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Today more Americans are using complementary and alternative care to help manage or prevent many health conditions. Many adopt them as part of their cultural and personal beliefs and to promote a greater sense of emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being.
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Acupuncture - FAQ

What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a therapy that promotes natural healing and improves body function. This is done by inserting hair-thin needles into the body at precise locations that have been shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. The treatment is often supplemented by applying heat or electrical stimulation.

What conditions can acupuncture treat?
The National Institutes for Health considers acupuncture useful in the treatment of muscle pain, osteoarthritis, lower back pain/sciatica, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, headache/migraine, women's health issues, morning sickness, allergies and asthma, stroke rehabilitation, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Acupuncture may provide relief for other conditions as well. Talk to your acupuncture provider to see if acupuncture can help you.

Do I need to be a Kaiser Permanente member to receive acupuncture treatment?
The Kaiser Permanente Center for Complementary Medicine is open to everyone. You do not have to be a Kaiser Permanente member to come to our facilities and receive chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage treatment. Whether you are a member or nonmember, you will receive the same high-quality care.

Do I need a referral from my primary care physician?
No. You may contact the Center for Complementary Medicine directly to learn more about the services provided or to book an appointment.

What will my first acupuncture treatment be like?
Acupuncture is performed in sessions that generally last 30 to 60 minutes. During the first session, your acupuncture provider will talk with you about your medical condition, health history, and lifestyle, and design a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. If you are a Kaiser Permanente member, your primary care provider will be notified that you have come in for acupuncture treatment so that he or she can work with your acupuncture practitioner.

How does acupuncture feel?
Acupuncture is performed with sterile, hair-thin needles. When your practitioner inserts the needles, your may have brief sensations of dullness, aching, or a radiating feeling (responses vary). All of these sensations are good. They indicate that the body is responding to the treatment. Most people find their acupuncture treatments pleasant and relaxing. 

How many treatments will I need?
The number of treatments you need will depend on the duration, severity, and nature of your health condition. Some acute conditions may only require a single treatment. Chronic conditions that have progressed over several months or years may require several visits. As part of your initial visit, your acupuncture provider will develop a treatment plan and talk with you about the number of visits you are likely to need.


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Unless your coverage includes a separate rider for chiropractic and/or acupuncture benefits, the products and services described here are provided on a fee-for-service basis, separate from and not covered under your health plan benefits, and you are financially responsible to pay for them. Clinical services are provided by providers or contractors of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado, or employees of either Health Plan or Colorado Permanente Medical Group, P.C. Results of services vary among patients and cannot be guaranteed. For specific information about your health plan benefits, please see your Evidence of Coverage. Photos of models shown, not actual patients.

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