frequently asked questions 

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture stimulates the body’s own natural healing mechanisms that work to maintain a state of balance, known at homeostasis.  Our bodies naturally produce a wide variety of pain-relieving substances, anti-inflammatory chemical agents, hormones, immune enhancers and so forth.  Acupuncture helps the body use its own healing resources and processes to naturally heal an illness and/or disease. 


Do you take insurance? 

We are currently accepting out of network insurance coverage with Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Mail Handlers (Coventry).  Insurance coverage of acupuncture varies policy to policy.  If you would like to know if acupuncture is covered under your policy, please let us know and we will gladly check for you.  

Why should I go to Alma Acupuncture and not my other practitioner? 

Adrianne Ortega, is a licensed acupuncturist.  At Alma Acupuncture your acupuncturist has undergone extensive training for four years to become a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist.  Please look at the chart below to learn more about acupuncture education.  

 Contact hours in acupuncture education Practitioner Title  Application
3 - 4 years (1,100 - 1,500 hours in acupuncture ) 

Usually a Licensed Acupuncturist (LAc) has obtained a diploma from a certified accredited college and has passed all of their national board exams administered by the NCCAOM.  

A broad range of health issues, including chronic disease, internal medicine, rehabilitation, and prevention.  

300 hours or less in acupuncture 
Usually a medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or chiropractor who uses acupuncture as an adjunctive technique.  The World Health Organization (WHO - click here ) recommends atleast 1,000 hours of training for acupuncture.

Pain, basic ailments
100 hours or less in acupuncture 
Usually a detox/auricular acupuncture technician or chiropractor (detox technicians are usually limited to 5 needles per year.) 
Addiction and pain
Continuing education seminars typically provide 40-50 hours contact hours for "dry needling" 
Usually a physical therapist who uses an acupuncture needle to perform dry needling in the treatment of muscle trigger points.

Muscular-skeletal pain

What do the needles feel like?  

The acupuncture needles are sterile, fine and single use only. They are inserted very shallow.  Some patients describe a slight prickling or heavy sensation when the needle enters the body, but most do not feel pain.


What can acupuncture treat?

The short answer is EVERYTHING!

Modern science has completed many investigations into the scientific authenticity of acupuncture.

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective method to treat a wide variety of conditions. This includes:

Respiratory:  Allergies, asthma, sinusitis, tonsillitis, common cold, flu

Circulatory:  Anemia, arteriosclerosis, hypertension

Gastrointestinal:  Chronic diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, abdominal pain,  acid reflux

Gynecological:  painful menstruation, irregular menstruation, PMS, menopause

Neurological:  Headache, migraine, post-operative pain/recovery, stroke recovery, facial pain & palsy, trigeminal neuralgia, dizziness, vertigo

Musculo-skeletal:  Lower back pain, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome, general pain

Urogenital:  Stress incontinence, urinary tract infection, sexual dysfunction

Emotional: anxiety, insomnia, stress 

*World Health Organization, 2003 and American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, 2004

Please call Alma Acupuncture today to schedule an appointment at 915.201.9303.

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