Acupuncture

Acupuncture for Boosting Your Circulation

Healthy blood circulation is a vital component of life for human beings. Without proper blood flow, life would cease to exist. Blood isn’t the only thing that’s important, it’s what the blood is carrying that makes circulation so important. Blood carries fresh oxygen, hormones and nutrients that we absorb from our food. Without these components, the organs and tissues of the body become depleted, weakened and eventually stop functioning. Any blockages in the veins and arteries can deprive the brain and the rest of the body from the needed oxygen, which can then lead to a plethora of other medical issues. continue reading »

5 Acupoints to Help You Navigate Your Stress This Winter

There are several acupressure points that are known to treat stress and stress related symptoms. It’s important to understand that acupressure is not the only form of treatment and having a balanced diet, exercise regime and lifestyle will also decrease the chances of stress being a factor in your life. continue reading »

Changes on Insurance Coverage for 2020

Yes, we DO accept insurance!

People ask every day, but of course the answer isn’t so simple.  Every insurance company has different plans, providers can be in or out of network, there are deductibles to be met, and limits applied.  Acupuncture, one facet of Traditional Asian Medicine, is relatively new in the United States, having only officially arrived in 1971, though Asian practitioners entered this country more than a century earlier.  Some specific insurance plans have covered acupuncture for over a decade, but with the recent outcries around the opiate crisis, a growing dissatisfaction with the current medical model, and the steadily amassing scientific proof of efficacy, our healthcare system as a whole is coming to embrace, if not yet the whole of Traditional Asian Medicine, at least acupuncture.  2020 is shaping up as a definitive year of change.

 

We have been an insurance provider for 4 different companies over the years, but have been accepting only Blue Cross/Blue Shield Rhode Island for the last decade or so.

Through them, we can also submit to any other Blue Cross, though they are separate companies, with their own restrictions.  Information on coverage for each of these companies must be obtained directly by the insured, as we do not have access. The FEP (federal Employee Program) is fairly liberal in their acupuncture coverage. 

 

We have received word that some BC/BS RI Medicare Plans, including at least BlueCHIP for Medicare Value (HMO-POS), BlueCHIP for Medicare Extra (HMO-POS), and HealthMate for Medicare (PPO) now cover acupuncture.  We will be able to submit these claims for you directly.

 

BC/BS Massachusetts has begun covering acupuncture this year.  Up to 12 visits per year, no referral required, normal specialist copay.  Check online or phone their office if you have a plan through them. 

 

For the past few years, acupuncture has been offered at various VA hospitals, Department of Defense Facilities, and in some battle zones.  It is clear that the military understand the value of this medicine.

 

We have been informed that TRICARE will likely be adding acupuncture coverage sometime early in 2020.  9.4 million uniformed servicemen, retirees, and their families may imminently be eligible for acupuncture and chiropractic care.  There will likely be limitations, such as those conditions listed below for Vets.

 

We are in the process of applying for providership to the US Veteran’s Non-VA Care Office via the Veteran Affairs (VA) Patient Centered Community Care (PC3) / Veteran’s Choice Program (VCP), and will definitely expand into TRICARE through this avenue.  So, US Vets, service people, and retirees should soon be able to utilize acupuncture as a resource for pain relief due to illness or injury, of the low back, of osteo-arthritic knees; nausea and vomiting after an operation or chemotherapy; mental health concerns including depression, and substance dependency.

Currently, a referral is required to take advantage of this service.  

 

One day they may expand this to also cover illness, fertility, and wellness treatments, paving the way for a happier, healthier service population.  I have had the pleasure of treating (and helping) a large number of our service people and their families, and I cannot imagine a more effective and economical health alternative for our hard working military.

 

Also starting This month, Tufts Health Plan’s (available in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire) fully insured commercial plans, including employee-sponsored plans, now allow for unlimited acupuncture treatments with one of Tufts network of acupuncturists: unlimited access, no authorization or referral required, for their standard specialist copay.  Plans previously offered 20 visits per year. Reimbursement for Out of Network providers can be gained through Tufts Health Forward.

 

Times are changing for insurance coverage of acupuncture, and this seems to be the year for a big surge!  The Opiate Crisis and active military use of the medicine have no doubt contributed. 

Medicare has only recently begun to consider acupuncture coverage, but reformation is on its way.  SO, call your insurance company, ask if they have made any changes to your plan, or whether there may be a more progressive plan for you.  While you are at it, check:

 

If acupuncture is covered

How many visits are paid per year

What your copay is

What your deductible is, and when it has been met: in network, and out of network limits may well be different.

Whether your provider needs to be in network, or whether further restrictions apply

(We are a BC/BS in-network provider)

 

Then schedule your appointments for a healthy 2020!  

 

You might consider regular visits to take advantage of this healthy option, keeping on top of illness and injury.  Schedule once a month, or quarterly, to stay balanced.

Stay Healthy This Winter with a Balanced Qi

Winter’s element is water and is associated with the kidneys, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is considered the source of all qi and energy within the body. Winter is also associated with the bladder and adrenal glands.

Focusing on inner reflection, rest, energy conservation and storage during the winter months is when it’s most important as it helps us to properly nourish our Kidney Qi.

Below are a few methods you can learn about and apply during this season in order to maintain a balanced qi. continue reading »

Winter Acupuncture: Governing Vessel 14

Governing Vessel 14 is called The Great Hammer. This point is located below C 7 on the spine. C 7, the seventh cervical vertebrae is the one which is the most prominent. Traditionally the vertebrae were referred to as hammers because of their resemblance to the tool. This point is great because it is the intersecting point for all of the Yang meridians in the body. In winter time, this point is often used to treat colds and other illnesses that are common this time of year. continue reading »

Five Self Care Tips for Winter

Traditional Chinese medicine teaches that humans should live in harmony with the seasons. According to traditional Chinese medicine there are five seasons: winter, spring, summer, late summer and fall. Each season has many associations that help us change our habits, allowing for a more balanced mind and body. When these systems were being developed, people were living in harmony with nature. People rose with the sun, ate what was available during the different seasons and they were much more aware of their natural environment. What to wear, when to wake up, when to go to sleep and what activities to engage in were all dependent on the weather and the environment. Because of this, people were capable of staying healthy throughout the year and their immune and organ systems were strong enough to ward off disease. continue reading »

Acupuncture for Kids

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children, because our conventional medical system is faltering a bit. Pharmaceuticals are proving to be more harmful than beneficial for many people, especially kids, whose brains and bodies aren’t yet fully developed. continue reading »

3 Reasons Acupuncture Supports Couples Facing Infertility

When you consider all the changes in our agricultural practices, the increased number of medications we take, as well as our dependence on plastic and technology that is constantly emitting low-grade radiation, it’s no surprise more couples are having trouble conceiving. Current statistics show one in six couples who are trying to conceive are facing fertility issues. And while many times infertility is thought of as a female issue, it is really a factor for both the man and woman and should therefore be addressed as such. continue reading »

Five Self Care Tips for Fall

Fall is a favorite season for many people. The weather starts getting a little cooler, things are beginning to slow down and preparations for the holidays are in full swing. For many others, fall is not so festive. Many people get sick during the fall months, allergies can flare up for some, and many don’t like the steady decrease in hours of sunlight, sometimes leading to seasonal depression. Here are some tips on how to get through the season without incident. continue reading »

TCM and Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that disrupts normal function of the epithelial cells in the body.  Epithelial cells line the passageways of many of our vital organs, including the lungs, liver, kidneys, reproductive system and the skin. Those who have cystic fibrosis have a defective gene that impairs epithelial cell function. This can lead to a buildup of sticky mucus throughout the body that may eventually lead to lung damage and chronic coughing, affecting how patients with cystic fibrosis breathe and filter air, digest their food and absorb the nutrients from that food. In the United States alone, there are nearly 12 million people who suffer from this disease. Unfortunately, there is no known cure and most of those affected with the disease only live into their 20s and 30s. Current modern medicine treatments focus on increasing the quality of life by managing symptoms. continue reading »