What do acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas treat?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the effectiveness of acupuncture and Chinese herbs in the following conditions:

  •   Addictions
  •   Allergies
  •   Arthritis
  •   Asthma
  •   Bowel disorders (colitis, constipation, diarrhea)
  •   Chronic fatigue
    Photo by Ben White from Unsplash

    Photo by Ben White from Unsplash

  •   Cold and flu
  •   Digestive disorders (nausea, ulcers, bloating)
  •   Headaches/migraines
  •   Infertility
  •   Insomnia
  •   Menopausal and menstrual problems
  •   Pain (chronic and acute)
  •   Stress-related conditions
  •   Tendonitis
  •   Weight disorders (weight gain or loss)
  •   Supportive therapy for chronic and debilitating disorders and for the side effects of prescription medications and cancer treatments
  •   Emotional and psychological problems including depression and anxiety

Please ask an acupuncturist about any other specific conditions that you may want to be treated.

Is Acupuncture covered by insurance?

It depends specifically on your insurance policy.  Often insurance policies cover acupuncture (never herbal formulas) after you meet your yearly deductible.  Also, some policies cover acupuncture for only certain conditions, such as pain.  Some insurance policies have a list of preferred provider or “in-network” acupuncturists.  If you do decide to go to an acupuncturist outside their list, you may still get a discount for acupuncture performed by an “out of network” provider.   It is best to call your insurance agency and ask the following questions:

  • Is acupuncture covered under my policy?
  • If so, for which conditions?

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  • What is the co-pay for acupuncture?
  • Do I have to meet my deductible before my policy will pay for acupuncture?
  • Is Kathleen Cutter a “preferred provider” or “in network” acupuncturist?  If she is “out of network,” what is the difference in coverage?
  • How many treatments am I entitled to yearly?

Kathleen is  an “in-network” provider for SOME policies of these insurance companies.:

  • United Health Care
  • Blue Shield of California
  • Some out of state Blue Shield policies
  • Sutter Health Plus
  • Premera Blue Cross
  • Sutter Health Plus
  • California Schools VEBA

Please call your insurance company to confirm that your policy covers acupuncture and ask if the services that Kathleen renders are covered. We are also happy to verify your coverage and if Kathleen is an “in-network” provider for your plan. 

What makes the Chinese medical approach different from what we are used to here in the West?  

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The Chinese medical approach is primarily one of prevention, health maintenance, and chronic condition management.  Medical emergencies happen and thankfully our traditional western emergency approach is very good at addressing acute medical crises such as heart attacks, strokes, gunshot wounds, and broken bones.  However,  after the medical emergency has been stabilized, at times the traditional western medical approach is unable to address lingering physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.  In other words, chronic conditions ensue.   Chinese medicine, because it focuses on treating the whole person is very good at addressing chronic conditions.  Chinese medicine treats the whole body rather than a single symptom or condition to return the body to balance.

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