Shirley McWilliams Acupuncture, Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Acupuncture?

The term "acupuncture" describes a family of procedures involving the stimulation of anatomical points on the body using a variety of techniques. The acupuncture technique that has been most often studied scientifically involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or by electrical stimulation.

What to expect from my visits?

During your first office visit, the practitioner may ask you at length about your health condition. The practitioner will want to obtain a complete picture of your treatment needs. Inform the acupuncturist about all treatments and medications you are taking and all medical conditions you have.

What are the needles like?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates acupuncture needles for use by licensed practitioners, requiring that needles be sterile, nontoxic, and labeled for single use by qualified practitioners only. Most people are surprised to see how thin the needles actually are. The most commonly used needles is 15mm x .20mm. Generally, 3 - 10 needles are used per treatment. These are inserted about 1 - 3 mm into the body- deeper on fleshly areas.

What will I feel?

The sensation you will feel is tingling, pressure and/ or warmth. With the electro-acupuncture you will feel a light tapping. There should be no pain from the treatment. Some people feel energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed.

How long does the treatment last?

After the needles are inserted you are usually left to rest for a period of 10 - 30 minutes. Most people feel fairly relaxed during this period and many simply fall asleep.

What is the duration of my visit?

First consultation and treatment: allow approximately 30-45 minutes. Follow-up treatments: approximately allow 20-30 minutes.

Depending on the condition, acupuncture treatments are generally done once or twice a week for 2-4 weeks. Acupuncture may be done in conjunction with physical therapy or chiropractic on alternating days. For maximum effectiveness, it is important to attend the treatments once or twice a week since acupuncture is cumulative.

What are some possible side effects and risks?

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when preformed by an experienced practitioner using sterile needles. Relatively few complications from acupuncture have been reported. Serious adverse events related to acupuncture are rare, but include infections and punctured organs. Additionally, there are fewer adverse effects associated with acupuncture than with many standard treatments.

What does the treatment consist of?

Acupuncture or Electro- Acupuncture: The acupuncture needles are stimulated by a micro-current. This is used often and effectively for patients dealing with pain.

Infrared Heat- heat from the infrared heat lamp penetrates 1-3 cm into the skin and tissue. The deep heating relaxes muscles, spasms and improves microcirculation.

Myofacial Release- a safe and effective hands-on technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure onto the myofacial connective tissue restrictions to reduce pain and restore function. Other modalites may be included depending on the condition treated.

What do I need to do before my appointment?

  • Eat within a few hours of the visit
  • Try to avoid stimulants such as coffee or cigarettes
  • Dress in comfortable, loose fitting clothing
  • For upper body conditions for women, it is best to wear a spaghetti strap tank top
  • For lower body conditions it is best to wear loose shorts
  • Do not overexert your body before or after treatment

If insurance is PPO, or HMO?

No referral necessary with PPO plans

Does my insurance cover Acupuncture?

Currently we accept the following insurance plans:
  • AARLA
  • ALLIED MANAGED
  • ALIGN NETWORK
  • ANTHEM BLUE CROSS
  • BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY
  • BLUE SHIELD
  • BROADSPIRE
  • CHARTIS
  • CORVEL
  • COUNTY OF FRESNO
  • COVENTRY
  • ESIS
  • FARMERS INS. GROUP
  • FIRST COMP
  • FRESNO CITY
  • GALLAGHER BASSETT
  • HARTFORD
  • KAISER-CVT
  • LIBERTY MUTUAL
  • MEADOWBROOK
  • SCIF (State Compensation Insurance Fund)
  • SEDGWICK
  • SPECIALTY RISK INSURANCE
  • TRAVELERS INSURANCE
  • WELLCOMP
  • ZENITH INSURANCE
  • ZURICH INSURANCE
 
  • If your insurance is obscure and we do not know if it covers treatment, send us your insurance card via email or text, Please allow a full business day to confirm coverage.