Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

What is Medical Acupuncture?

What Is The Difference Between Medical Acupuncture and Ordinary Acupuncture?

How Do The Eastern and Western Approaches to Medicine Differ?

People, Not Problems

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Is There Scientific Proof?

Do I Have To Believe In Acupuncture For It To Work?

Is Acupuncture Recognized As A Valid Form Of Treatment?

Can I Have Acupuncture Treatments In Combination With Western Medicine Treatments?

Can Acupuncture Help Cure My …?

Will Acupuncture Work Immediately? How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Do The Needles Hurt?

Are The Needles Sterilized? Are The Needles Reused?

Is Acupuncture Covered By Health Insurance?

 

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a sophisticated, comprehensive and precise system of medical diagnosis and treatment. It has been practiced in China for more than 3,000 years. Western medicine, which is about 300 years old, typically involves the use of drug therapy to attack specific causes of disease or malfunction. Acupuncture, by contrast, involves the insertion of extremely thin, solid needles into specific body points to stimulate the body’s inherent self-healing mechanisms. Occasionally, mild electrical stimulation or heat, both of which are painless, are applied to the needles. Acupuncture is neither magic, nor is it a cure-all, but it has been proven effective for patients with a wide range of medical problems where the results of Western medicine often have been disappointing.
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What is Medical Acupuncture?

Medical Acupuncture combines Western medical knowledge with the principles of ancient Chinese medicine. A Western-trained physician specializing in Medical Acupuncture has combined classic Western medical training with extensive study and clinical practice in acupuncture.
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What Is The Difference Between Medical Acupuncture and Ordinary Acupuncture?

Ordinary acupuncture (often called traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM) is usually practiced by individuals who have no Western medical training. By contrast, a licensed physician specializing in Medical Acupuncture can make an informed, professional judgment as to whether a patient should be treated by acupuncture, by Western methods or by a blending of both and can act accordingly. A patient consulting with a Medical Acupuncture specialist has, in a very real sense, the best of both worlds. Since neither acupuncture nor Western medicine can cure each and every ill patient, the patient benefits greatly from seeing a physician who knows which treatment modality, or combination thereof, to select.
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How Do The Eastern and Western Approaches to Medicine Differ?

Western medical practitioners analyze symptoms and physical signs in order to discover a cause for a specific disease or other medical problem. Treatment most frequently involves isolating, altering, and/or destroying the perceived causes of disease through the use of drugs or surgery. Medical Acupuncturists, on the other hand, look at the whole person and at the body’s integrated reaction to disease or injury. Treatment is focused on enhancing the body’s inherent ability to repair and cure itself.

Acupuncture uses needles to stimulate the body’s self-healing mechanism. The physician trained in Medical Acupuncture looks not only at the specific disorder, but at the various relationships within the body at a given time. The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance within the body, so that balance, harmony, and ease will replace die-ease --- a positive approach.
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People, Not Problems

Another major difference is personalization. With Western medicine, almost everyone with the same problem receives essentially the same treatment. But a physician practicing Medical Acupuncture would rarely treat every patient suffering from the same malady in the same way. For a Medical Acupuncture physician, the problem is merely a symptom of a greater, hidden condition. The physician will use acupuncture to cure the underlying cause of the problem. The treatments are tailored and customized to the patient.

In other words, Western Medicine treats problems people have while Medical Acupuncture treats people with problems.
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How Does Acupuncture Work?

According to the principles of ancient Chinese medicine, the energy in the body, known as “chi,” flows through distinct channels called, “meridians.” Illness and disease occur when the energy flow is unbalanced or obstructed. Through the insertion of very thin, solid needles into precise points on the body, acupuncture influences, alters and balances the flow of energy within the meridians and the influenced organs, in order to reestablish harmony and thus eliminate disease. The physical influence of acupuncture comes from the tip of the acupuncture needle, which has a minute electrical polarity and, in conjunction with the body’s electrical energy, produces the desired effect on the chemical and electrical balances within the body.
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Is There Scientific Proof?

There is scientific proof that acupuncture works. About 40 years ago, a group of research physicians in France conducted a series of experiments which tested the chemical and electrical responses to the insertion of acupuncture needles. To everyone’s astonishment, the procedure brought about scientifically measurable electrical and chemical changes. In other words, the researchers found that the insertion of the needles produced reactions within the body which Western physicians thought could be achieved only through the use of drugs.

In November, 1997, the National Institutes of Health issued a report confirming what practitioners of acupuncture have known for more than 3,000 years --- ACUPUNCTURE WORKS!
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Do I Have To Believe In Acupuncture For It To Work?

No! The research physicians referred to above also tested the theory that the results achieved through acupuncture might be, to a great extent, psychological. They did this by administering acupuncture to animals. The results were clear --- the animals, who obviously had no preconceived notions about the effects of acupuncture, showed quantifiable improvement.
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Is Acupuncture Recognized As A Valid Form Of Treatment?

Definitely YES!!! The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a valid and successful system of medical diagnosis and treatment. Acupuncture is widely practiced in England, Europe, Russia and, of course, Asia. Over the past two millennia, more people have been treated successfully by acupuncture than by any other form of medicine.
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Can I Have Acupuncture Treatments In Combination With Western Medicine Treatments?

In most cases, the answer is, “Yes.” Acupuncture is widely used in combination with Western medicine, osteopathic adjustments, Chinese herbal medicine and homeopathic remedies. It is an obvious advantage to have acupuncture from a Medical Acupuncture Physician who can coordinate, supervise and prescribe the various forms of treatment you are receiving. Dr. Marshall H. Sager is a Board Certified Medical Acupuncture Physician who can provide patients with this broad range of knowledge and treatment.
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Can Acupuncture Help Cure My …?

As stated above, acupuncture is not magic. Like Western medicine, it is a sophisticated system of medical diagnosis and treatment. While it is effective for a wide range of ailments, there are some situations where it may not be applicable.

The advantage of using a physician trained in Medical Acupuncture is that a patient’s problems can be analyzed using both Western and Eastern medical knowledge and the most appropriate course or combination of treatments selected.
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Will Acupuncture Work Immediately? How Many Treatments Will I Need?

There is no set rule regarding the number of acupuncture treatments you will need to achieve your desired results. Treatment is a function of your specific ailment as it relates to you personally as an individual. Dr. Sager will fully discuss the duration of your treatment with you.
Does Acupuncture Have Any Side Effects?

Acupuncture does not usually have any side effects, although many patients feel calm and relaxed after acupuncture.
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Do The Needles Hurt?

The acupuncture needles usually do not hurt, because they are very thin and solid – unlike thicker, hollow hypodermic needles. Insertion of acupuncture needles is much less uncomfortable than a routine medication injection. There may be some slight discomfort immediately upon insertion, but once all the needles are in place, there should be no discomfort at all.
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Are The Needles Sterilized? Are The Needles Reused?

Dr. Sager uses only disposable, sterilized needles. There is no risk of transmission of disease or infection from these needles because they are disposed of immediately after use. Every time you have a treatment, new, clean, sealed, sterilized needles are used.
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Is Acupuncture Covered By Health Insurance?

Although many health insurance plans will cover physician office visits, most Pennsylvania health insurance policies do not cover acupuncture services per se. Occasionally, major medical policies will pay for acupuncture treatments.

This office will provide you with a receipt after each treatment documenting the appropriate diagnosis and procedures. This receipt can be attached to your insurance claim form and submitted to your insurance company for reimbursement, if applicable.

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