How to Choose An Acupuncturist
I think we've all experienced that in every profession there are good apples and bad apples, more skillful people and less skillful, people who produce results and people who don't. The healthcare profession is not immune to this concept either. So the question is how do you know if an Acupuncturist is good, and how do you know which is the right one for you? At Achieve Integrative Health we are very direct and transparent, and whether you choose us to be your provider or not, here are some answers to some of the questions & fears that you may currently have.
Are All Acupuncturists the same?
No, just like there are great mechanics and not so great mechanics, great physicians and not so great physicians, great accountants and not so great accountants, there are great Acupuncturists that produce results and there are Acupuncturists that don't.
Most Acupuncturists are general practitioners, which is similar to a family doctor in that they treat a little of everything. At Achieve Integrative Health, we specialize in treating: Degenerative Eye Disorders, Chronic Pain, Neuropathy, Infertility & Female Health
How do you know which Acupuncturist to choose?
RESULTS. You want to make sure the acupuncturist has a great track record and the best way know that is to look for patient testimonials. More specifically, video testimonials. Just think about it, most people are camera shy, so it would take a lot of courage, joy and RESULTS for them to overcome their fear of the camera to share their experience. Many Acupuncturists have written testimonials, very few have video testimonials, which type of testimonial do you think is better?
EXPERIENCE. An experienced Acupuncturist knows the exact amount of treatments it will take to determine if acupuncture will be able to help you or not. At Achieve Integrative Health, we have initial testing protocol that we use for all new patients to help us determine if acupuncture will work for you or not. Majority of the time, it should only take 3-6 treatments to determine your rate of response to acupuncture, eye conditions take 10-12 treatments.
How will I know if Acupuncture can help me?
It's impossible to know if any Acupuncturist can help you without going through an initial trial of treatments. Acupuncture is not like surgery and medications, it is not replacing a function or organ or masking a symptom. Acupuncture is stimulating your body to heal itself again. An experienced Acupuncturist will know how many treatments it will take to test a person's body to know for sure if acupuncture will work or not. Acupuncture is Black or White, it either works or it doesn't. Most acupuncturists will tell patients it takes 10-12 treatments to know for sure if acupuncture will work or not. This is true when it comes to degenerative eye disorders; however for most other disorders it only takes 3-6 treatments to know if acupuncture will help you or not.
How much will it cost? and Can I afford it? is it worth the investment?
The short answer is, "it depends." It depends on two main factors: your rate of response to acupuncture and the cause of why your body refuses to heal itself. These two factors helps us to determine if we can help you, to what extent we will be able to help you and the investment that's involved. We say investment instead of cost because when you invest in something you get a return on your investment. Cost is synonymous to expense, you pay money out and get nothing in return. If you are concerned mainly about cost, then we recommend you choose the medication route, because it's usually covered by your insurance. However, be aware that medications will not fix your health problem and it will not stimulate your body to heal itself again; but it'll mask the cause of the your pain and symptoms, which means your body is falling apart, but you can't feel it.
The question to ask yourself is can you afford not to try acupuncture? Certain chronic degenerative disorders like macular degeneration and degenerative disc disease, only worsen with time. Sometimes taking medications help alleviate pain, but they do not slow down the degeneration process. Basically, your body continues to degenerate, but you don't feel anything, because you used medication to mask the pain. Eventually degeneration progresses to a point of no return, which means the structural damage is so severe there's no reversing it. By this time, surgery will be your only option. Even if you have insurance coverage for your surgery, you still have a deductible to pay, and what about the days off work you'll have to take to recover, and the post surgery therapy? In the end you end up with a medical bill of $20,000-$30,000 and lost wages, just because you chose to mask the problem with a $4 advil over the years. Instead of investing in fixing the problem or helping your body to heal itself, what could have been resolved with an investment of a few hundred dollars, will now cost you tens of thousands of dollars. So again, can you afford not to get your body to heal itself again?
Why don't I just choose the cheapest Acupuncturist in town?
You could, but let me ask you this, if your mother needed heart surgery how would you choose which heart surgeon to operate on your mother? Which criteria would you be considering? Age, cost, sex, race, location, years in practice, insurance coverage? Probably none of those, right? Most of us would want to find the surgeon who gets results and they have successfully performed the most heart surgeries and that would be our choice, right?
Acupuncture and heart surgery may seem completely different, because heart surgery is for a crisis situation, where as acupuncture is most effective in helping chronic situations. However, the selection process for both are exactly the same. If you chose a surgeon because of cost, age, sex, race, insurance coverage or location, and the surgery was not successful, the consequences are not reversible. Although acupuncture does not deal with crisis situations like heart surgery, there are still consequences when you choose the wrong clinic to go to. Practitioners who do not know how to use acupuncture to retrain your brain to heal your pain will end up costing you money, time, and irreversible damages due to improper treatment experience.
At Achieve Integrative Health, we have helped more people and performed more acupuncture treatments than majority of the surrounding acupuncture clinics in Austin, TX. Since 2007, we have helped over 5000 patients reach their health goals.