Frequently Asked Questions

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toggle graphic1. How widely used is acupuncture in the United States?

In the past two decades, acupuncture has grown in popularity in the United States. The report from a Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1997 stated that acupuncture is being "widely" practiced by "thousands of physicians, dentists, acupuncturists, and other practitioners – for relief or prevention of pain and for various other health conditions".

According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, the largest and most comprehensive survey of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) used by American adults to date, an estimated 8.2 million U.S. adults had ever used acupuncture, and an estimated 2.1 million U.S. adults had used acupuncture in the previous year.

toggle graphic2. What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture needles are metallic, solid, and hair-thin. People experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Most commonly, you may feel a slight pinch or “mosquito bite” sensation as the needles are inserted. Some people are energized by treatments, while others feel relaxed. Improper needle placement, movement of the patient, or a defect in the needle can cause soreness and pain during treatment.

It is important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner who is state licensed and NCCAOM board certified. To check the status of your acupuncturist to see if they are board certified and state licensed:

Click on “Find a practitioner" and enter the name and state to check their status:

Illinois Division of Professional Regulation:

toggle graphic3. How might acupuncture work?

In the TCM system of medicine, the body is seen as a delicate balance of two opposing and inseparable forces: yin and yang. Yin represents the cold, slow, or passive principle, yang represents the hot, excited, or active principle. Among the major assumptions in TCM are that health is achieved by maintaining the body in a "balanced state" and that disease is due to an internal imbalance of yin and yang. This imbalance leads to blockage in the flow of qi (vital energy) along pathways known as meridians. It is believed that there are 12 main meridians and 8 secondary meridians and that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body that connect with them.

Preclinical studies have documented acupuncture's effects, but they have not been able to fully explain how acupuncture works within the framework of the Western system of medicine that is commonly practiced in the United States. It is proposed that acupuncture produces its effects through regulating the nervous system, thus aiding the activity of pain-killing biochemicals such as endorphins and immune system cells at specific sites in the body. In addition, studies have shown that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters and neurohormones and, thus, affecting the parts of the central nervous system related to sensation and involuntary body functions, such as immune reactions and processes that regulate a person's blood pressure, blood flow and body temperature.

toggle graphic4. Will it be covered by my insurance?

Acupuncture is one of the CAM therapies that are more commonly covered by insurance. However, you should check with your insurer before you start treatment to see whether acupuncture will be covered for your condition and, if so, to what extent. Some insurance plans require preauthorization for acupuncture.

Please note: I do not directly accept insurance. I collect full payment up front. I will provide you with a 'superbill' which is a receipt with insurance codes and diagnosis codes on it for you to submit to your insurance company. Any insurance coverage and payment should be directly reimbursed to you from your insurance company. With that being said, I will do my best to help you get reimbursed from insurance via providing any information and forms that your insurance company may require from me directly. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

toggle graphic5. What should I expect during my first visit and follow up treatment?

During your first office visit, the practitioner may ask you at length about your health condition, lifestyle, and behavior. The practitioner will want to obtain a complete picture of your treatment needs and behaviors that may contribute to your condition. Inform the acupuncturist about all treatments or medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have.

Please allow up to 1.5 hours for your initial visit. Your initial appointment includes a comprehensive medical intake as well as a full treatment and suggested treatment plan required by your condition.

Follow up treatments will be an hour long; charting the progress of your condition, full treatment and any accessory techniques required to complement your treatment.

toggle graphic6. How should I prepare for my first acupuncture treatment?

Little preparation is needed prior to your acupuncture sessions.

  • Prior to your initial consult, please fill out appropriate paperwork (available here) before coming in or arrive 30 minutes early to fill out your paperwork in the office.
  • Make sure you’ve eaten a light meal atleast 1-3 hours prior to your treatment.
  • Dress comfortably in loose clothing. I will provide hospital gowns to change into if necessary or more convenient.

toggle graphic7. Where are the needles placed?

Where I will place needles will be determined by what condition you are seeking help for. Most commonly, anywhere on the body from the head, ears, arms, legs, abdomen to back/shoulder/neck area. Where I needle may change from treatment to treatment depending on how you are presenting.

I do receive a lot of questions from potential patients coming in for fertility related issues, especially when it comes to treating Male factor. You can relax and breathe a sigh of relief. I won’t be needling you “locally”. Most points for treating sperm related issues are located along the low back and abdomen.

Lastly, your trust, comfort, and modesty are of utmost priority for me. I will ensure that you are comfortable during your treatment and will accommodate any reservations or concerns that you may have.

toggle graphic8. How long do the needles stay in?

In general, the needles will stay in anywhere from 20-40 minutes. However, this varies depending on your condition.

  • Pregnant women, elderly, generally weak constitution patients, and children do not require a lot of needles or a longer session.
  • Those with a lot of stagnation or complications might benefit from retaining the needles in slightly longer.
  • I will be able to determine what is the most beneficial after assessing you.

toggle graphic9. Should I avoid any activities after my treatments?

You may assume all regular activities after your treatment. However, you will want to be mindful of what your body is telling you to do.

  • Some patients feel very energized after their treatments and find that they enjoy working out or being active after acupuncture.
  • Some feel very relaxed and mellow and prefer to take it easy after their treatments.
  • Acupuncture should not interfere with any of your regular activities.

toggle graphic10. How much does it cost and what forms of payment do you accept?
  • Your initial appointment will last up to 1.5 hours, includes comprehensive intake, full treatment, and any accessory techniques necessary: $125
  • Follow up treatments are an hour long and include any accessory techniques necessary: $75
  • Cost of herbs is separate and depends on what is being prescribed.
  • Cash, Checks, Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

toggle graphic11. Do you offer any packages on series of treatments and/or gift certificates for treatments?

Yes, packages and gift certificates are available. Please contact me to find out more!

toggle graphic12. I am still not sure if Acupuncture is the right thing for me, but I am interested. What should I do?

If you are still unsure if Acupuncture is the right thing for you, you may contact me to set up a free phone consultation. We can discuss in detail the condition(s) you are seeking acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) for. I will be able to address any specific concerns or questions at that time and provide you with an answer to the best of my ability without having actually seen you.

If you have a question that you don't see here, or would like more information about services, please contact Ayesha at