FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does Acupuncture work?
From a Chinese Medicine perspective, Acupuncture works by stimulating your body's ability to regulate and repair itself. There are 12 main channels that carry energy or qi (pronounced "chee"), blood, and fluids to provide nourishment throughout our body. In a healthy person, the flow of these vital substances are freely moving in a state of dynamic equilibrium. When one of these channels becomes blocked or stagnant, pain, illness, and imbalances arise. Acupuncture works by re-integrating the flow of qi and clearing obstructions within these meridians to promote wellness.
From a Western Medical perspective, Acupuncture has been shown to influence the nervous, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, and immune systems to naturally facilitate the body's physiological and biochemical processes. During treatment, sterile, single-use, hair-thin pins are inserted into specific anatomical points along the body that have higher concentrations of superficial nerve endings and vasculature. When stimulated, these points send signals to the brain via the body's connective tissue (also known as fascia). By facilitating these signals, Acupuncture improves circulation and promotes the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins to reduce pain, decrease inflammation, balance hormones, and reduced stress.
Is Acupuncture used for stress relief?
Yes! Relaxation and improved sleep are the most common side effects of Acupuncture even if that is not what you are coming in for. We work with patients who experience trouble sleeping, adrenal fatigue, burnout syndrome, thyroid disorders, as well as other physical and mental-emotional conditions that arise from poorly-managed chronic stress. Patients use their treatments to take a break from being so busy, re-kindle their resilience to life stressors, and nap if they need to—which is encouraged. Acupuncture works is by shifting the body’s autonomic nervous system from a "flight or fight" (sympathetic) state to one that can "rest and digest" (parasympathetic). It is in that "rest and digest" state that your body is able to repair, regulate, and heal itself.
Is Acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is safe when practiced by a Licensed clinician. Lauren Dyer is Board Certified and Licensed through the NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine). Her rigorous 4 year graduate program emphasized Anatomy, Physiology, and Pharmacology amongst other bio-medical courses. In school, she gained 3,000+ hours of didactic and hands-on clinical experience treating an array of medical conditions. She is also certified in Clean Needle Technique though the CCAOM (Council of Colleges of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine). These certifications attest to her diligence, integrity, and dedication to providing safe clinical care.
What if I have a fear of needles?
Fear of needles is common and completely understandable. However, that fear typically comes from getting shots with hypodermic needles—and Acupuncture needles are drastically different. For starters, they are filiform (not hollow), flexible, and fine—just wider than a strand of hair or cat’s whisker. Acupuncture needles are so small that you can fit up to 20 of them inside a hypodermic needle. They also have a rounded—not sharp—end which makes them nearly sensation-free when placed. Your clinician, Dr. Lauren Dyer, has been trained for years in how to provide treatments that are gentle and painless so you can relax. Acupuncture does not (and should not) hurt, especially when working with a skilled practitioner. Patients often share how surprised thy are when the needles are in place because they did not feel them. If you have any other questions or concerns, please reach out. Your comfort is a priority and we are happy to reassure you prior to your appointment and the treatment itself.
How many treatments will I need?
Treatment frequency will depend on you, the severity of your condition, and how long you have had it for. Most patients attend multiple sessions over time and once their symptoms improve, we space treatments out from there. This is because Acupuncture works cumulatively. Treatments and any effects need time to build on one another to become long-lasting. It is more likely that you will experience quicker, sustained progress when treatments are scheduled consistently at the beginning. As a generalization, patients can experience some short-term changes after their first visit. However, for those changes to become long-lasting, consistency is key. In general for acute conditions, patients can begin noticing longer-lasting changes after 4-6 treatments; for more chronic and severe conditions, typically 8-10 treatments are needed to accumulate lasting relief. Your clinician will collaborate with you on a treatment plan that is personalized to your needs with the intent to give you the most effective care in the most efficient time frame possible.
I have seen Chiropractors in the past but they didn’t help, or the relief did not last. Why should I give you a try?
Typically when people think of going to see a Chiropractor, they envision getting their spine “cracked” or “manipulated” but that’s pretty much it. They think the “adjustment” is the main purpose for the whole appointment. That’s because most Chiropractic offices are set up so that once you check in with reception, you go into a treatment room to have a heating pad or e-stim applied for a few minutes, sometimes by an assistant, before the doctor comes in to adjust you. At some offices, appointments are even shorter—you might be in a room with several other people and the doctor will go down the line adjusting everyone. You might spend 10-15 minutes there, and be asked to return up to 3x/week for months receiving practically the same exact treatment.
Does this sound familiar? If you have had treatments like these you wouldn’t be alone: the majority of our patients who make their way to see us have described these scenarios as their only other experience with a Chiropractor.
You might feel better for a few hours after treatment but the truth is, by only adjusting the joints, this type of treatment does not address the underlying muscular issues that are actually what cause joint restrictions and pain in the first place. After all, the joints are a “passive” system, meaning they do not move on their own. It’s the muscles that control the movement of your joints in the first place. So if you have been told that your spine is “out of alignment,” the real culprit is typically dysfunctional muscles causing joint restriction.
THIS is where our philosophy of care and treatment style deviates from the norm...
We know that painful conditions are rarely isolated in the joints, which is why Dr. Travis Dyer always looks at the bigger picture by:
Connecting what muscles are involved (just because you feel pain somewhere does not mean it’s from that spot—sometimes it is “referred pain” from up or down the kinetic chain)
Recognizing when (and what) muscle(s) requires stretching, strengthening, or stabilizing to improve the patient’s condition
Treating the involved muscle dysfunctions with therapies such as Active Release Technique, Soft Tissue Mobilization (including Instrument Assisted like “Graston”), and PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretches—basically, a fancy way of pre-fatiguing the muscle to get a better stretch reflex
Assessing problematic movement patterns and educating patients on corrective exercises to restore mobility and reduce pain
To read more about Dr. Travis Dyer’s approach and how it’s different but effective, check out our article, “Not Your Average Chiropractor.”
Why don’t you take insurance?
We understand that not taking insurance can be an inconvenience. However, we work for our patients, not for insurance companies.
By not taking insurance, we are are able to provide higher-quality, personalized, and patient-centered care.
Being out-of-network allows us to offer the range of services and in-depth care we do without being limited to only what insurance would pay us for.
Operating independently of insurance also allows us to keep costs lower for our patients by not needing to hire additional employees or a third-party to take on the administrative work required to file insurance claims.
If you have insurance that covers our services, we are happy to accommodate by providing you with receipts that you can submit for reimbursement. Many patients also choose to apply their receipts towards their deductible. About half of our patients pay up-front for our services and accept these receipts afterwards because they appreciate getting quicker results, lasting relief, and an elevated patient care experience when working with us.