Acupuncture uses ultra-fine needles, which means that they are solid and thinner than the hollow needles used at doctor’s offices for injections. Sensations may differ depending on the style of acupuncture and the sensitivity of the patient. Commonly, patients report experiencing a prick similar to a bug bite, feeling a tingling, heaviness, or warmth. Certain points can be more sensitive than others; the practitioner tries not to use the painful points. However, there are times when using acupuncture at these points is the most effective. If you are sensitive to needles, let the practitioner know and he will make sure to balance your comfort with your treatment plans.
In general, acupuncture should be a calming and relaxing experience. A session (except for the first session) generally lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, where the patient often rests once the needles are inserted.
Additional therapies may include the use of moxibustion, a herb (mugwort) that is burned like incense on or over an acupuncture point on the body. Cupping and light massage may also be applied during a treatment depending on your condition. Additionally, dietary and lifestyle changes may be recommended if appropriate to your condition.
Acute conditions often require more frequent treatments over a shorter period of time, while chronic conditions usually require treatments spaced out over a longer period of time. Though you may find some relief after one session, in order for long-lasting relief, multiple treatments are necessary. As a general rule, you always want to have your next treatment before your symptoms return to their original level.
The total number of sessions depends on several factors, including how long a person has had the condition, the patient’s lifestyle, and the frequency of treatment. Ideally, a patient is seen at least once to two times a week during the initial phase of treatment, although sometimes more frequent sessions will be recommended, depending on the condition.
After the first round of sessions, depending on the progress, treatments may be reduced to once every other week for a maintenance level for a certain period of time. After the initial evaluation phase (usually 4-6 treatments), a suggested treatment plan will be developed for the treatments going forward which is specific to you and your condition.
Acupuncture is effective for an incredibly wide range of conditions. You can visit the “What is Acupuncture” page on this website for more information. Please feel free to contact me directly.
You are advised to check on the Reimbursements Overview for lists of insurances that do include acupuncture in their health insurance plans and/or speak with your insurance company directly.
The practice in the Netherlands is for you to pay for the treatments and seek the reimbursements from your insurance company. You will receive an invoice for you to send to your insurance company. Hence we do not bill your insurance company directly.