Traditional Chinese Medicine
Southern Pines, NC                       Drake Criswell, D.T.C.M., Lic. Ac.                     910-693-7905

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if acupuncture is right for me?
There is virtually no one who would not benefit from the comprehensive system of health care and health maintenance which Traditional Chinese Medicine offers. Athletes use TCM to achieve optimal performance levels.  Cancer patients use TCM to alleviate side effects of chemotherapy.  And the list goes on.  In fact, The Word Health Organization recognizes the use of acupuncture to treat hundreds of health related conditions. To see a list of conditions where acupuncture may be helpful click on the Conditions button to the left of this page. 
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What do I look for when seeking an acupuncturist?


There are several things one should consider when choosing an acupuncturist.

1) Board certification and State Licensing is essential in knowing your acupuncturist has received proper training and possesses the knowledge and skills required to provide you with safe and pleasant experience.  This will assure the patient is in the hands of a competent professional.  Drake Criswell is certified by the National Commission for Certification of Acupuncturist and Licensed by the State of North Carolina.  He is an active member of the American  Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the North Carolina Association of Acupuncturist.

2) Professional experience is also key.  As with all professions, choosing an acupuncturist with a wealth of  "hands on" experience is essential.  Drake Criswell has over twenty years of success in helping patients with all types of health related issues and concerns.  Drawing from past treatment cases, Drake will quickly and effectively assess your health concerns and work with you to develop a plan of treatment.

3) Sanitation.  Make sure the office and treatment rooms are clean and orderly.  Make sure the needles being used during treatment are pre-sanitized and disposable.  If you're not sure, ASK!  It's your right to know!
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What can I expect on my first treatment visit?

We recommend that all patients arrive for acupuncture treatments after having consumed a light meal, or at minimum, a light snack. Treatments received on an empty stomach have proven to not be as successful for the patient. Upon arrival for the first scheduled appointment each individual will be asked to complete a medical health history form detailing past and present medical conditions. Upon completion the patient will be accompanied by the practitioner to a treatment room where a thorough medical review and current evaluation will be made. During this evaluation the examiner will examine the area(s) of the body which are causing discomfort checking for size, color, consistency, tenderness, etc. He may also examine areas of the tongue and pulse of both wrist.  After careful review and observation the treatment will begin.  The patient will be asked to sit or lay on an examination table and the insertion of fine, hair like needles will be placed at different location of the body, each corresponding to the medians which serve the area causing the patient discomfort.  Although each treatment can vary, the approximate number of needles used will be somewhere between ten and 20.  After insertion, the patient can expect to lay comfortably under dimmed lights and soothing music for approximately 20 minutes.  During this time, the practitioner will make periodic checks on the patient to ensure your level of comfort.  For most patients, this is a perfect environment for a quick cat nap.  It's THAT relaxing.  In total, expect to spend at least one and a half hours in our office for your initial evaluation, consultation and treatment.  Thereafter, no more than forty-five minutes for subsequent treatments.  Drake promises it will be the best thing you have done for yourself all day!

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Does it hurt?

This is probably the very first question people ask when the topic of acupuncture arises.  And unfortunately there is no one word answer.  While most patients would answer this question with a resounding, "No", other might say, "Ever so slightly."  The truth is not everyone feels the same sensation as some people are just more sensitive than others.  However, for most patients, the concept of receiving acupuncture is are more intimidating than the actual experience.  Drake strives to make each treatment experience one of comfort and confidence.
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How much does it cost?

Compared to the cost of traditional western medicine and pharmaceutical products, the cost is low.  While treatment fees vary in different regions of the country, acupuncture is now being nationally recognized as a cost effective means to good health and healing.  Different modalities and therapies used during treatment may also effect the cost of your treatment.

For a specific quote please contact our office at (910) 693-7905.

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Will my insurance company pay for my treatments?

Many insurance companies are making great progress in the understanding and recognition of the overall health benefits of acupuncture.  While all policies vary, more providers than every are paying for some level of coverage.  However, it is always best to check with your plan administrator.

To date, Medicare does not provide coverage for acupuncture.

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How many treatments will I need?

One of the most difficult things to convey to patients is that acupuncture treatments are cumulative.  It is a therapy process to help the body recover from whatever trauma has occurred.  More often then not, the patient did not get into their current state of distress or injury overnight and rarely can we make it go away overnight.  Therefore it is important for each patient to realize this is a process which could require several treatments.  While most patients will leave our office feeling better after the first treatment, that is not always the case; acute and chronic pain situations can take longer to address.

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Do I have to commit to a long term treatment plan?

Absolutely not!  During your initial consultation Drake will discuss treatment options, and together, a treatment plan which works best for the patient will be developed.  Recommendations will be made as to the number of treatments required to address the patients health concerns; but the choice to continue care is entirely up to the patient.  Drake's primary focus is in providing quality care, promoting good health and healing, and an environment that is comfortable to all.

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These are just a few of the many questions we address on a daily basis.  If you have a question you would like us to address directly, please feel free to call our office at (910)693-7905 or email our office directly by clicking
here.

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