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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Oriental Medicine?

Oriental Medicine is a holistic medical system that has developed over the last 2500 years and is used to maintain health and treat a wide range of illness. The three main branches of Oriental medicine are acupuncture, herbology, and bodywork. The focus of Oriental medicine is on the patient’s well-being, rather than treating specific, isolated symptoms. As a holistic medicine, the goal of Oriental medicine is to restore balance between a person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles on various points on the body’s surface to influence physiological functioning of the body. Acupuncture mobilizes and regulates qi and blood to invigorate the physiological function of the muscles, nerves, glands, and organs.

What is Medical Acupuncture and what are the differences in the acupuncture training of a Registered/Licensed Acupuncturist/Licensed Oriental Medical Practitioner (R.Ac. /L.Ac./L.OM) compared to a Medical Doctor (MD), a Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), or a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) who performs acupuncture?

Typically a Registered or Licensed Acupuncturist/Oriental Medical Practitioner (R.Ac./L.Ac/L.OM.), whose primary training is in Acupuncture and/or Oriental Medicine, has obtained a 3 to 4-year Master’s Level Degree or a Diploma from a school approved by the ACAOM (Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine). He or she has also been awarded the Dipl. OM (Diplomate in Oriental Medicine) or the Dipl.Ac. (Diplomate in Acupuncture) designation upon successful examination by the NCCAOM (National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine), which is the national certification standard used for licensing in most states, including Ohio. This training is used to treat a broad range of health issues, including chronic disease, and pain according to the tenets of Oriental medical theory.

Typically a Medical Doctor (MD), Osteopath (DO) or Chiropractor (DC), receives no more than 300 hours of Acupuncture training. This training is most commonly used for treating pain and basic ailments. Medical acupuncture does not give credence to traditional Oriental medicine diagnosis or theory. Ask your physician about his or her credentials.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The short answer is no. Licensed acupuncturists have spent years training in needling technique to ensure that acupuncture is virtually a pain-free experience for our patients. When the needles are inserted, you may feel a quick pinch, but many patients report they do not even feel that. Once the needle is inserted, you may feel a sensation of heaviness, achiness, distention, soreness, tingling, warmth, or movement within the body, but you should not feel pain. Following needling, most people feel extremely relaxed and may even fall asleep while on the treatment table.

What are the acupuncture needles like?

Acupuncture needles are hair-thin, flexible, and made of solid stainless steel, unlike hypodermic needles which are thick, hollow and used for injections. Needle sizes range from ½ inch up to 5 inches long. Insertion varies depending on the nature of the problem, the location of the points selected, and the patient’s size and age.

I know that acupuncture is good at treating pain, what else can acupuncture treat?

The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized acupuncture and Oriental medicine as an effective treatment for numerous common ailments. For a complete and updated list, please visit the World Health Organization’s website at

What do the initials after the acupuncturist’s name stand for?

“L.OM." (Licensed Oriental Medical Practitioner) is the abbreviation used for state licensed acupuncturists who are also licensed to recommend herbal medicine and supplements and also use bodywork and nutrition counseling in the State of Ohio. There are many other certifications and designations that practitioners may obtain. Below is a list of the most common abbreviations and their meanings:

  • A.B.T. - Asian Bodywork Therapist
  • C.H. - Chinese Herbalist
  • D.A.O.M - Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (professional Doctorate degree similar to Ph.D.)
  • Dipl. Ac. - Diplomate in Acupuncture
  • Dipl C.H. - Diplomate in Chinese Herbology
  • Dipl. O.M. - Diplomate in Oriental Medicine (includes both acupuncture and herbs)
  • LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist
  • R.Ac.- Registered Acupuncturist, equivalent to Licensed Acupuncturist. Title used in states that do not give licenses to practitioners, only register them as practitioners (OH formerly used this title before passing state legislation)
  • L.Ac.- Licensed Acupuncturist, abbreviation used for state licensed acupuncturists in the State of Ohio that are also nationally certified. These practitioners are not able to recommend herbal medicine or supplements
  • M.S.T.O.M - Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine

Does my insurance/Med flex plan cover acupuncture?

To find out if acupuncture is covered by your insurance plan, call the phone number on the back of your insurance card. At this time, we are not able to process and provide insurance billing for my services. We can provide you with a receipt, or super bill, to submit to your insurance company.

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