Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture Treatment


How does acupuncture work from a scientific perspective?  Needling or stimulating the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release various chemicals and neuropeptides in the muscles, spinal cord, and the brain.  These chemicals and hormones influence the body's own internal regulating system causing the body to attempt to return to a normal, healthy state.  The improved energy dynamics and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body's natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well being.

Do I have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?  The role of the mind in healing cannot be understated.  However, acupuncture works whether you believe in it or not; just like penicillin will kill bacteria whether you believe it will or not.  Around the world even animals are treated successfully with acupuncture and they have no belief in it, they're just happy it works.

Does acupuncture hurt?  What does it feel like?  No, it doesn't hurt.  Most of the time you never even feel the needle pierce the skin.  On the other hand, acupuncture is not without sensations.  Once the needles are placed you can feel a heavy feeling or a dull pulling sensation.  Many mild and subtle sensations can be experienced.  They are the effects of Qi.  Your comfort and results are our priority.

Is acupuncture safe?    There are no known side effects of acupuncture.  The needles we use of sterile, pre-packaged single use needles.

How long wills my appointment last?  If you get acupuncture only without any integrative medical therapy, your treatment will last from 45 minutes to an hour.  If you choose or need one of the non-needle methods a treatment can last up to 2 hours.  Again, we are result oriented and if you have pain, we want it gone as much as possible.

What kinds of conditions and diseases can acupuncture and oriental medicine treat?  Oriental medicine and acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a complete medical system.  Oriental medicine is capable of most of the problems faced by the majority of the people.  Here at AMD we are particularly good at relieving almost any kind of pain, whether from a migraine headache, TMJ, sciatica, or menstrual pain.  We are also very successful at treating diabetic neuropathy and most other types of neuropathies.  In fact, you will feel the difference on you very first visit or we won't ask you to pay.

Can I be sure that acupuncture will help me?   In this clinic you can rest assured that it will help you.  If you are a pain patient and we do not give you at least 40 or 50% pain relief on your first visit, you will pay nothing at all and we will not recommend any further visits.  Over 90% of our patients experience significant pain relief on their very first visit.

How many treatments will I need and what is a typical course of treatment?  Each person is unique and will respond to treatment differently.  The length of treatment depends on the condition and the individual.  However, the average number of treatments for most folks is 9 to 15 visits.  A few people take longer and some take a shorter number of visits.  Usually after your 3rd or 4th treatment we will evaluate your response and will be better able to tell you how many treatment you may need.

I'm not feeling well, should I cancel my appointment?   It's very kind of you to want to protect us from your cold or flu, but one of the best times to get a treatment is during an acute phase of headache, pain or disease because that's when the body needs help in fighting a viral or bacterial infection.  In fact, we prefer you come with full-blown symptoms to we can find out their cause.

Can acupuncture and Oriental medicine help me from getting sick?  One of the things that Oriental medicine and acupuncture does best is preventive medicine.  Acupuncture is fantastic for helping you maintain high immune function.  Many patients come monthly just for that purpose because it is also great for relieving stress!

Does insurance cover acupuncture?  Yes.  More and more health insurance plans are covering acupuncture and when they don't, most cover the non-needle acupuncture under physical medicine.  Just give us a call and we will be happy to check for you.

How much does a consultation cost?  Here at AMD, there is absolutely no cost for a consultation.  In fact, on your first visit if we can't give you at least 40% relief of pain you won't even pay us for the treatment and we won't try to book you for another.

How much does acupuncture cost?  Your first consultation is at no cost to you, it is free.  If you are in pain and want a treatment that same day to see if it works, it is also free if we unable to give you at least 40% pain relief.  However, if we give you relief, you pay our normal fee.  Cash pricing is as follows:

Acupuncture only:  $75

Acupuncture with Micro electric stimulation or Moxa:  $85

Non-needle acupuncture:  $100

Non-needle methods consist of acupuncture using the Electroacuscope micro-stimulation unit, Pantheon electrical stimulation unit, Russian SCENAR, or traditional Moxibustion treatments.

What are your credentials?  Dr. Don Snow is one of only a handful of practitioners that has a Doctorate degree in Oriental Medicine.  It is the Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (D.A.O.M.) and Dr. Snow was the first to receive this degree in the state of California after the U.S. Department of Education authorized the doctorate for acupuncturists.  Most acupuncturists have a Master's degree.  Dr. Snow is licensed to practice in California and he is also nationally certified.  He is also a Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners licensed A.C.A.  Dr. Snow also holds Masters Degrees in Public Health and Traditional Oriental Medicine.