What to Expect on your First Visit
One of the most common questions we hear from potential new patients is “Do you accept insurance?” There are a handful of insurance companies which currently cover acupuncture and whether or not you are covered may depend on your individual policy. So the best answer we can give is “We can always check to see if your insurance will accept us.” We use a third-party billing company to verify benefits coverage and the turnaround time for a response is typically 24-48 hours. If you would like to know if acupuncture is covered under your policy before your first visit please call us at 512-451-5726 and we will be happy to check. Currently, we are in-network providers for United Health Care and Blue Cross Blue Shield. We also offer a 20% discount on services to members of the Healthways WholeHealth Living Network, which includes Aetna, BCBS of Texas and Humana, among others.
Trying to figure out what is going with your body is a little bit like detective work for your practitioner. On your first visit you will fill out detailed paperwork, including a symptom survey that will give us clues as to how to treat your condition. To get to the root cause of your symptoms we will ask you many questions, some of which may not seem relevant to your main complaint. We do this to get a complete picture of how your body is functioning. Chinese medicine is holistic in nature and as such, we as practitioners are looking for signs and symptoms that may suggest a certain pattern of disharmony. Your answers to these questions will help us formulate a proper treatment plan for you. If you take any medications or supplements on a daily basis, we recommend that you bring a list of everything you are taking along with the dosages.
Tongue and Pulse
Feeling the wrist pulses on both the right and left sides is another technique we use to gather information about what may be going on with you internally. When doing this we are checking for the quality of the pulse, not just the number of beats. Also, we will ask you to stick out your tongue to check the color and coat of the tongue. Both of these diagnostic methods help determine a fitting treatment, so it is important not to eat something that will change the tongue’s color and avoid brushing your tongue before the visit.
We use sterile, stainless steel filiform needles. They differ from hypodermic needles in that they are solid and of a very thin gauge. Because they are so tiny, acupuncture needles rarely produce pain on insertion. In fact, most people do not even feel them going in. You might experience a warm sensation, numbness, or a “heaviness” around where the needles are inserted. These types of feelings are all totally normal and are a good indication that healing energy is getting to the area of insertion. Typically we retain the needles for 20 to 40 minutes.
Your Individualized Treatment
Although the use of needles is the main mode of treatment, our clinic will customize your treatment program to care for your specific health needs. Based on the diagnosis and treatment principle, your treatment may combine: Chinese Herbal Medicine, nutritional advice and supplementation, cupping, Gua Sha, moxibustion, electrical point stimulation or Tuina (traditional Chinese massage done through clothing that incorporates kneading manipulations of western massage with acupressure).