Things to know before you come in......
My Amherst home office is not handicapped-accessible. Sorry, but there are stone steps leading to the entrance
Due to the low rates of reimbursement, restrictions in what is covered, and the large amount of associated paperwork, I no longer accept insurance payments. I deeply regret this, but the economic and time constraints and scope of practice limitations imposed by insurers are prohibitive for what I consider to be effective and thorough evaluation and treatment.
Costs: First appointment (intake + treatment, generally 75-90 minutes): $88.00. Follow-up appointments (45-60 minutes): $68.00. Cash, check or charge accepted, with a $3.00 discount for payments with cash or check.
You do not need a doctor's referral for acupuncture.
Please bring any diagnostic imaging reports (films & discs not necessary), lab work, and a list of prescription medications and OTC supplements (vitamins, herbs, etc.) that you may be taking to your first appointment.
Few drugs or procedures interfere with acupuncture, and vice-versa. Acupuncture can be useful in reducing the dose and/or number of medications a patient is taking, but reducing medicines can be a complex issue requiring careful monitoring and should include input from the prescribing M.D.s.
Most patients find acupuncture is pleasantly relaxing. It is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during treatment. After the treatment, this state of relaxation will not impede normal activities (eg.: driving).
There is no need to plan your day around your appointment, but you should avoid being very hungry or very full when arriving. Also, to get the most from your treatment, it is preferable to avoid extremely strenuous activity immediately before or after treatment.
Treatments take about 30 - 60 minutes. (For the intake on the first appointment, add 20 - 30 minutes). Effects sometimes take a few hours or days to fully develop.
Acupuncture usually involves a course of treatments (3 - 15 treatments, depending on condition). If acupuncture is warranted, I usually suggest a trial of 4-6 treatments, with a re-evaluation before continuing. It can take a few treatments for effects to be noticeable. If a patient is still not responding after 5 or 6 treatments, the likelihood that acupuncture will be effective starts declining.
If too much time elapses between treatments (more than 10-14 days), sustained progress can be difficult. It is more clinically effective to be treated 1-2 times per week, at least initially.
Changes in life style, work habits, etc. may also help or be necessary to restore and maintain health.
Very few ailments warrant "open-ended" treatment. In most cases once a favorable result or plateau is reached in treatment, there will be little regression for months to years. In cases where there are structural issues (e.g.: bony deformities, etc.) acupuncture often affords relief, though if the cause of the pain is structural and the problem remains uncorrected or unhealed, it usually means the symptoms will return eventually, at which point more treatment may be needed.