What is Acupuncture?

What is Acupuncture?

Traditional Eastern medicine has been used for thousands of years and includes acupuncture. It is based on the idea that your body’s energy, chi (pronounced “chee”), moves through and around it through channels called meridians.

According to acupuncturists, illness happens when anything blocks or unbalances your chi. Chi can be influenced or unblocked with acupuncture to help it return to its normal, balanced flow.

Very tiny needles are inserted into the skin at specific places on the body during acupuncture treatments. Sometimes needles are combined with other elements like pressure, heat, or moderate electrical current.

What can the patient expect?

Acupuncture can help decrease some pain for some patients. The amount of benefit, and the length of time it lasts, varies. It can take a few sessions to start to see improvement. Most studies show an improvement in pain after just a few sessions.

Most patients feel only minimal pain as the needles are inserted, or as they are stimulated. Some feel no pain at all. It is unusual for the needles to really hurt. If the needle is in the muscle, there will be a slight increase in discomfort. The pain usually begins to ease after a few seconds.

Is acupuncture a Kaiser Permanente benefit?

Yes and no.

The Kaiser Health Plan agreement neither includes nor excludes the use of acupuncture in the care of Kaiser members. This means that, like most of the services and treatments, it is an option that can be covered by the insurance when it is considered to be appropriate.

Periodically Kaiser Permanente reviews the medical literature and to define the scope of acupuncture care. At this time acupuncture is recommended as an option to consider in the care of patients with chronic pain and those with nausea and vomiting, especially associated with chemotherapy.

Please give us a call to verify your Kaiser Health Plan insurance coverage for acupuncture treatment.

Leave a reply