According to Yelp, there are over 1,000 practitioners offering acupuncture in New York City. There is a mix of USA, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Korean and other trained practitioners offering acupuncture services. So how does one decide which acupuncturist to choose?
Acupuncturists Specialize in Treating Specific Health Conditions
Even though most acupuncturists will treat just about any condition, each one typically has a specialization. Some specialize in “fertility issues”, “cancer treatments”, “AIDS”, and “autoimmune diseases”. Others have a group of health issues that they specialize in. If an acupuncturist states that specialize in treating specific conditions, chances are that they have had some degree of success in treating those conditions. Look for an acupuncturist that specializes in treating the condition that you need help with.
Acupuncturists Must Be Licensed in New York State
You can verify that a practitioner is licensed to practice acupuncture in the state of New York by visiting this page. Most acupuncturists will display the initials “L.Ac” after their name. This means that this person is a licensed acupuncturist.
Check The Acupuncturist’s Reviews and Testimonials
There are 4 sources to check to see what patients of an acupuncturist have written about the treatment that they have received. These 4 sources are:
Google and Yelp are fairly reliable due to the fact that both organizations have cracked down on fake reviews. It is still possible for an acupuncturist to have fake reviews posted in these sites. However, they will almost definitely get caught at some point and their reviews will be removed. Still, when reading the reviews, use your own judgment on whether the reviews look legitimate or not.
Interview the Acupuncturist
When initially contacting the acupuncturist, make an appointment to speak with her/him. During this initial meeting, ask as many questions as you wish. The purpose of an initial consultation is not only for the acupuncturist to diagnose your condition and prescribe a treatment, it is also an opportunity for you to ask questions. These initial consultations and the questions you ask should not be any different from the questions you should be asking your own doctor.
Here are some basic questions that you should always ask your acupuncturist:
- Approximately how long will you be treated for? The answer should be given in “sessions”. For example, 10-12 sessions.
- How long is each acupuncture session? For example, 20, 40, or 60 minutes.
- Will there be any pain or discomfort during and/or after the treatment?
- Are there any known side-effects to the treatment? Make sure the acupuncturist knows all of the medications you are currently taking.
Dr. Feng Liang, the director and primary practitioner of the Fifth Avenue Acupuncture & Herbs Center states “One of the comments that new patients make is that they have seen other acupuncturists but never achieved the same results as I have achieved.”
Dr. Liang explains why she has had greater success than other acupuncturists.
“There is a big difference between how people are trained in the USA to administer acupuncture verses how people are trained in China. People are trained in China to understand that they are not simply ‘inserting needles’, they are transferring positive energies to their patients. When I insert the acupuncture needles into the patient’s body, I manipulate the needles until I am satisfied that the needles are hitting the correct spot and get the right energy on the tip of the needle. I am passing my positive energies to the patient to create healing powers. The needles carry those energies or information working on the meridians to reach the areas that need to be treated or be adjusted. These areas could be tissues, muscles, and/or internal organs. When a patient feels those healing powers, they become relaxed and enjoy the sensation of the correct energy flow throughout the body.”
When considering where to get acupuncture in New York City, if you follow the steps outlined above, and ask the questions we have provided, you will be able to find acupuncturists who should be able to address your condition. Read more about Dr. Liang and the treatments she provides here.