Does Acupuncture hurt?

No, acupuncture should not hurt. A momentary prick is felt at the insertion ofthe needle, but many patients report that they hardly feel the needles. Needles are placed in specific points in order to create stimulation. This may produce different sensations such as a heavy, dull pressure, tingling, heat, or mild aching.  Mostly, people are amazed by how relaxed they feel during and after the treatment.

What can Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine treat?

Any illness or injury reflects an imbalance in the body.  Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine aims at re-balancing the body, so any disease, illness or injury can be addressed.  The World Health Organization has deemed acupuncture an effective treatment for a long list of issues including, but not limited to:


Cardiovascular health

Chronic/Acute Pain

Dental Health

Gastrointestinal Health

Emotional Health



Fertility & Pregnancy

Injury/Surgical recovery

Menstruation & Menopause

Musculo-Skeletal  issues

Neurological  function

Vision & Hearing

While Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine is a great way to treat existing diseases, it is even more valuable in the area of preventive care.  For many people, Chinese medicine plays a relaxing and rejuvenating role during transitional times of the year, such as at the change of seasons.  It is a great way to restore, rebalance, and recharge one’s body to ward off illnesses and keep strong and functioning at optimal levels.

How many treatments?

This depends on the condition being treated and the patient’s overall health.   Acupuncture is a therapy…like physical therapy, or massage therapy, behavioral therapy, chemo-therapy…  It is a process requiring time and energy to make changes when addressing issues that have developed over time.  It is usually not a one-time fix-it.    Many people feel varying levels of relief from symptoms after the first treatment, especially for acute issues that have developed quickly (i.e. sprained ankle, head cold thats been passed among the family…). Long-standing, chronic conditions may take several treatments to get to the point of symptom relief, and possibly months to correct the underlying issues.   It is important to understand that health conditions take time to develop, and they subsequently take time to heal.  The goal of acupuncture is to speed up your body’s ability to heal itself.  Although results often feel dramatic, acupuncture is not a miracle cure…the needles are not magic.  They are simply a tool to help balance your systems and boost your own ability to heal.  And then, acupuncture is also a tool for maintaining optimal health, as defined by you and your situation.  At Naples Valley Acupuncture, Michelle will do a thorough intake interview with you which will help identify an estimated frequency and duration of therapy.  It is typical to have a few initial sessions close together to assess how your body and condition will respond to acupuncture, which modalities and techniques will work most effectively for you, and to build momentum in your body to create change.  As your condition improves, treatments are spread out to an eventual maintenance plan that makes sense for you.

Does My Insurance Cover Treatments?

Many insurance plans do cover acupuncture in varying amounts.  It is recommended that you call your insurance company before your first treatment to see what exactly they cover.  Naples Valley Acupuncture does not bill insurance directly, therefore we are not on any networks.  However, upon request a “superbill” is provided that includes the insurance codes necessary for reimbursement.  Many insurance companies (BCBS, MVP, …) do reimburse patients directly for treatments from licensed practitioners outside their networks.  Also, many plans include medical savings accounts that reimburse for uncovered services.  Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) also often reimburse for acupuncture.

What should I expect?

Your first treatment typically lasts 60-90 minutes and includes a detailed discussion of your health concerns and history. Follow-up visits typically take 30-60 minutes. You should wear loose clothes that are comfortable to lie down and rest in for about 30 minutes, and be sure to eat within 4 hours of your appointment.