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Acupuncture FAQ

One of our most popular complementary care services is acupuncture. Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding this healing form that is over 2000 years old.

Q: What is acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture is the process of inserting very fine needles in the skin to help in the healing process. It is also used to “balance” the body internally which in turn promotes good health. (See the principles of acupuncture below.)

Q: I hate needles. Do they hurt going in?
A: Here are what some of our patients have told us (these are actual quotes):
  • I never felt them going in.
  • I hate shots but this did not hurt one bit.
  • I don’t know why I was so scared. I felt no pain.
  • I never realized the needles were so thin that they do not cause pain.
  • You must be kidding! You had 20 needles in me? Didn’t feel a single one.
    • A: The needles are very thin - almost like a strand of hair. They are inserted very superficially and our practitioners are trained in using painless techniques. Lastly, during acupuncture, the body produces natural pain killers called endorphins.
Q:What are the principles of acupuncture?
A: It is believed that there is an ethereal substance called “Qi” (pronounced “chee”). Qi is inhaled through the lungs at birth and then circulates through specific channels called “meridians”. (Some consider Qi as a gift from Heaven and that Qi is the “life force”.) When Qi gets deficient, polluted, out of balance or stagnated, the person feels unwell. Acupuncture helps restore the balance of Qi by clearing blocked meridians, strengthening deficient organs and calming hyperactive organs.

Q: Is there any scientific basis for acupuncture?
A: There have been a lot of scientific studies done on acupuncture. It is now well understood that acupunture stimulates the brain to secrete morphine-like substances called endorphins which reduce pain. Acupuncture channels (“meridians”) have also been identified in some studies as distinct channels separate from lymph and blood vessels. Several hospitals now use acupuncture for pain management and in their detox clinics. Studies in depressed patient have shown reduction in medication usage when acupuncture is used. Studies are ongoing. Unfortunately, double blind studies (the golden yard stick for scientific validity) are difficult to do with acupuncture and Qi is a mystical substance that probably can never be isolated. One thing is certain, however, that acupuncture patients have noted dramatic improvements in their sense of well being. (See related article “Science of acupuncture” at our web site).

Q: What is acupuncture used for?
A: In parts of the Far East,acupuncturists are so popular that they outnumber medical doctors. Acupuncture has been used to prevent illness, maintain wellness, relieve pain and as an anesthetic.

At the Saugerties Wellness Center, we have used acupuncture successfully to treat pain (back pain, neck pain, arthritis pain, carpal tunnel pain, leg cramps etc;).

We have also used acupuncture to help people with:
  • Fatigue including CFS/CFIDS (Chronic fatigue/immune deficiency syndrome)
  • Lyme disease
  • Arthritis
  • PMS (Pre menstrual syndrome)
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Immune deficiency
  • Depression
  • Anxiety including Panic Attacks
  • Asthma
  • Cancer related symptoms
  • Allergies
  • Stroke rehabilitation
  • Hypertension
  • Narcotic detoxification
  • ............... and a lot more.

By far our most requested acupuncture treatments are for:

Q: Is Acupuncture covered by health insurance?
A: Some insurance companies including No-Fault automobile insurance and worker’s compensation do cover it.You are advised to contact your company.

Q: How much does it cost?
A: At Saugerties Wellness Center,the cost is $70 per session (slightly more for electroacupuncture).

Q: Who performs acupuncture at Saugerties Wellness Center?
A: We have 1 acupuncture provider, who graduated from Tri-State Institute of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, a well known acupuncture school whose faculty includes several internationally reknowned acupuncturists.

Our acupuncture provider is Ravi Ramaswami, M.D., C.Ac., a family physician certified in acupuncture who is:
  • Board Certified in Family Practice (American Board of Family Practice)
  • Board Certified in Medical Acupuncture (American Academy of Medical Acupuncture)

Please call us with any questions at 845-247-WELL or contact us through our web site.