What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a holistic medical practice that has existed for more than 3,000 years. It is utilized by nearly one-third of the world’s population as a primary health care system or adjunctive therapy. TCM includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition/lifestyle counseling, Tuina massage, cupping, guasha, moxibustion, and Qigong. At the heart of Chinese medicine is the principle of treating the person as an integrated whole in body, mind and spirit. The goal is to return the body to a balanced state by addressing the root cause of illness and dis-ease, not just the symptoms.
What is acupuncture and does it hurt?
Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points along the meridians of the body. It has been found to promote natural healing through the release of endorphins for pain management, increased blood circulation, and general physiological balance. A number of sensations may be felt during an acupuncture treatment such as a dull ache, tingling, movement, or itchiness. This is generally an indication that the acupuncture is working; however, at any point a needle can be adjusted or removed depending on an individual’s comfort level. In general, most people find treatment relaxing and restorative.
What does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture can positively affect a wide variety of conditions and symptoms as follows, although not all-inclusive.
Acute and chronic pain
Anxiety, depression, PTSD
Arthritis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
Asthma and allergies
Common cold, sore throat
Digestive problems (i.e., gas, bloating, reflux, constipation, diarrhea)
Ear and eye problems
Fibromyalgia, other autoimmune diseases
Immune system support
Infertility and In-vitro Fertilization
Menstrual and menopausal issues
Nausea, morning sickness
Numbness and tingling
For complex medical conditions, such as cancer or progressive neurological disorders, acupuncture is often supportive and provided as an adjunct to other medical treatments.
Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries: Motor vehicle accidents can cause a variety of physical pain, in addition to insomnia and mental-emotional distress. Please feel free to contact our clinic to discuss options regarding use of your PIP coverage for acupuncture treatment.
What are the requirements to practice Traditional Chinese Medicine?
To become a competent and qualified TCM practitioner in the United States, it requires three to four years of full time post-graduate study at an accredited educational institution. Upon program completion, graduates are eligible for national board certification through the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Specific requirements vary by state; however, most states require national board certification as a prerequisite for state certification or licensure. TCM practitioners must adhere to stringent rules that ensure licensing and training is current.
Acupuncture hours at Mount Rainier Clinic:
Wednesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Accepted insurance for acupuncture:
Aetna** (restricted codes, mostly pain related)
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program
Cigna** (restricted codes, mostly pain related)
First Choice Health
Group Health Options** (through First Choice)
KPS Health Plans
LifeWise Health Plan of WA
PHCS Cypress Business Administration
Premera Blue Cross
Regence Uniform Medical
Regence Federal Employee Program
VA Provider Choice Program
Insurance must be billed if it is one of the above-mentioned companies. Please verify your acupuncture benefits within your individual insurance plan prior to your first visit if possible. If you do not have acupuncture benefits, please contact the clinic for our time-of-service cash rates.
For those individuals who would like a more affordable, accessible option for treatment, Kirsty has partnered with Kelly Skidmore, owner of Firefly Energy Center to offer a donation acupuncture clinic with guided meditation. This occurs in a group setting the 2nd Sunday of every month at Mount Rainier Clinic from 10am-11am. No appointments are necessary. Simply show up 10-15 minutes early, get comfortable, and enjoy the integrative benefits of acupuncture and meditation!
Contact Us today to schedule your free consultation to learn more about Mt Rainier Clinic and what we can do for you.