Heidi LaBore Smith
MS, L.Ac., PT
205 W. 2nd St. Suite 502
Duluth, MN 55802
Frequently Asked Questions
How does acupuncture/ Chinese Medicine work?
Sterilized disposal needles (about the size of a human hair) are inserted into specific points on the body. These points activate many normal biological pathways in the body, including the central and peripheral nervous systems, neurotransmitters, hormones, blood components, immune system and musculo-skeletal system. The needles are solid and polished. The rounded edge of the needle pushes the tissue aside, rather than cutting through it.
Does it hurt?
Everyone experiences the needling sensation differently. If any sensation
is felt, it often is compared to a mosquito bite which dissipates quickly.
A mild tingling, known as the “Qi” (pronounced Chee) sensation is obtained.
This is how your energy is engaged in order to balance your particular
disharmonies. Most people fall asleep during treatment, or become
What is the Number of Treatments Needed?
Acupuncture is a process. Several treatment studies show a typical treatment plan will usually consist of six to fifteen treatments over a three to five week period, with an evaluation after the 8th treatment.
For example, if treatment frequency is:
Once per week – may take 40 weeks to heal
Twice per week – may take 16-20 treatments
Three per week – may take 10-12 treatments
Every day for 5 days - may be done at the end of the 5th treatment.
It is recommended that you have 2 more treatments after you are 100% better to stabilize.
How quickly can I expect to feel better?
Several treatment studies show that more than one treatment is needed to resolve the majority of problems. The number of treatments needed will vary from patient to patient, depending on the problem. Typical protocols can be, for example, three times a week for several weeks, or once a week for many months. Each patient responds to acupuncture in their own way. Some people respond more quickly than others, but generally people begin to feel the benefits from acupuncture in 3 - 6 treatments. The more acute / short lived the problem, the fewer treatments are usually needed (1 or 2, 3-5) chronic more stubborn problems may take many treatments to resolve.
How often will I need treatment?
Our goal is to assist your body’s energy in balancing itself so healing can occur. After your initial visit, we will let you know how often / for how many visits we think you will need to come in. A typical treatment plan will usually consist of six to fifteen treatments over a three to five week period, with a re-evaluation around the 8th treatment. The effects of acupuncture are cumulative - each treatment builds on the one before so you should see gradual changes as you go though a course of treatment.
Do you accept insurance?
No, but we can give you a receipt that includes all pertinent information your insurance company may need to process a claim. This is one of the main reasons we offer Community Acupuncture; the treatment costs are similar to most insurance co-pays, and allow you to get the treatment you need, for as long as you need it.
What conditions can be treated with Chinese medicine?
Although Oriental Medicine has been used for centuries to treat every known medical condition, some of the most commonly treated conditions are as follows:
Addictions / Detox
Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking / Eating
High (or low) Blood Pressure / Anemia / Headaches (Migraine, tension, sinus, cluster) /
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) / Diabetic Neuropathy
Ear, Nose and Throat
Toothaches/Ear-aches & infections / Allergies / Sinusitis / Tonsillitis
Dry Eyes / Excessive watering of eyes
Indigestion / Stomache ache / Ulcers / Constipation / Diarrhea / Crohn’s Disease / Colitis /
Nausea / Vomiting / Reflux / Hiatal Hernia / Irritable Bowel / Food Allergies
Gynecological / Endocrine Disorders
PMS / Menopausal complaints / Morning Sickness / Mastitis / Vaginitis / Menstrual
Difficulties (painful, irregular, heavy, or absent) / Uterine Fibroids / Fibrocystic Breast
Disease / Endometriosis / Infertility / Diabetes
Stroke / Trigeminal Neuralgia / Numbness / Paralysis / Bell’s Palsy / Tingling / Sciatica
Muscle and Joint Pain
Neck and shoulder Pain / Tendinitis / Bursitis / Back Pain / Arthritis / TMJ / Post-Surgical
Pain / Sports Injuries / Sprains & Strains
Bed wetting / Hyperactivity / ADD
Bronchitis / Asthma / Colds / Flu / Laryngitis / Emphysema
Fibromyalgia / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Lupus / Multiple Sclerosis / Rheumatoid Arthritis
Depression / Anxiety / Insomnia / Palpitations / Fatigue / Shingles / Compulsive Disorders
Urinary Tract infections / Incontinence Cystitis / Prostatitis (enlarged or inflamed)
Sexual Dysfunction / Infertility
Why should I come to your clinic, versus somewhere else?
Heidi has 25+ years of experience in acupuncture and has been a licensed physical therapist since 1980. With her unique blend of understanding Western and Eastern medicines, Heidi can explain why your treatment is needed in language that you can understand. Heidi understands that Traditional Chinese Medicine and western medicine compliment each other. Choosing a Licensed Acupuncturist over a Chiropractor or a Medical Doctor for acupuncture is a wise choice: Heidi has completed a 3 year Master’s Degree program in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine with over 4,000 hours of additional training. In Minnesota, a Chiropractor can do acupuncture with 100 hours of training and an MD can do acupuncture with NO training.
Pain or symptoms
are a 10 out of 10
-or- you feel that you
are at the end
of your rope.
Pain or Symptoms are
5 out of 10 or greater.
Mild chronic issues
Really long term
Wellness and prevention
Most other issues
Every day until we see a change
2-3 times a week
(3 months to 1 year) Once a week 6-8 weeks and than re-evaluate
(1 year to life long) Once per week for 10 weeks, or 2 times a week for 5 weeks, and then re-evaluate
(1 year - life long) Weekly until normal cycle is established, then every other week until 2 good cycles, and then once a month during the week before the symptoms take place
Once a week until stress subsides
Once a week, especially preceding travel, during the change of each season, or at times of higher stress
Once a week until 50% improvement, and then every other week until resolved
Minimum 20 or more treatments, once a week indefinitely