Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture

What is traditional acupuncture?

Traditional acupuncture is a system of healing based on natural laws, which helps restore and maintain physical, emotional, and mental health. Although relatively new to this country, it has been continuously practiced in China for thousands of years. The fundamental principles of acupuncture are to treat the causes of one’s illness rather than just symptoms. The person can then heal as much as nature will allow.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture is based on natural laws that describe the flow of life energy in the body. This life energy, called Qi (or Chi), courses through the body in channels known as meridians. Health is when the Qi of the body is full and flowing. Disease occurs when the Qi is either stuck or deficient. Our bodies are usually able to correct these imbalances internally. However, there are times when the energy gets stuck and external help is needed.


What does an acupuncturist do?

An acupuncturist evaluates the underlying energetic cause for the person’s symptoms. He/She does this by looking at the whole person. The acupuncturist then attempts to restore balance by stimulating specific points on the body in order to correct any underlying imbalances.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?

While acupuncture is widely known to relieve pain, it is helpful for many conditions in which pain is not primary, including a wide variety of chronic conditions. Traditional acupuncture does not separate the mind and body. Instead, it looks at the whole person, including diet, lifestyle, and stress. Once the underlying imbalances have been corrected, the symptoms will often disappear because they are no longer necessary. Read more about conditions.

What is the relationship between acupuncture and conventional care?

As with all therapies, acupuncture is a particular form of treatment with its own limitations. It needs to be used in conjunction with other health-promoting attitudes and behaviors. In many cases, patients already being cared for by other practitioners will need to remain in their care.

Does it hurt?

Many people are worried or fearful about the use of needles. For Lawrence Tepper's patients, this is not an issue. He practices a style of Japanese acupuncture known as Toyohari, which uses a technique called non-insertion needling. In Toyohari, practitioners are taught to affect the person’s energy by resting the needle on the surface of the skin and directing their intention down the needle. This technique is highly effective while being absolutely painless. As such it can be recommended for many types of people who would normally be adverse to acupuncture: needle-phobic people, children and hemophiliacs.

How soon does one see results?

Factors to consider in terms of response include lifestyle, habits, length and severity of problems and general state of health. Individual progress needs to be evaluated in terms of each particular person. While some patients see nearly immediate gains, in general, one should see positive changes within 6 to 8 treatments.

What is recommended for those in treatment?

Various changes both subtle and profound may occur during or after a treatment. Your practitioner will monitor your overall progress as well as your most important concerns. Progress will be different for each individual. To enhance the value of therapy, the following procedures are recommended:

* Plan your activities so that you can rest and relax after treatment to allow you to gain the maximum benefits.
* Continue prescription medicine as directed by your physician.
* Be aware of changes in your patterns of behavior (sleep, energy, appetite, bowels, etc.).
* Cultivate respect for yourself and live in moderation.
* Be sure to get adequate rest, nutrition, and exercise.
* Learn to cultivate a positive attitude. Research has shown that the mind can be a meaningful aid in the healing process.

What can I expect when I see an acupuncturist?

Your initial visit is designed to help your practitioner understand your reasons for seeking acupuncture treatment and to assess the underlying problems leading to your symptoms. This session begins with an interview that includes both your personal and medical histories, and continues with a brief physical exam. It is conducted in complete confidence. The initial session lasts 1.5 to 2 hours. Subsequent visits last about an hour. You will be advised of the anticipated frequency of treatments after the initial session.

How can I find out more about acupuncture?

If you are considering treatment but need more information, you are welcome to schedule an initial 30-minute consultation with Lawrence Tepper, MS MAC in Frederick, MD at no charge.

Will insurance cover the cost of treatments?

Lawrence Tepper, MS MAC is a member of the Carefirst Blue Cross Network. Those with other insurers may be able to arrange coverage by using their out-of-network benefits. In either case, he will file your claims with your insurance company. Patients should check with their insurance carrier to see if reimbursement is possible.

Do you treat children?

Yes! Part of the training in Toyohari is to learn how to treat children. The Japanese have developed a style of pediatric acupuncture that utilizes special tools, none of which are invasive. Once children learn that there is no pain involved, they love to come in for treatment.

Contact Lawrence for a free 30 minute consultation. Offices in Frederick and Hagerstown.

Read more about Lawrence’s Services and conditions treated.