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Frequently Asked Questions:

Questions Asked By Prospective Patients

Is acupuncture safe?

Yes, we use disposable needles only. 1997 NIH Consensus Conference concludes: "One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower that many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for same conditions."


Does acupuncture hurt?

Either no or slightly, if the practitioner is well trained. It bears no resemblance at all to getting an injection. By contrast, acupuncture needles are very fine and flexible, about the diameter of a human hair. In most cases there is no pain. Typical sensation is like a mosquito bite. A sense of warm or heaviness in the areas of insertion suggests healing response of the body. Most patients find the treatments very relaxing and sometimes doze off during the session.

Is it covered by insurance?
(Updated 09/16/2019)

Many insurance companies offer coverage on acupuncture, although it is the patients' responsibility for deductible, co-pay and co-insurance. We carry CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, CIGNA,  AETNA, EHP, and more, depending on each individual's insurance plan. For these who have the coverage, we handle the billing for the recipients. With some other insurance companies, patients pay at each visit and then get reimbursed by insurance. Most time, herbs are considered as vitamins and therefore there is no insurance coverage usually.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Questions Asked By Students

1. What is the formal name of the modality(s) that you practice?

I practice traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). As a holistic medicine, it combines acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, acupressure (manual therapy), dietary therapy, and exercises, such as Tai Qi and Qigong (meditation).

2. What is the certification or licensure (if any) required for this modality?

In the US, NCCAOM is the national regulatory which body issues exams and certifications. You may go online to find about details. Each state has its own licensing agency, which usually requires NCCAOM Certification as part of the licensing requirements. Maryland Board of Acupuncture is the regulatory body in this state with its regulations as part of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

3. What type of training do you have?

Refer to “Practitioner” of my web site at: Chineseacupunctureandherbs.com

4. Where did you get your training?

Refer to “Practitioner” of my web site at: Chineseacupunctureandherbs.com

5. How long have you been practicing?

Since 1983.

6. What led you to choose this type of work?

My childhood illness cured by acupuncture and my will to help others.
7. What are the benefits of working in this type of practice?

Refer to “Indications” of my web page.
8. What are the difficulties of working in this type of practice?

For westerners, it is difficult to learn and understand different culture, not just techniques. In general, lacking of public awareness and understanding makes the practice difficult.
9. How easy/difficult if it to be successful in this type of practice?

More difficult than having a medical practice as it serves less than 10% of the population on some occasions.
10. How much do practitioners in your field usually earn?

As I know, 99.9% acupuncturists are self-employed and their earnings vary from $30,000 to $250,000 for working full time. Maryland Board of Acupuncture had a survey a few years ago with an average earning of $45,000 a year.
11. Do practitioners in this field usually get benefits such as vacation time and sick leave?

As a self-employee, you are your own boss.
12. What is the most difficult part of your work?

Lack of public awareness and insurance coverage. Also general fear of needles, although my existing patients laugh at it.
13. What is the most fun part of your work?

Helping people. E.g.: To see it is working and your patients feel better without going to surgeries, and taking less or no medications.
14. Would you recommend this as a field of practice for others? Why or why not?

 Yes, only to those who truly love the field with dedication and openness to learn about another culture.
 15. Who works in the setting?

 Include practitioners and support staff.
 Just my secretary and myself.

16. Do you advertise? If so, what is the main advertising tool.
Yes, phone book listing and web page. Word of mouth is the main advertising tool.

17. Are there advancements in this field?

Skill wise, yes. Position wise, no.

18. What skills do you need to do this job?

Heart to help people, and technical skills and understanding that you learn from school and everyday clinical work throughout the career.