Do I need a physician’s referral for acupuncture?
No. A referral is not required for an appointment. The staff at IAOM work closely with many local physicians and are happy to share your progress with your providers if you request it. A referral is necessary for veterans receiving benefits from the VA.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncturists are required by law to use disposable, one-time-use sterilized needles.
Since bleeding is minimal and it is necessary for the acupuncturist to feel the needle as it punctures the skin there is no need for acupuncturists to wear gloves.
It is quite reassuring to review the medical literature and not find one documented case where an acupuncturist has transmitted a “personal” infectious disease to a patient or vice versa. Our providers are certified by the acupuncture profession’s Clean Needle Technique, a certification which is a requirement to be a licensed acupuncturist.
Will acupuncture hurt?
Usually no. There is a sensation when the acupuncture needle is inserted, which most people do not describe as painful. The gauge of the acupuncture needle is 3 times smaller then a hypodermic needle, used for most blood draws.
Children have been known to not even notice when an acupuncture needle is inserted. Patients often relax during their acupuncture treatment, many even fall asleep.
How deep do the needles go with acupuncture?
The depth of insertion as well as the angle of insertion, varies depending upon the location of the acupuncture point and the patient’s body size. Needle depth may be as shallow as 1/16 of an inch to several inches.
How many needles do you use with acupuncture?
The number of needles varies depending upon condition, we estimate the use of 10 needles per treatment.
How many acupuncture treatments will I need?
The number of treatments required and the frequency of treatments will vary depending upon your condition and your overall health. Your practitioner can best assess this question after your first appointment.
Acupuncture has an accumulative effect, often results are improved for a longer time after each session. A typical series of treatments may be 6 treatments once per week, with follow up visits once every two weeks for 1-2 months. For an acute condition, like sciatica, a patient may be seen a total of 3-4 times, over the course of 1-2 weeks and the condition is often resolved.
Licensed Acupuncturists are required to have obtained a Masters of Science degree in Acupuncture, a 3.5 year program offering over 3,000 hours of training. Our acupuncture providers, Kerry Boyle, Jennifer Etheridge, Jonathan Fleming, Jessica (Zizi) Zolten-Chandler, and Maria Leon attended acupuncture programs with requirements focusing on western sciences. Kerry Boyle is currently completing a Doctorate of Acupuncture, the highest level training available for acupuncture providers.
Degree programs require internships at local clinics where practitioners acquire clinical skills. After graduation, acupuncturists complete national examinations provided by the N.C.C.A.O.M. and apply for a state license. Vermont requires licensed acupuncturists to maintain their licenses via continuing education units each year. Kerry, Maria, Jonathan, Zizi and Jennifer are also nationally board certified in acupuncture and qualified Diplomates in Acupuncture, this is not a requirement but an additional certification the providers chose to maintain.
What is the difference between a licensed acupuncturist and other practitioners that offer acupuncture?
The training and competency of a licensed acupuncturist is in sharp contrast to the acupuncture training of some other healthcare professionals who typically receive 25-300 hours of abbreviated training in the basics of acupuncture, versus 3,000 hours of training for L.Ac’s. Experience levels may vary as well, as our providers specialize in utilizing acupuncture as our primary healthcare tool, every day.
Other healthcare professionals may only treat a limited number of points. Licensed Acupuncturists are trained in standard medical history gathering, safety, ethics, and recognition of when to refer patients to other health care professionals or consult with other medical practitioners.
What is an acupuncture treatment like?
Your first visit to IAOM will take a full hour. We ask patients to arrive early to complete an intake form, or download them here, asking about your health history. Your practitioner will spend time with you during your first visit to ask questions about your entire health history, even events that may not seem related to your primary complaint that day.
IAOM practitioners may use traditional diagnostic tools of looking at your tongue and feeling your pulses to analyze your condition according to traditional Chinese medicine. An individualized treatment plan will be created for you, using the five branches of Chinese medicine. Your treatment may include massage, cupping, moxibustion, nutritional advice, herbal therapeutics, or meditation techniques in addition to acupuncture. Each treatment is unique, depending upon your condition the day of your treatment. Follow up treatments will take about 50 minutes. Your practitioner will review your condition with you and continue your treatment plan at each visit.
What is the cost for an acupuncture treatment?
Cost of treatment varies depending upon which procedures are required. We offer a time of service discount to our time of service (out of pocket) patients, as of March 2018 first visits are $125, return visits are $80. Additional fees for adjunctive therapies will be discussed prior to administration for your approval.
Co-pay’s vary; please check with your insurance company. We are considered “specialists” on most plans. The fee is due the day of treatment. We accept cash, check, and credit cards.
Will insurance cover my acupuncture treatment costs?
Insurance plans vary. The state of Vermont does not require acupuncture to be a covered service at this time, though many insurance plans do cover it. We recommend that you call the phone number on your insurance card and ask if acupuncture provided by a licensed acupuncturist is covered. We are CIGNA, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and United in network providers. Not all CIGNA or BCBS plans cover acupuncture. Some MVP plans cover acupuncture as well. We will bill your insurance directly if your plan includes acupuncture services.
We are in network with Optum, and are able to see veterans. A referral is required to receive acupuncture benefits through the VA.
We will bill other insurance companies for our patients as out of network providers if acupuncture is included in your plan.
Currently, acupuncture is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are eligible for acupuncture coverage. Please request a receipt or pay with your Flex Spending card at the time of service, a fee may be applied for requesting past receipts.
Workers Compensation and Personal Injury will usually cover acupuncture when an injury occurs at the work place or by an auto accident. Prior authorization is required. Please bring all information regarding your claim to your first visit.
Full payment for time of service patients, or co-pay or co-insurance if applicable, is due to IAOM on the day of your treatment.
We have offered $10 Group Acupuncture treatments in our Montpelier office since 2010 to provide treatment that is affordable for all. More information here.
We continue to work to achieve more access to our services via insurance coverage. Our providers are members of our national and state associations, lobbying on our patients’ behalf for equality in healthcare coverage. Let your state representatives know if you would like to see acupuncture become a mandated covered service in Vermont.
What should I wear to my acupuncture treatment?
Special clothing is not required to receive acupuncture. Many treatments do not require patients to remove any clothing. For some treatments body parts are best reached by disrobing. A cover/gown will either be provided or proper draping of sheet implemented if this is required. If you prefer to bring a change of comfortable clothes, please do so.
What are your hours of operation at Integrative Acupuncture?
A practitioner is available in Montpelier Monday- Thursday 8:00am-7pm and Friday 9am-5:30pm. We also offer Saturday appointments from 8am-12pm. Our Williston office is open 9am-12pm on Mondays, 9am-7pm Tuesday-Thursday and 9am-6pm on Fridays.
How do I reschedule an appointment at Integrative Acupuncture?
IAOM requires 24 hour notice to reschedule your appointment. Patients who reschedule with less then 24 hour notice will be subject to a fee. “No Shows” will be charged 100% of the scheduled treatment fee. Insurance will not cover “no shows” or late cancellation fees and are the responsibility of the patient. Please call 802-223-0954 to reschedule.