April 29, 2015

Finding the Best Acupuncturist for You

With hundreds from which to choose, finding the best acupuncturist in New York City can seem daunting. When it comes to your health, there’s no doubt that you want the best, but beyond certification and referrals, how do you know when you have found a good match. When starting your search, consider the following:

  1. Location: Just like going to a gym or seeing a therapist, acupuncture is an ongoing process. Finding a conveniently located acupuncturist, perhaps one near your home or job, or on the way between the two, is best. If the practitioner’s office is too far away, it may mean having to skip appointments when life gets too busy to squeeze in a long commute. Make it as easy as possible to stay consistent.
  2. Personality: Seek an acupuncturist with whom you get along, at least on a professional level. You don't need to be new best friends, but you should feel comfortable talking to him or her, and feel as though he or she is really listening to you.
  3. Clinic Environment: Clinic environments vary widely. Whatever style you choose, be it one with a medical feel, a home-office environment or a more Chinatown aesthetic, the important part is that you feel comfortable. For example, if you tend to get anxious visiting the doctor’s office, then choosing a clinic with a less clinical feel may be a good choice.
  4. Community or Private Rooms: Until recently private rooms were standard in American acupuncture. However, during the last few years there has been a growing movement of community acupuncture clinics all over the country that have an open floor plan like Olo. We regularly get patients who said they were skeptical of the community atmosphere at first but after a treatment realized that they prefer it. That said, some people certainly fare better in more private settings.
  5. Price and Insurance: Prices vary considerably among practitioners. Again, you will likely need a series of appointments to both achieve and maintain your health goals. If cost prohibits you from staying consistent with your treatments, you may not see lasting results. Discuss the costs associated with your treatment plan when seeking out a practitioner. Also, be sure to find out if your insurance provides acupuncture coverage.
  6. Specialist: Any acupuncturist can treat pain, but some conditions warrant a specialist. For example, a specialist can be key to improving internal conditions requiring customized herbal formulas. Assess your health needs with a practitioner to see what level of care he or she can provide.
  7. Needle Sensitivity: If you’re not a fan of needles, that doesn’t mean acupuncture isn’t right for you. Instead, you just may need to seek out a practitioner who can make you comfortable. You could seek a practitioner of Japanese-style acupuncture, which typically uses extremely thin needles with shallow insertion.  But know that most practitioners see needle-sensitive patients regularly and should be able to accommodate you.

 

Start your search by asking for recommendations from friends, family, co-workers, and other health care professionals. You'll likely be surprised how many people you know have seen acupuncturists before. You can also look at online review sites, such as Yelp, for customer testimonials. However, keep in mind that not all practitioners are listed or actively promote their profile. Whomever you decide to see, be sure to check that he or she is licensed in New York by visiting the Office of the Professions verification website.

Finding the best acupuncturist for you is an important part of reaching your health goals. The staff at Olo Acupuncture is always happy to answer any questions you have about the process.


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