Birch Center Pittsburgh Acupuncture FAQs

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At the Birch Center, your comfort is important to us, so you are best able to relax and heal.

We provide a peaceful waiting space with reading materials, as well as spring water and tea.

We know you'll enjoy every visit with us, and that a healthy environment is an important part of the healing process.

What Can Acupuncture Treat?

We treat the person, not the disease, so really there is no limit to what acupuncture can treat.

Acupuncture helps the body regain balance thus alleviating symptoms and disease processes.

The World Health Organization has issued a comprehensive list of diseases and conditions which are treatable by acupuncture. Some of the more common conditions are:

Infections

  • colds and flus
  • bronchitis
  • hepatitis

Eyes-Ears-Nose-Throat

  • deafness
  • ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • menier's disease
  • earaches
  • poor eyesight
  • dizziness
  • sinus infections
  • sore throat
  • hay fever

Internal

  • hypoglycemia
  • asthma
  • high blood pressure
  • ulcers
  • colitis
  • indigestion
  • hemorrhoids
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • diabetes

Dermatological

  • eczema
  • acne
  • herpes

Musculo-Skeletal and Neurological

  • arthritis
  • neuralgia
  • sciatica
  • frozen shoulder
  • tennis elbow
  • back pain
  • bursitis
  • tendonitis
  • stiff neck
  • Bell’s palsy
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • headache
  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • polio
  • menier’s disease
  • dizziness
  • sprains

Genito-Urinary and Reproductive

  • impotence
  • infertility and miscarriage
  • pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • vaginitis
  • irregular period or cramps
  • morning sickness
  • Babies in breech presentation

Mental-Emotional

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • stress
  • insomnia

This is only a partial list. If you have any questions about what acupuncture can do for you, please give us a call at: (412) 381-0116, or email us at: BirchCenter@gmail.com.

Acupuncture FAQ's

Does acupuncture hurt?
Are the needles sterile?
Does acupuncture work?
How does acupuncture work?
How do you know what points to needle?
Are there any books to help me understand Eastern medicine better?
Can my child receive acupuncture?
Can acupuncture help me lose weight or stop smoking?
Can I get acupuncture even if there is nothing "wrong" with me?
What can acupuncture treat?
What is your training, and are you licensed?
Does insurance cover acupuncture treatments?
How can I set up an appointment?

Does acupuncture hurt?

No, the needles we use are extremely small and thin, some as thin as a hair. They are gently inserted and often people feel nothing when the needles go in. During your treatment as you rest on the table with the needles inserted, you may feel sensations such as tingling, warmth, lightness or heaviness at the needles or throughout your body—this is Qi, your life energy. It is usually a pleasant relaxing feeling.

Are the needles sterile?

Yes. We use sterile, disposable needles which are individually packed. We open them in front of you and dispose of them immediately after use.

Does acupuncture work?

Yes. Acupuncture is over 3000 years old and is used in many parts of the world: China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Europe as well as the United States. Acupuncture is relatively new to the US, having only been practiced since the 1970’s, though most likely immigrants from East Asia used acupuncture within their own communities before that.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by the needling of specific points where energy is blocked or not flowing smoothly. This allows the body to adjust its energy flow and bring itself back to balance. When Qi, or life energy, is balanced there is no pain or disease. Pain and disease, whether physical, mental or emotional, are symptoms of energy imbalance. In acupuncture, we treat the person, not the disease, which is why acupuncture has been found, by the World Health Organization, to be effective for such a wide variety of ailments. (see later FAQ) Once the energy comes into balance diseases, even those that cannot be diagnosed or treated by Western Medicine, such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, can often be alleviated.

How do you know what points to needle?

Based on a traditional Chinese medical diagnosis, which consists of looking at the tongue, which reflects the internal organs, feeling 12 pulses, which reflect how the energy is flowing through the body, observing signs and listening to your symptoms. This diagnosis is much different than a Western diagnosis, and we base where we put the needles based on this.

Are there any books that can help me understand Eastern medicine better?

We recommend The Web That Has No Weaver, by Ted Kaptchuck, and Between Heaven and Earth, by Harriet Beinfield and Efrem Korngold.

Can my child receive acupuncture?

Yes. The needles are small, thin and not painful. Children often respond quickly to treatment. Also, needles do not need to be retained as long with children, allowing for shorter sessions.

Can acupuncture help me lose weight or stop smoking?

Yes, acupuncture can help with these processes, because acupuncture treatments will help balance your energy thus reducing cravings. Acupuncture can help with weight loss whether the cause is emotional or physical—such as hormone imbalance or a constant feeling of hunger. Click here for the complete answer to this most commonly asked question.

Can I get acupuncture even if nothing is "wrong" with me?

Yes! This is often the best time because imbalances show up in your energy field before manifesting physically. We can pick up this imbalance based on your pulse, tongue and other observations we make, and the energy is then balanced quickly and easily. We especially recommend coming in at the change of seasons because people are more prone to imbalance at that time.

What can acupuncture treat?

We treat the person, not the disease so really there is no limit to what we can treat. Acupuncture helps the body regain balance thus alleviating symptoms and disease processes. However, the World Health Organization has issued a comprehensive list of diseases and conditions which are treatable by acupuncture. Some of the more common conditions are:

    INFECTIONS:
    • colds and flus
    • bronchitis
    • hepatitis
    EYES-EARS-NOSE-THROAT
    • deafness
    • ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
    • menier's disease
    • earaches
    • poor eyesight
    • dizziness
    • sinus infections
    • sore throat
    • hay fever
    INTERNAL
    • hypoglycemia
    • asthma
    • high blood pressure
    • ulcers
    • colitis
    • indigestion
    • hemorrhoids
    • diarrhea
    • constipation
    • diabetes
    DERMATOLOGICAL
    • eczema
    • acne
    • herpes
    MUSCULO-SKELETAL and NEUROLOGICAL
    • arthritis
    • neuralgia
    • sciatica
    • frozen shoulder
    • tennis elbow
    • back pain
    • bursitis
    • tendonitis
    • stiff neck
    • Bell’s palsy
    • trigeminal neuralgia
    • headache
    • stroke
    • cerebral palsy
    • polio
    • menier’s disease
    • dizziness
    • sprains
    GENITO-URINARY and REPRODUCTIVE
    • impotence
    • infertility
    • pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
    • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
    • vaginitis
    • irregular period or cramps
    • morning sickness
    MENTAL-EMOTIONAL
    • anxiety
    • depression
    • stress
    • insomnia

What is your training, and are you licensed?

Both Melissa and David Sokulski graduated from the New England School of Acupuncture outside Boston, MA. This is the oldest acupuncture school in the country. It is a three year graduate program, which includes summer semesters and a supervised clinic, with classes in anatomy and Western Medicine as well as the Eastern medical classes. Dave and Melissa both also studied Chinese Herbology for three years, and received masters degrees from the school. They then passed the National Examination in acupuncture which includes Clean Needle Technique, Medical Theory and Point Location. They both currently hold PA acupuncture licenses issued by the PA board of medicine.

Is acupuncture covered insurance?

Many insurance companies now cover at least 80% of the cost of acupuncture treatments. We ask that you pay up front, and we will give you receipts to submit to your particular insurance company.

How can I set up an appointment?

You can send us an email to BirchCenter@gmail.com, or call us at (412) 381-0116.


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