(212) 889-6540
(212) 227-6500
Eastern Neurologic Services, P.C.
Acupuncture FAQs
Dr. Xiao-Ke Gao, M.D.
What is Acupuncture?
How does acupuncture work?
How widely is acupuncture used in United States?
What kind of acupuncture needles do we use?
Is acupuncture safe?
How many treatments do I need?
What should I expect during my first visit?
What types of services does the Services provide?
What does acupuncture feel like? Is it painful?
Does the Services take insurance?

What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one of the oldest and most commonly used medical treatments in the world. The treatment is originated in China more than 4000 years ago. It involves the insertion of a
fine and small needle into the skin at various anatomical points. The needles are
subsequently manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation to regulate the various
systems in the body.

How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture was developed by the Chinese with over 4000 years of clinical observations by
generations of Chinese physicians. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM),
the body stores two opposing and inseparable energy forces: ying and yang. Ying represents
the cold, slow or passive energy, and yang represents the hot, fast or active force. The
disruption or in-balance between the two states of energy leads to blockage in the flow of qi
(vital energy) along pathways known as meridians within our body. This blockage
consequently causes various diseased states. It is thought that there are 12 main meridians
(pathways) and 8 secondary meridians. There are more than 361 acupuncture points on the
human body that reside along these meridians. According to TCM, acupuncture works by
stimulating or alleviating the various points along the meridians, and opening the blockage
along the meridians. This process restores the flow of energy and the balance of energy
forces within the body.
Currently, it is still difficult to fully explain the mechanism of acupuncture in the framework of
Western allopathic medicine. An increasing number of clinical research sponsored by the
National Institute of Health (NIH) has began to shed some light on this ancient treatment
modality. It is proposed that acupuncture regulates the nervous system and the immune
system. Through modern imaging studies with functional MRI, studies have shown that
acupuncture also can alter brain chemistry by changing the release of neurotransmitters (e.
g., endorphin) and hormones. The release of these chemicals can help to regulate
downstream body functions, such as the boosting immune system and normalizing blood
pressure and flow.

How widely is acupuncture used in United States?
Acupuncture was first introduced in the United States in 1971 by a New York Times reporter
who wrote about how doctors in China used needles to ease his pain after surgery. Since
then, acupuncture has been widely accepted as an adjunctive, or even main, treatment
modality for many medical conditions. There were an estimated 10.6 million US adults had
ever used the acupuncture in the past year, according to the National Health Interview Survey
in 2009.

What kind of acupuncture needles do we use?
We only use sterile, single-use and disposable needles.

Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. It is safe. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved acupuncture needles
in 1996. Here at our Services, we only use extremely fine, sterile, single use and disposable
needles. In the hands of experienced practitioners, acupuncture treatment is a safe and
effective procedure.

How many treatments do I need?
The efficacy of acupuncture treatment varies for each patient. It depends on the severity,
nature and chronicity of the condition. In addition, traditional Chinese medicine treats the
whole patient not the single disease entity. Hence, an individual's diet, life style,
surroundings and mental state also play major roles in the whole healing process. In our
Services, we have many patients who were successfully treated for acute conditions, such
as back pain, fatigue, and constipations, after a 3-month of intense treatment. Often times,
these patients choose to have continual follow ups with Director Wang for general health
maintenance and disease prevention.

What should I expect during my first visit?
Your first visit to our services will be a lengthy visit. We will ask about your specific conditions,
overall health, lifestyle, diet, family health history and behavior. Knowing all of the information
will help us to successfully diagnose your condition, treat your entire body and improve your
health. Please bring a list of any medications, lab results or recent studies for your

What types of services does the Services provide?
In our Services, we perform traditional acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, auricular
acupuncture, and cupping. In addition, we provide massages for patients who would benefit
from these treatments.

What does acupuncture feel like? Is it painful?
Acupuncture needles are less than 1/10 the thickness of the traditional needle. When
inserted, you may experience a variety of sensations including: heaviness, warmth, or
tingling near or along the meridians of the acupuncture points.  In Oriental medicine, these
feelings are indications that your body is responding to the treatment. Most people find it

Does the Services take insurance?
Yes, we accept a number of insurance: Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, AETNA, Oxford, etc.
Many insurance companies allow out-of-network coverage for acupuncture service. We will
work with you to submit the required documents for reimbursement.
                                                                                  Dr. Xiao-Ke Gao, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D
                                                                     152 Madison Avenue                   196 Canal Street                         39-07 Prince Street
                                                                      Suite 1700                                   Fourth Floor                                Suite 4B
                                                                      New York, NY 10016                    New York, NY 10013                   Flushing, NY 11354
                                                                      Phone: (212) 889-6540                Phone: (212) 227-6500              Phone: (718) 886-8258
                                                                      Fax: (212) 889-4987                     Fax: (212) 227-7550                   Fax: (718) 886-8348