What to expect

Forms and policies


your first visit…

Thank you for choosing Point and Balance. We look forward to helping you achieve better health!

We recommend that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to arms (up to your elbows) and legs (up to your knees). Try to avoid coming to your appointment on an empty stomach, shortly after a big meal, or after vigorous physical activity. To facilitate diagnosis, you should also abstain from alcohol, tobacco, or food and drink that colors your tongue immediately prior to treatment. We suggest that you arrive a few minutes early to give yourself time to relax. Filling out the Health History Questionnaire (below) in advance is a great way to save time at the appointment.

Your appointment will begin with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis. This includes in-depth questions about your medical history and your symptoms. The acupuncturist will also observe your pulse and your tongue. These procedures are used to arrive at a pattern-based diagnosis, which will give insight into the underlying pathology that is causing your discomfort and help create a comprehensive treatment plan. The goal of TCM is to help your body reach balance – we will treat not only your symptoms, but also their causes.

To learn more about acupuncture and what you can expect during your treatment session, please take a look at the list of frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page.

forms and policies…

Before your first appointment, you will receive a link to fill out several forms as part of a comprehensive medical evaluation. The information in the forms will help us form a diagnosis and develop a detailed treatment plan for you.

Please note that payment is due at time of service. We accept cash, checks, and credit cards. If you cannot make it to your appointment, please notify us at least 24 hours in advance. Point and Balance is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, AllWays BMC, and United Healthcare.

frequently asked questions…

Acupuncturists in Massachusetts need to be licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Medicine and certified nationally by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). A Master’s degree in acupuncture is a prerequisite for receiving certification and a license. The degree is an intensive program combining four academic years into three calendar years. In addition to acupuncture, Oriental medicine theory, point location, and diagnostic classes, the program covers the principles of Western medicine, as well as biology, microbiology, physics, organic and inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry. Before graduating, all candidates spend a year treating patients in different clinics, which amounts to over 600 clinical hours.

Acupuncture uses specialized needles, which are extremely easy to insert into the skin and produce very little discomfort. You may feel the presence of the needle or a light sensation; some patients describe this as tingling, warmth, and occasionally a slight soreness. The sensation is beneficial and indicates the presence of energy, or Qi, at the stimulated point. Many patients enjoy this sensation, as it is frequently associated with tension release and relaxation.

Acupuncture is extremely safe when practice by a licensed, fully trained practitioner. Acupuncture needles are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are pre-sterilized, pre-packaged, single-use devices. Acupuncturists adhere to the same medical precautions and standards as other medical providers. Acupuncture has virtually no side effects, and your first appointment will include a thorough interview where the practitioner will make a note of any special considerations related to your conditions, medications, and medical history.

Please click here to see a list of some of the conditions that can be treated with acupuncture. This is not an exhaustive list; if you do not see your condition or symptom, please contact us for a consultation to find out if acupuncture is right for you.

You should expect to enter a quiet and private environment. Once you fill out the Health History Questionnaire, the practitioner will begin the diagnostic procedure. This will include answering questions about your health, as well as an examination of your pulse, tongue, and relevant points on your body. Wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing can help facilitate diagnosis without having to remove any clothing. After needle insertion, you will be able to relax in the treatment room to the music of your choice for about 15-30 minutes. The practitioner will then remove the needles.

The tongue and pulse provide some of the most important clues to help arrive at your Traditional Chinese Medicine diagnosis. This includes the coating, color, and shape of the tongue and the fullness, pressure, and other qualities of the pulse.

Your first appointment will include a thorough medical interview in order to accurately diagnose your condition and can last from 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. Follow-up appointments will generally be shorter, from 30 minutes to an hour.

Every condition and every patient requires a different number of treatments. In some cases, a single treatment will be sufficient, while other cases will require a series of treatments. We will be able to make a better assessment of how many treatments you will need after your intake interview and also based on the results of the initial treatment. For chronic conditions, we may recommend that you return every once in a while for a “tune-up” or maintenance appointment.

Acupuncture can be combined with other therapies, including Western medical treatments, and does not interfere with your medication. In many cases, acupuncture will act in a complementary fashion and enhance the effectiveness of your other therapies.

Point and Balance is in network with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, AllWays BMC, and United Healthcare.