Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I try Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is one of the only medical procedures to heal the body and mind  without the use of drugs or invasive procedures. Deep relaxing treatments fight stress and guide your body into homeostasis.  Acupuncture is also over 3,000 years old and is used across the world by millions of people every day.


How long before Acupuncture cures my problems?

Acupuncture is often a process. It is common to see exceptional relief of chronic and acute conditions after only a few visits. However, it is unrealistic to expect long standing health issues to be completely resolved after three or four visits. By comparison, long-standing conditions in China are commonly treated every other day for one to two months. As that frequency is not always possible, Charleston Community Acupuncture may recommend one to two treatments per week. A higher frequency for severe or complex problems may be suggested.


Where does Acupuncture fit in with Western Medicine?

Acupuncture is a great form of alternative and preventative medicine that can help address symptoms to prevent unnecessary surgeries or medications. It is also great for physical rehabilitation from surgery and/or injuries.


What’s the difference between a visit to a typical U.S. Acupuncture Practice and a Community Acupuncture Practice?

There are two main differences: price and setting. While pricing varies by state and city, Community Acupuncture ($25-$50) is a fraction of the price of typical U.S. Acupuncture that commonly reaches $100 and higher. Likewise, typical U.S. acupuncture treatments occur on a table, in a small, private room, whereas community clinics treat multiple patients within one large room.

Aside from privacy, there is no difference in the level or quality of care. Receiving treatment in a community setting makes it easier for friends and family members to come in for treatment together. Also, many patients find it a relief not to be isolated during treatment. Our Community rooms offer comfortable recliners for conditions which can be treated distally while seated.

Charleston Community Acupuncture’s practice also offers Orthopedic Acupuncture ($40-$70) in rooms that have semi-private tables for clients who need or want treatment on their neck, back, buttocks as well as behind their legs.


What does acupuncture feel like?

Acupuncture feels good. Almost everyone agrees that acupuncture creates a deep sense of relaxation and peace of mind while you feel muscle relaxation or waves of energy coursing through your body. Most patients find they can fall into a deep sleep.


Does acupuncture hurt?

This depends entirely upon the patient. Some patients feel nothing at all, some can feel a small pinch or a dull tingle that goes away after a few seconds, and sometimes the needle may hit an especially tense spot. This particular sensation can either feel like a small shock running through that section of your body or a more intense dull ache that goes away after 1-5 seconds. These sensations indicate that the needle is working.

Charleston Community Acupuncture will work with you to ensure your comfort. If at any time a needle is uncomfortable, simply let the acupuncturist know and they will remove it immediately.


How long does a treatment usually last?

At Charleston Community Acupuncture, treatments typically last about one hour and can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 90 minutes. The ‘right’ amount of time can vary from person to person. If you are ready to end your session, or need to get our attention, just give us a wink, nod or smile, and we will provide immediate assistance. Otherwise your acupuncturist will get you up after the hour.


Which type of acupuncture is best for me?

One type of Acupuncture is not better than the other. They address different issues in different ways. Sometimes results are seen quicker when the right points either local or distal are needled. You and your acupuncturist will  discuss what is best for you at your first visit.


When should I schedule a community visit?

Community Acupuncture addresses almost all health issues (WHAT DOES ACUPUNCTURE TREAT PAGE).  If you have pain that is either chronic (fibromyalgia or arthritis) or acute (repetitive stress injury), the community acupuncture session may work best. Typically community acupuncture is recommended first followed by orthopedic, if necessary or desired by the patient.


When should I schedule an orthopedic visit?

Orthopedic acupuncture is most useful when treating pain and serious injuries associated with your muscles, tendons, joints and spine and nerves.   It addresses more significant structural problems or physical performance issues by blending modern Sports Medicine with the traditional techniques of classical Acupuncture. Orthopedic visits  involve more muscle/orthopedic testing and applied techniques, like electrostimulation or cupping. CCA typically treats neck pain, rotator cuff injury, lower back and sciatica, hip, knee, and plantar fasciitis.


Does Charleston Community Acupuncture do “Dry Needling”?

Yes. All of our needles(acupuncture needles) are dry needles. Dry needling is a traditional acupuncture technique of local needling that acupuncturists may use during Orthopedic sessions (LINK TO ORTHO PAGE).

‘Dry Needling’ has become a  popular new term  with some chiropractors and physical therapists who often take a 3 day certification course. Acupuncturists train for 3-4 years before practicing and must meet state licensure and national standards from The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). The intense training provides them with a finer sense of touch with the needles as well as a greater knowledge of all the points and pathways and how they stimulate the body’s systems.


What are motor and trigger points?

Motor points are specific locations where the nerve fibers of muscles enter into the muscle. By needling these points along with electrical stimulation and cupping, acupuncturists can contract the muscle and reset both it and the nerve. This relaxes the muscle and increases circulation to reduce inflammation and heal the muscle.

Trigger points are a taut band of muscle located within a larger muscle group. They occur when repetitive use creates inflammation or acute trauma. The damaged tissue contracts to prevent further injury which also prevents blood circulation from cleaning out injury. Trigger points are painful when pressed on and typically cause pain to be felt in other areas of the body. Trigger points cause muscle fibers to shorten and tighten. For a great explanation featuring detailed drawings click here. 


What is your Sliding Scale and how does it work?

We encourage you to pay what you can afford to pay, within the set scale of each service. Our sliding scale is not income based. The purpose of our sliding scale is to eliminate the high cost of typical alternative treatments that may prevent you from seeking treatment. Acupuncture is often most effective when it is done frequently, especially at the beginning of a course of treatment. For the cost of one typical acupuncture treatment, you can be treated at Charleston Community Acupuncture five times!


Why does Charleston Community Acupuncture not accept insurance?

Most insurance companies do not cover acupuncture and, of those that do, their reimbursement process is often complicated and time consuming. Charleston Community Acupuncture chooses not to participate until this changes. If your insurance plan covers acupuncture, we will be happy to give you a payment receipt to submit for reimbursement. Be sure to check with your insurance provider in advance of treatment.

That being said, Charleston Community Acupuncture intentionally keeps its rates low and offers a sliding scale to reduce the financial burden of treatment.


Does Charleston Community Acupuncture Offer Gift Cards?

Yes we do. Click here, call or ask in person and one of our front desk staff will help you determine the amount.