Medical Acupuncture In Primary Care

June 28, 2019 - by boisefamilymed - in Complementary Medicine, Health & Wellness

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If you’re unfamiliar with acupuncture, chances are, you may have a few questions.  Or, maybe the version of acupuncture you’re more familiar are correlates with signs advertising acupuncture services attached to non-descript houses converted into businesses, hidden in strip malls around Boise, or on the list of items offered at the spa you frequent.  So, what is acupuncture doing in a primary care setting you ask? And how is medical acupuncture any different?  Not to worry, we’ve provided the answers to some of the most common questions for you.  Read on to find out.

What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture, like pure acupuncture, is the therapeutic insertion of needles in combinations and patters to promote the body’s natural healing and function.  The use of acupuncture in treatment of patients in a family medicine setting can be used as either primary or complimentary to provide a more holistic treatment plan as a clinically viable option. 

How is Medical Acupuncture Different?

Medical acupuncture, like pure acupuncture, is the therapeutic insertion of needles in combinations and patters to promote the body’s natural healing and function.  However, medical acupuncture is a term used to describe the practice of acupuncture by a licensed medical physician.  This approach allows a physician to determine the most effective combination of treatment using one or both to compliment the patient’s need.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture treatment is done through insertion of fine needles in patterns into the body.  Stimulation is performed through manual, thermal or electrical means.  The needling of the acupuncture points is used to stimulate the nervous system in order to cause a chemical reaction in the muscles, spinal cord, or brain.  The chemical response may alter the symptoms or generate other chemical responses and the release of hormones that invoke your body’s own internal regulation.   The improved balance of energy and biochemical responses to acupuncture stimulate your body’s natural ability to heal itself.      

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture has continued to gain support as viable treatment alternative to the use of opioids for controlling pain.  However, acupuncture has also been recognized for the treatment of digestive disorders, respiratory illnesses, neurological and muscular ailments.  When used as a primary or complimentary treatment plan, medical acupuncture can play an important role in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions, the prevention of illness, and the promotion of your health and well-being.

Does Acupuncture Really Work?

Acupuncture has been used to treat people for thousands of years and is currently being practiced all over the world.  More recently, acupuncture has gained in popularity and is increasingly accepted as a viable treatment option in the United States.  Medical acupuncture can be used to compliment other forms of medicine in the primary care setting, such as mainstream medicine or osteopathic adjustments.  Like any other form of treatment, it is important to be open and honest with your physician-acupuncturist so they can help you to get the most from the treatment plan they provide.

Is Acupuncture Covered by My Health Plan?

While acupuncture continues to be a more widely accepted treatment option, the coverage varies for each insurance plan.  The best way to determine if acupuncture treatments are covered is to call your member benefit number (usually listed on the back of your insurance card) to be sure.  Even if your health plan does not cover acupuncture, the cost of treatment may be an affordable option worth discussing with your provider.

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One heck of a swell guy and mildly tech savvy (just enough to be dangerous).

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