chinese Medicine diagnostics, many patients wonder what we’re feeling for when we take their pulse. Different from allopathic medicine, we aren’t just counting. We’re feeling for strengths and qualities at three different positions and three varying depths which relate to the meridians and their corresponding organs. Together with the appearance of the tongue and a patient’s signs and symptoms, we decide on our diagnosis and develop our treatment strategy.
Some of the common qualities we feel for: thin, choppy, tight, wiry, full, slippery, excess and deficient. There are many more. Try feeling your own pulse and see what you notice.
This is a subtle practice. As we listen into the body, it is also an excellent time for us to become quiet and still as practitioners so that we can be more present, alert and intuitive in response.
This is a beautiful medicine.

WHY DO YOU LOOK AT MY TONGUE?

Stick out your tongue, please! Amongst the apologies for the state of said tongue, a frequently asked question for practitioners of acupuncture is “What are you looking for on my tongue?” Simply put, the tongue is one of the few organs that we are able to easily access and assess that tells us a story of the disharmonies occurring inside the body. So what do we look for on the tongue that can give us information?

Body Shape: We look for what type of shape the tongue has and other descriptors such as: thin, large, puffy, tooth marks/ scalloped, fissured, wrinkled, or rough.

Color: Color is very important as it can tell us what is happening in a region or systemically. We look for signs of heat, cold, blood stasis, blood vacuity or fire. The colors range from normal/ pink, pale, red, purplish, blue, black, crimson and dusky.

Tongue Coating or Fur: This is why acupuncturists don’t want you brushing your tongue before you go to an appointment, the coating gives valuable information.

Tongue coating can vary from, thick, thin, white, gray, yellow, brown, wet, dry or no coating at all.

Other signs we may look for are: a tongue that is trembling, deviates to one side, sublingual vein color and distention, shortened or protruded, stiff or tender.

Combinations of these signs help us hone in on what the root cause of illness is. The tongue is divided into regions of organ systems within the body, so it can be useful to point us in the direction of what system may be causing an issue.

So, when you come in for treatment, don’t be embarrassed to stick out your tongue. Let it hang out proudly, knowing that this only helps you in your process of healing by giving the practitioner more information to help diagnose correctly, and create the best plan for you!

SHOULD I TIP FOR ACUPUNCTURE?

Tipping is not necessary for acupuncture as this is a medical profession. Tips for massage are greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your patronage!