Frequently Asked Questions
Resource Center 
Support ICIM
Please help the (ICIM) International Center for Integrative Medicine . grow and increase the number of people served - Help us raise money and share our cause today!

Our Mission
To provide the best of Eastern and Western Medicine to promote quality holistic health care customized to the individual patient, conduct research on the efficacy and design for integrative medicine, & educate practitioners with an integrative medicine paradigm.

How Does Acupuncture work?
The ancient Chinese believe acupuncture needles redirect the flow of the life force, Qi, through the body’s 14 meridians, thereby restoring the body’s natural balance and health.
Western scientists believe that acupuncture needles stimulate the nervous system to release chemicals in the muscles, spine cord and brain, or trigger the release of other natural chemicals in the body to reduce the symptoms associated with cancer surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Can Acupuncture Help My Cancer Treatment?
Studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce nausea and vomiting, xerostomia, as well as the pain and fatigue of cancer treatments, and patients are often less depressed. A study by The World Health Organization has shown that acupuncture is also effective against Leukopenia (low white blood cell count), postoperative pain, acute stomach pain, arthritis and headache.
Acupuncture can also increase the health of the patient’s own immune system, thereby reducing the risk of infection. However, each patient responds differently to acupuncture, and the success of the treatments will depend upon a variety of health and lifestyle factors which should be discussed with your medical acupuncturist.

How can I Prepare For My First Acupuncture Treatment?

  • Do not eat large meals before or after treatments, but do consume warm tea afterwards.
  • Empty your bladder immediately before your treatment because after needle insertion there can be no movement including walking to the restroom.
  • Continue taking your prescription medications
  • Take good notes of your responses to the treatment
  • Plan on having a ride if one of your side effects is drowsiness.

Will Acupuncture Hurt?
Most patients experience a mild needle prick, while many are completely unaware when a needle has been inserted. After a few minutes, patients feel a general numbness in the treated area, often producing feelings of calm, relaxation and even sleep.

How Soon Should I Start Treatments?
Acupuncture should begin as soon as you receive a diagnosis or cancer, in order to maximize your body’s energy before surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Many studies have shown that patients receiving acupuncture treatments at the same time as surgery, radiation or chemotherapy have increased energy levels with less fatigue, use less anti-nausea and anti-pain medication, and are at less risk of infection. They also have a better appetite, thereby maintaining the nutrition and hydration essential to a successful recovery.

How Many Treatments and How Often Will I Need Them?
The number of treatments depends on your particular condition.
If you are a cancer patient, the maximum benefit will be obtained with a minimum of twice weekly treatments for the duration of the post-surgical recovery or chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Thereafter, one treatment per week for two months will support your recovery. Treatments of twice per month may be necessary depending upon your specific condition and any side effects of your chemotherapy regiment. Acupuncture treatments will then be reduced to once per month to maintain your Qi. A typical oncology patient with ongoing radiation and/or chemotherapy can expect an initial treatment regime of 2 visits per week for a minimum of 4-8 weeks. Your physician will modify this schedule depending upon the speed of your recovery.

What are the Possible Side Effects?

  • Discomfort from needle insertion, in which case the insertion point is redirected.
  • Fatigue for the first few treatments
  • Temporary bleeding at insertion sites, especially for patients with low platelet counts.

When Shouldn’t I Receive Acupuncture?
Patients should not receive acupuncture if they have certain conditions, such as an unstable spine, uncontrolled infection, or significantly impaired blood clotting. Nevertheless, even patients with compromised immune systems may benefit from acupuncture.

Is Acupuncture Safe?
Multiple large surveys of thousands of patients have shown acupuncture is a relatively safe treatment modality, with minimal adverse results when proper technique and sterilization procedures are followed. All acupuncture needles are sterilized single-use-disposable, thereby virtually eliminating the risk infection.

How Much Will It Cost?
The total cost for your treatment will depend upon how many sessions you need and what procedures your physician performs during each session.

Will Insurance Cover Acupuncture?
At the present time, very few insurance companies or health plans fully reimburse patients for acupuncture treatments. Partial reimbursements may be available, so be sure to check with your insurance company or health plan.

Will Insurance Cover Chinese Herbs?
The FDA currently regards Chinese herbs as food supplements. Therefore these supplements are not covered by medical insurance.