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What Is Acupuncture?Acupuncture in Eugene, Oregon

acupuncture needlesAcupuncture is the insertion of fine, sterile needles at specific points on the body’s surface. This activates the body’s Qi and promotes natural healing. Acupuncture needles are typically inserted at depths ranging from 1/8” to 1 1/2”. The sensation caused by an acupuncture needles varies. Some people feel a vague numbness, heaviness, or dull ache. Some people feel nothing at all. Acupuncture is extremely safe. There are no side effects. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded.

Health Conditions Treated by Acupuncture

I’ve successfully treated a wide variety of health conditions during my years in practice. I've provided descriptive details about the 5 health conditions that I treat with great regularity. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for a vast range of health conditions that I've listed at the bottom of the page. If you should have questions about these or other health conditions, please contact me for more information.

Click on the titles below to learn more about some of the most common conditions I treat.

Acupuncture & Peri-menopausal and Menopausal symptoms:

If you are a female between the ages of 45-65, it is possible that you are experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:  Insomnia, increased anxiety and emotional sensitivity, hot flashes, night sweats, lack of energy, reduced mental acuity, increased irritability, and decreased libido.

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine, along with a healthful lifestyle, are powerful tools that can help ease these uncomfortable symptoms.  Peri-menopause and menopause are not disease processes, but rather, are normal and natural parts of our Life’s journey as women.  It has been my pleasure to help dozens of women through this time of transition.  If you or someone you know is struggling with any of these uncomfortable symptoms, please contact me for a consultation.

Acupuncture & Seasonal Allergies:

Seasonal allergies affect about 50 million Americans.   55% of Americans test positions for at least one allergen.  Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease.  If runny nose, itchy throat, sneezing, itchy eyes, wheezing and asthma are negatively affecting you, please consider acupuncture and allergy elimination therapy.  This natural therapy has enabled me to help dozens of men, women and children enjoy their time indoors and outdoors without symptoms or the use of medication.

Acupuncture & Stress:

The ancient Chinese physicians believed that emotional stress was the precursor to most disease processes.  It is critical that we manage our stress levels in order to prevent it from negatively influencing our lives and our health.

If you find yourself feeling rushed, having racing thoughts, lacking mental clarity, sleeping poorly, eating at irregular times, consuming poor-quality foods, or feeling driven by your life, please consider acupuncture as a tool to help you maintain emotional equilibrium and equanimity.  The most wonderful side effect of acupuncture is that most patients experience a deep state of quietude and peacefulness during their treatment that may then be taken into their lives and into the world.

Acupuncture & Sciatica:

Sciatica is one of the conditions I treat mostly frequently.  Low back or hip pain that twinges down the side or back of the leg is a commonly occurring ailment for both men and women.  It may occur as a result of an accident or injury.  Acupuncture provides swift pain relief and strengthening to the area as it gently rebalances the pelvis and lower spine.

Acupuncture & TMJ Pain:

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ is a common condition.  Whiplash injuries, teeth grinding, or stress interfere with the muscles that enable the jaw to smoothly move side to side and up and down, resulting in facial pain and pressure.  Acupuncture gently rebalances the jaw and cervical muscles so that the pressure on the joint is released and pain is relieved.

Additional Questions About Acupuncture

You may also refer to the FAQ page for additional questions.

Q: How safe is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe.

A patient may experience bruising at an insertion site. These bruises are small and will heal within two or three days.  There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are factory-sterilized, used once and then discarded.

The most common side effect of acupuncture is a feeling of deep relaxation and well-being.

Q: Can children be treated with Acupuncture?

Yes! In fact, children frequently respond more quickly than adults to treatment.

If your child is afraid of needles, I may perform acupressure, which is the massaging of acupuncture points. Or I may use a laser to stimulate an acupuncture point.   Both types of treatment are non-invasive and painless.

Q: What are acupuncture needles like

Acupuncture needles are typically fine and flexible.  They are as big around as three human hairs.  Most needles are stainless steel.  However I do occasionally use needles that are gold, or zinc and copper.  These needles have specific uses.

Most patients are amazed at how comfortable needling is.  Sometime a patient will feel a dull ache or an electrical sensation at a needle site.  Frequently a patient won’t feel anything.

Q: What is the scientific explanation for how acupuncture works?

There are three major scientific theories about how acupuncture works. The first theory actually recognizes that meridians do exist and connect the body’s organs in a specific way. According to this theory, acupuncture increases activity along the meridians and influences and optimizes organ function. Scientists have also theorized that acupuncture works, in part, by increasing the brain’s production of endorphins. These chemicals influence the body’s awareness and experience of pain. The last theory, the “gate theory” suggests that acupuncture works through the nervous system by triggering signals that interrupt pain messages sent to the brain.

Q: I am afraid of needles. Can I still receive treatment?

Yes. Acupuncture points may be stimulated using several different techniques.  Acupressure is the stimulation of an acupuncture point by the use of massage and pressure.  Acupuncture points may also be stimulated using a laser. Both of these options are comfortable and painless for the patient.

Other treatment modalities include moxibustion, which is the warming of an area of the body using an herb from the mugwort family, called moxa. Moxa comes in a cigar form or individual cones that are burnt near the surface of the skin. The penetrating warmth is very soothing to the body.

Gua sha is a treatment modality that stimulates acupuncture points and meridians by gently scraping the tissue with a jade or plastic tool. Massage oil is applied and then the affected area is scraped with light to moderate pressure.

Cupping is a treatment modality that stimulates acupuncture points and meridians with the use of suction. Massage oil is applied and then suction cups are placed on the surface of the body. This treatment may leave slight bruises that heal within two to three days.

Please don’t hesitate to ask Heidi about the use of any of these treatment modalities.

Q: How should I prepare for my Acupuncture treatment?

Please wear loose and comfortable clothing to your treatments.  This allows me to access different areas of your body easily and comfortably.

Please eat a light meal an hour or two before your treatment. It is important that you do not come to your treatment hungry.  This can result in the patient experiencing dizziness, light-headedness, or slight nausea.

Please avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol on the day of treatment.

If you take prescription medication for a health condition, please continue to do so.

Please brush your teeth on treatment day, however, PLEASE DO NOT brush your tongue.

Above all else, please relax and enjoy your treatment.  This is an investment in your health.

Q: What Does Acupunture Treatment Cost?

Initial consultation and Acupuncture treatment $85.

Follow-up Acupuncture treatments $60.

Smoking cessation treatments (package of 10) $350.

Cosmetic Acupuncture treatments $100.

Chinese herbal products approximately $15-$25 per week.

I accept cash, personal checks, and most major credit cards.

Q: Is acupuncture covered by insurance?

Many medical insurance plans do cover acupuncture services.  Please contact your insurance company directly to inquire if you have an acupuncture benefit.  Actual acupuncture benefits vary depending on the plan.

Heidi is a Preferred Provider with Cigna, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Pacific Source.  This office will also bill Providence Medical and United Healthcare.

If you do not see your insurance company on this list, please contact me to discuss billing options.

Q: Is Acupuncture a service that is covered by PIP on my auto insurance?


Oregon law requires that your insurance company provide Personal Injury Protection Insurance regardless of who is “at fault” in an accident.  PIP, Personal Injury Protection is required to pay reasonable medical expenses for up to one year and $15,000.  Under PIP, acupuncture is a fully covered medical intervention.  A patient may seek treatment from a Licensed Acupuncturist without the need for a medical referral.

transSlice1.pngAcupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems.

  • Addictions — Alcohol, Drug, Tobacco
  • Anxiety
  • Asthma
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Pneumonia
  • Rhinitis (Runny nose)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Sinusitis
  • Incontinence
  • Colitis
  • Smoking cessation
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Stress
  • Dental pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Tonsillitis
  • Diarrhea
  • Tooth pain
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Pain
  • Emotional problems
  • Wrist pain
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchitis
  • Facial palsy/tics
  • Fertility
  • Gingivitis
  • Hiccough
  • Reproductive issues
  • Sciatica
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