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  • What is acupuncture?
    Acupuncture originated over 5,000 years ago in China, and is now used by millions of Americans annually. Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and World Health Organization (WHO) as a safe, natural and drug-free way to address a wide range of illnesses. According to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH, 2022), "Acupuncture is a technique in which practitioners insert fine needles into the skin to treat health problems. ". During acupuncture, needles are inserted into the acupuncture points to stimulate the flow of Qi and blood. Smooth flow of Qi can remove the pathogens from the channels, and the body then heal by itself.
  • What is Qi?
    Qi (pronounced "chee", Chinese character 氣) is the core concept of this ancient medicine. The Chinese character of Qi (氣) is composed of two parts, outer side is 气, which is the modern character of Qi; the inner side is 米, which means rice. So Qi doesn't only mean energy, it is a combination of energies, food, and air. Qi provides the power to accomplish every day activities. It is necessary for growth, development and daily activities. It provides protection again pathogens, and is the basis for our immunity functions. Qi flows in our channels to provide Qi and blood supply to organs. When Qi is blocked, physical or mental illness will occur. When the smooth flow of Qi is restored, the body recovers. This is the basic logic behind acupuncture.
  • What are meridians/channels?
    Just as western medicine uses the organizational models of anatomy and physiology as a way to classify the body, Chinese medicine uses the channel system as one of its organizational models. Meridians is another name for the channels. Here is an overview of the hierarchy of the channels. The channels of acupuncture are where the Chi of the body circulates. Chi, life force, essential energy and vital energy are all descriptions of this force. It is what we feel when we say “I have a lot of energy today” or “she is a lively, energetic person.” It is also the what we feel when we look at someone and say “he looks very sad today” or “I don’t like that guy’s energy.” Another interesting way to think about energy is that it determines the difference between being alive or dead. As you will see there are different “flavors” of energy that circulate in different part of the channel system.
  • Does acupuncture hurt?
    No. Occasionally the patient may experience a slight string or pinch sensation, but it typically goes away within seconds. Most of the time, the patients don't even know that the needle has been inserted. Ms. Shu does gentle manipulation most of the time. In addition, depending on patient's sensitivity and illness condition, Ms. Shu can switch between different styles seamlessly.
  • How long do I need to do acupuncture treatment?
    It varies. An acute condition may only require one treatment. While chronic illness will need to be treated regularly over time. As a Chinese medicine practitioner, we are called magical workers, but we are not the gods, for a chronic condition which took years to accumulate, it will require a few treatments and possibly also need the help of herbs.
  • What should I expect during my appointment?
    In your initial appointment, Ms. Shu will do a thorough initial intake, including lots of very detailed questions about you and your family health history, from your head to feet, from skin to inner side, in order to get an overview for your conditions. Ms. Shu will develop the diagnosis and treatment plan. Treatment plan can include acupuncture, herbal treatment or other adjunctive treatments. If acupuncture is appropriate for you, you will received a full treatment after the initial intake. If you also want to use herbs, we will do the herbal prescription and you can get it at the end of treatment or in the beginning of your next appointment.
  • What are risks of acupuncture?
    Per NIH and WHO, acupuncture is a safe and natural way to address a wide range of diseases. Minor bruising can be common, but it is temporary and usually is not bothersome. Sterile and disposable needles are used for each acupuncture treatment, so there is a rare risk of infection. Occasionally, patients may experience lightheadedness after the treatment is done which usually goes away within minutes. Acupuncture is natural way to treat diseases, sometimes patients experience some different reactions, most of the time they are just healing crisis. As ancient practitioners said, if there is no adverse reaction, the difficult diseases can not be fixed (药不瞑眩,厥疾弗瘳),same also applies to herbal treatment. So, do let your practitioners know your reaction, and then we can provide advice accordingly.
  • Is acupuncture covered by insurance?
    New Hope acupuncture and fertility center currently takes insurances of Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA and Aetna. If you have other insurances and are not sure that your insurance covers acupuncture, do let Ms. Shu know, so we can generate a super bill for you to reimburse from your insurance company. We do accept HSA.
  • Can acupuncture replace medical treatments or doctor's advice?
    No, Ms. Shu always encourages her patients to see their doctor and do all possible diagnostic and non-invasive tests. However, if surgery or other medical invasion is suggested, Ms. Shu will discuss with you about potential alternatives which, in many cases, have allowed her patients to avoid some major medical procedures.
  • Can infants or young kids be treated by acupuncture or herbs?
    Yes, of course. However, when treating an infant or a very young child, needles are not always used. Some other modalities can be used, for example, acupressure, five color healing technique, or herbs, to produce the same effects as needling, since young kids Qi and blood flow quickly and thus respond very quickly. Elder children can be needled, but we always use very fine needles to minimize any possible discomfort to the kids. Ms. Shu's daughter has taken acupuncture since she was six. She was able to take care of her two kids using Chinese medicine (including herbs), and they never used Western medications except annual physical check.
  • Can infants be treated with herbs?
    Normally for new born and infants, we don't do herbs for them directly. If there is a breastfeeding, Ms. Shu often do a diagnosis of the mother, and give herbs to the mother, so when breastfeeding, the infants will get treated in the meanwhile. Anyway, infants' problems are often caused by mothers.
  • Did Ms. Shu receive additional training in treating children?
    Five color healing and energy healing both works for infants and children in a non-invasive way. Over the years, Ms. Shu has treated a variety of kids' illness including newborn jaundice, common cold, constipation, as well as post symptoms of COVID. Ms. Shu's two kids took Chinese medicine therapy since they were born. Again, Chinese medicine is not only for treatment, it is also a way of living, and a way of nourishing life.
  • Is acupuncture effective for weight loss?
    Yes. There are various weight-loss protocols that can be used, and they provide various results. However, weight loss is not a simple one-step solution. People have different reasons which prevent them from shedding unwanted pounds, and an excessive appetite is rarely to blame. The patient may have an underlying medical condition, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a Thyroid disorder, etc, or they may be suffering from fatigue, pain or depression which prevents them from exercising or eating well. If weight loss is your goal, Ms. Shu will discuss the underlying cause of your challenge and will offer you the best plan.
  • Does Ms. Shu treat patients at their home or at the hospital?
    Yes. Ms. Shu can visit the patient at home or at hospital if schedule allows. Additional fees will be charged to cover travel time and parking costs.
  • Is information discussed in sessions confidential?
    Absolutely. Everything disclosed to Ms. Shu is kept completely confidential and will be disclosed to anyone including other family members, as long as the patient is a consenting adult. Should the patient decide to share the records, they will be asked to sign a health record release form.
  • How long do I need to be treated for infertility?
    It varies depending on your age and your actual health condition. Generally speaking, for patients younger than 40 years old, we will do acupuncture treatment as well as herbal treatment (per patient's request), 3 months will be a good period to reassess.
  • Can you do telemedicine to treat a patient?
    Ms. Shu does lots of telemedicine for herbs prescription, you will need to prepare the tongue picture and abdominal palpation chart, and Ms. Shu will do the intake using phone or facetime/zoom, and prescribe the herbs and ship it out. Occasionally, Ms. Shu will do a prescription of five color therapy or Fei Long Xiang Shu therapy treatment. In addition, Ms. Shu can also do distant energy healing with additional fee.
  • Is Chinese herbal medicine safe?
    Chinese herbal medicine represents the time-tested theories and cumulative clinical experience of more than 4000 years of continuous practice by traditional Chinese herbalists. It remains the world's oldest, safest, and most comprehensive system of medical care today, as it has been throughout its long history. References: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2022, October). Acupuncture: What You Need To Know. NCCIH.
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