Does my insurance cover me?
Acupuncture is covered by the health insurance companies with policies that have additional coverage of alternative / complementary medicine.
As a member of the Zhong, a national body for acupuncturists in the Netherlands, my qualifications are recognised by the majority of health plan providers and it is likely that the health insurer will fully or partially compensate your treatments.
You can check here to see what your plan covers. Scroll to the bottom of the link and select your provider to view your policy details. It is also advisable to give them a call to double check in case anything has changed.
How does it work?
After a detailed discussion about you and your health, the acupuncture points are chosen specifically for your condition. (There are around 400 acu-points on the body which have different actions!)
By inserting very fine needles into these specific points, the flow of your body’s qi and blood is directed to activate your body’s self-healing ability.
From a biomedical perspective, there is a growing body of scientific research to explain what’s happening inside your body; One mechanism shows that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system which sends messages to the brain. The brain stimulates the glands in the body to release hormones and other neurotransmitters in the body, which amongst other things can:
- regulate fertility hormones – including lutinising hormone, Follicle stimulating hormone
- help reduce pain – by increasing levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, and release of endorphins and other neurohumoral factors (Pomeranz 1987, Zhao 2008)
- reduce inflammation - release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors (Kavoussi 2007, Zijlstra 2003).
- improve muscle stiffness and joint mobility by increasing local circulation (Komori 2009),
Recent clinical research studies have used MRI scans to show how acupuncture points activate different parts of the brain. Very exciting!
Is it safe?
- Acupuncture with a qualified and registered practitioner is one of the safest medical treatments, both conventional or complementary, on offer.
- It is suitable for people of all ages, including children and pregnant women.
- It can be used very effectively alongside other conventional medicines and in some cases in consultation with your doctor it can help reduce the amount of medication you take.
How does it feel?
- Acupuncture is a gentle treatment and should not hurt.
- The needles are very fine normally you will not feel them go in.
- You may feel a mild tingling or dull ache sensation once the needles are in but this is good because it means we have made a physiological change in the area and the brain is now aware of what we want it to do!
- Afterwards you may leave with a deep-seated sense of relaxation and so you may feel tired. For maximum benefit, try not to do anything too strenuous after a treatment.
How many treatments will I need?
It depends on the condition and how you respond to acupuncture. However...
Acute conditions tend to respond to a short burst of treatments, but chronic conditions take much longer as they are more deep-seated. In the latter you want to plan for up to 12 weekly treatments.
Usually people feel changes within 1-3 sessions. As the condition improves treatments become less frequent. Some people then come for ‘maintenance treatments’ as and when they need it.
Please contact me and I can give you a better idea based on your personal situation.
Nicola Allen, 0630108455.