Frequently Asked Questions

ACUPUNCTURE – CHINESE HERBOLOGY – QIGONG – CUPPING

How do I become a new patient?

Becoming a new patient with Thrive Acupuncture & Wellness is a simple process. The first step is making and appointment and downloading and filling out our new patient forms. See more details at the link below.

Become A New Patient

Both Alan and Nic are very thorough in asking lots of questions to understand your specific concerns and conditions. From this initial consultation, they will customize a treatment plan specifically for you. The first appointment takes a little longer to go through all the necessary questions – after that you can expect a treatment appointment to last anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

Why do people seek Acupuncture and Chinese Herb treatments?

The most common reason people seek Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs is they have symptoms or conditions that have not resolved with conventional care. Main-stream healthcare providers often prescribe pharmaceuticals and drugs with undesirable side effects. Or in other instances suggest unwanted surgeries to treat the condition. Many people seek permanent alternatives to expensive Western medicine drugs as well as seeking a more holistic approach to their health.

What types of conditions does Acupuncture treat?

At Thrive Acupuncture & Wellness, we treat many patients who get great results and are very responsive to treatments for fertility, hormone balance, pediatrics, back and joint pain, stress, anxiety, chronic fatigue, PSTD, migraines, metabolism and sport injuries. See our complete list here.

Additionally you can visit the Diplomate of Acupuncture brochure for additional information.

Acupuncture does way more than simply relieve the symptoms. The goal of Acupuncture is to treat the whole patient and restore balance between the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual. Many people also use acupuncture as a preventative treatment, which hands down, is the most important benefit.

Can Acupuncture help me even if I feel well and healthy?

Absolutely. Patients who get regular Acupuncture and Chinese Herb treatments find they stay healthier, have more energy and prevent other health issues from cropping up. Nic and Alan are trained and have the experience to detect subtle changes and red flags of patients they see on a regular basis to be able to address the issues in the early stages to prevent future problems.

How many treatments will I need?

A typical patient can expect a series of treatments to resolve a condition. Each person and case is unique – therefore we design custom health plans for each of our patients. Sometimes it can resolved in 1 or 2 visits, or in other cases we may recommend a longer consistent treatment plan. We typically require an initial discovery session which also includes your first treatment.

Are Acupuncture needles safe?

Yes. One of the most common concerns patients have before receiving acupuncture is about the safety of acupuncture needles. All acupuncture needles are single-use, disposable medical devices. Afterwards the needles are disposed in biohazard containers. At Thrive Acupuncture, we take safety very seriously and we have rigorous procedures in place to ensure any of our equipment is safe, sterile, and disposed of properly.

Another patient concern is regarding side effects from the needles. The most common adverse side-effects are small bruises and and the possibility of light-headedness after treatment.

Acupuncture needles are solid, not hollow like hypodermic needles. There is nothing added to them or inside them. The average thickness (gauge) of the acupuncture needles used is 0.25 mm. To give you perspective, a needle for drawing blood for a blood test is typically 0.82mm.

How long does a typical appointment last?

At Thrive Acupuncture and Wellness, we require an initial discovery session which also includes your first treatment. A typical appointment can be between 45 to 60 minutes in length with the discovery consultation usually lasting longer.

Does Acupuncture treatments hurt?

Most patients have stated that there is little or no pain as very fine, sterile, disposable needles are used. Treatments are available without the use of needles through Tuina (Asian Bodywork)  or Medical Qi Gong.

Can you tell me more about Chinese Herbal treatment?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine herbal medicine, also known as Chinese Herbology, is one of the primary modalities that is used to accompany and support Acupuncture. Chinese Herbology includes treatments with plants, roots, minerals and more. Like Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs have evolved as an integral part of Chinese medicine and is used alongside Acupuncture to re-harmonize imbalances in the body.

Chinese herb combinations are comprised of herbs formulated for each individual patient. This is crucial because these formulas must be delicately composed for the purpose of achieving balance in each disharmonious state of being. Even small deviations in dosage or herb composition can change the entire focus of the formula and therefore, the results.

Nic Krueger is a licensed and certified herbologist in Rapid City, SD where she keeps many of the most used herbs in stock.

Can children be treated with Acupuncture?

Children of all ages are treated and respond well to acupuncture and Chinese herbal treatment. In addition, young children that may be apprehensive of the use of acupuncture needles may be treated without needles using Tuina (Asian bodywork) and/or medical Qi Gong. In addition, herbal formulas are usually prescribed to enhance the acupuncture treatments and to provide further care between treatments as well.

Should I consult with my physician regarding getting Acupuncture or other Chinese Medicine treatments?

It is advisable to always inform your physician about any treatment that you are seeking and it is also very important to have a list of medications and supplements that you are taking available during your first consultation with your acupuncturist. Some physicians will also refer acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners to patients.

What is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong is a Chinese word which roughly translates to “energy skill”. “Qi” (pronounced chee), means the breath of life; the vital energy force that permeates and flows through all things .  It is similar to the yogic concept of “prana”.

Gong (pronounced gung, like”lung”) means skill in a given discipline, through training, cultivation, and focused, disciplined effort.  Together, the words refer to training, cultivation, and movement of vital energy, or the skill of working with the body’s electromagnetic field.

Alan Suhr holds a Master of Medical Qi Gong certification from the International Institute of Medical Qi Gong. Alan uses Qi Gong within his acupuncture practice as well as teaches classes throughout the area of the Black Hills.

Will Acupuncture and other Traditional Chinese Medical treatments be covered through my regular health insurance?

Some insurance companies cover acupuncture treatment and they stipulate that the practitioner be NCCAOM certified. In addition, a majority of flexible accounting spending plans will cover acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatment. It is recommended to call your insurance carrier to verify coverage and discuss options. We hope to get insurance billing in house by the end of 2014 to make funding your healthcare easier!

However if you receive VA benefits – Acupuncture treatments are covered. You must get a referral from your VA medical provider to Thrive Acupuncture & Wellness. We not only do the treatments and manage your care, but we also file the paperwork for you.

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