Frequently Asked Questions
Acupuncture is probably the safest and longest, continually practiced form of medicine in the history of the world. Humans are known for discarding systems that are either not useful, or whose usefulness has ceased. Of course, after more than 2000 years, this is hardly acupuncture’s case as a medical system. In fact, its usefulness to humanity continues to grow. Below are some frequently asked questions about it:
1) How many treatments does it take to address a health problem with acupuncture?
This depends on a few factors: how long the condition has existed. Also the type of condition: for example, acupuncture can be significantly helpful in helping normalize blood glucose and reduce or even stop the progression of peripheral neuropathy in a diabetic. But it is not going to “cure” the diabetic disposition. The effect of treatment will also be influence by the lifestyle habits of the person and how well they take care of themselves. I have treated many type 1 and 2 diabetics over the years and most have responded very well to the therapy. In general, people feel better, more balanced right from the first session. But in my opinion it takes at least 5 sessions to really begin to consistently improve. If there is no improvement whatsoever within 5 sessions, then perhaps acupuncture is not going to be the most effective method.
2) What about chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis?
As the diabetic example illustrates, unfortunately neither East nor West has the cure for many health problems. However, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are one of the best ways to manage and reduce the suffering of many people with chronic diseases in a non-toxic, chemical-free matter. Rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and diabetes are good examples of conditions that generally speaking respond very well to acupuncture-moxibustion or electro-acupuncture medicine. Unfortunately these conditions can not be cure yet but acupuncture and its major anti-inflammatory effect is able to keep pain at bay and sometimes even completely sedate it for days or weeks at a time. After an intensive treatment cycle of 1-2 sessions a week for a month or so, the patient can usually reduce the visits to 1 or 2 a month, sometimes even to just 4 or 6 a year. If there is a flare up in-between, I advice my patients to immediately call the clinic because the sooner we deal with it the faster it improves. So true , while the condition may not be curable the life can be much better with less suffering and higher quality of life and possible reduction in pharmaceutical need due to the acupuncture effect.
3) Do people benefit from acupuncture-Chinese medicine when they are not sick?
Yes. It is better to work within the wellness-prevention model and everybody could use some more relaxation, less inflammation, better circulation and energy.
4) Other than utilizing acupuncture to treat illness, but for wellness, how many times you recommend a person sees his or her acupuncture-physician?
When one is healthy and takes care of ones mind-body health and lifestyle, acupuncture can be used at the change of seasons for example or once per month.
5) For what conditions should I seek acupuncture treatment?
An acupuncture-Physician can be of great help and should be consulted for pain, anxiety, depression, complementary for the treatment of cancer, also for arthritis, asthma, migraine, menstrual disorders, diabetic wellness, immune-related problems; and others, such as intestinal disorders, addiction and many more conditions. The research evidence on acupuncture benefits in many such conditions continues to grow. The World Health Organization (WHO) specifically recommends acupuncture for all of the conditions listed above and many more.
6) Is acupuncture effective only to relieve symptoms?
No. Acupuncture does more than relieving symptoms. The goal of treatment is to treat the patient whole person and body from head to toe as a complete organism and restore healthy balance in the physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic components of the person.
7) At the Sifre Center, the acupuncture specialty is what you call Comprehensive Medical Acupuncture (CMA). What is the difference?
Comprehensive Medical Acupuncture is a multi-modality session of acupuncture treatment utilizing several body systems and areas, as well as other techniques such as cupping, massage or stretching, moxibustion, electro acupuncture, etc… These sessions also involved a significant consultation time. We find this method to be very thorough and instrumental in understanding the patient and speeding up the improvement. Compared to a problem-focused visit where one main complaint with one acupuncture prescription is addressed, CMA allows for multiple prescriptions and more than one condition or complaint can be addressed. This visit is minimum 90 minutes and often more than that.
8) What other services does the Center provides?
We provide a significant comprehensive list of services which are described under Services on the home page menu bar. As you will see these are all acupuncture and Chinese medicine-based modalities and modalities for which Santiago Sifre has developed significant expertise during his almost two decades career. We also offer behavioral medicine services which include meditation and Qigong training; Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT); mindfulness practice; Medical Qigong and Tong Ren Therapy; as well as, coaching through Tai Chi Philosophy and holistic counseling.
9) Can these behavioral consultations and trainings be combined with the Chinese medicine-Acupuncture?
Yes. Our specialty is a combination of Acupuncture-Behavioral and Complementary health care or our ABCs: a person-centered, integrated model of functional medicine and personal training. It is better to learn how to fish than to rely on the fisherman for sustenance. So the behavioral approaches specifically seek to train you on how to take better care of yourself; how to cultivate positive energy; how to reduce stress and reactivity; and how to put into practice very healthy habits that will positively change your lifestyle and outlook on life.
10) Does health insurance pay for all of this?
Our practice may accept your insurance for acupuncture if you have a policy with out-of-network benefits. In order to best serve you we can verify your insurance benefits before you arrive. Please click on the link below and complete the online form. We will contact you as soon as your benefits information is determined in order to discuss your treatment options.