Commonly Asked Questions

What are acupuncture needles like?


The acupuncture needles used at Nashua Acupuncture Center are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Acupuncture needles are very different from the hypodermic needles used to give injections.  Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, solid stainless steel, individually packaged and disposable.  They are usually painless upon insertion, but you may feel a slight pricking, numbness, heaviness, or distended sensation in the area around the needle when it is inserted. If you experience discomfort at the site of needle insertion, the needle can be adjusted or removed and a new needle can be inserted.  Acupuncture needles are used only once and then disposed. 


Do you accept insurance?

yes! We currently accept Cigna and Harvard Pilgrim health insurance. Additionally, we offer a discounted rate for many plans for Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Tufts, Aetna and many others.  If you are uncertain whether or not you have acupuncture benefits, we recommend calling your insurance company.  We are happy to check your benefits for you as well.


What are acupoints and meridians?


Acupuncture points, or acupoints, are specific areas on the body that can access qi, or energy.  These points can have a positive influence on pain perception and physiological function when stimulated by a needle.  Acupoints are quite small and have a precise location along a meridian; a pathway of qi or energy flow.  The points are organized into twelve meridians which are named after corresponding organ systems in Chinese Medicine.  By inserting needles into the acupoints on the meridian pathways, the flow of energy is rebalanced, and the health of the system ultimately restored.

How many treatments are necessary?

Six to ten treatments are commonly recommended as an initial series of treatments. Acupuncture has a cummulative effect and it is beneficial to receive frequent treatments initially, as a loading dose.  Following the initial treatment schedule, your treatment plan will be adjusted based on your body's response.  In general, chronic conditions require more treatments than acute conditions.  However, each patient is unique and a treatment plan will be developed for each individual condition. 

What are the side effects of acupuncture?


Acupuncture is considered to be very safe.  One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is the absence of serious side effects associated with its use. Potential side effects include slight bruising around the area where a needle was placed and temporary light-headedness.   


How long does a treatment take?

Your initial acupuncture appointment will typically take 60-90 minutes to complete. This includes a thorough health history review and an initial acupuncture treatment. Your follow-up treatments will typically last for 45-60 minutes, depending on how long you like to rest, relax and enjoy your treatment.  


Do you have to schedule with a group of people for a community acupuncture appointment?


No.  Community acupuncture appointments are scheduled for individual patients. Patients receive their acupuncture treatment in a group setting as opposed to a private treatment room.  However, many patients are family members or spouses and book their appointments in consecutive time slots making their appointments more convenient for themselves and that much more enjoyable.