FAQs

What kind of training do you have? Are you licensed?

The path to becoming an acupuncturist takes many years and abundant training, as well as national certification and state licensing. In addition to my acupuncture and Chinese medicine studies, I have pursued additional training in specialized hands-on modalities, energy medicine, and hypnosis.

Academic & Clinical Training

  • Masters of Oriental Medicine, Northwestern Health Sciences University, graduated December 2015
    • over 3,060 hours of training (including 785.5 hours of supervised clinical experience) in Oriental medicine foundational theory, acupuncture point location, diagnostic analysis and treatment strategy, needling techniques, needling safety, medical asepsis and risk management, tui na massage, Chinese dietary therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, ethics and professionalism, Western anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, nutrition, and pharmacology
  • Integrative Health Fellow, studying under Lynn Gershan MD, CM and Barbara Gosse LAc, University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, July 2016-January 2017
    • Provided acupoint therapy and integrative care modalities to pediatric patients in inpatient Medical-Surgical, Hematology-Oncology, NICU, PICU, and CVICU departments, as well as outpatient continuity care speciality clinic. Developed a pilot project in collaboration with the NICU to offer community-style acupoint therapy and integrative care for families and hospital staff.
  • Traditional Tibetan Medicine: Ethics, Spirituality, and Healing, with Miriam Cameron PhD, MS, MA, RN, October-December 2016
  • M Technique training with Kathleen Duffy, LPN, MH, November 2016
  • Pediatric Hypnosis Introductory Workshop, National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute, October 2016
  • Daishi Shoni Hari (Shonishin) training, Sensei T. Koei Kuwahara, LAc., June 2016
  • Reiki Level I & II, Meta Institute, January 2016
  • Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture System, Dr. Martha Lucas, Ph.D., L.Ac. , March 2015

Certification & Licensure

How do I schedule an appointment?

There are two ways to schedule an appointment with me:

How much do you charge?

Please see my scheduling page for appointment fees. If you have questions regarding my rates, please send me an email at info@constellationacu.com or call me at 612.787.7257.

What kind of payment methods do you accept?

I accept cash, checks, or cards. I am also able to accept HSA/FSA cards. You can pay appointment fees when you schedule online with a debit, credit, or HSA/FSA card, or use any payment method at the time of service. Checks should be made out to Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts.

Do you take insurance?

No, unfortunately Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts is not in-network with any health insurance companies.  If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you may be able to use these funds to pay for your acupuncture treatments, and I am able to use your HSA/FSA card as a form of payment. Additionally, I can provide a detailed receipt or a superbill if you’d like to submit a claim on your own to your insurance company for reimbursement.

Do you sell gift certificates?

Yes, I sure do! 

How long is a treatment?

Initial acupuncture appointments are scheduled for 90 minutes, follow-up appointments are scheduled for 60 minutes. Other appointments range between 30 and 60 minutes. Additional time may be scheduled on a case-by-case basis as necessary.

So how big are these needles? Are they sterile? 

Acupuncture needles are available in a range of diameters (gauges) and lengths. Depending on where the needles will be used on the body and the amount of stimulation desired, different sizes of needles may be used. In clinic, I use most often use needles between .16 mm and .22 mm in width — about the width of hair! Ultra-thin, smooth, and with a solid filiform needle shaft, acupuncture needles are completely different from the rigid, thicker, hollow hypodermic needles used for blood draws or injections. They are designed for comfortable insertion and retention. Acupuncture needles are sterile and are safely disposed of after each use.

Does it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are designed for comfortable insertion and needle retention, and I take great care in needling gently and quickly. Most people say it feels like a quick pinch while needles are being inserted. I can adjust the needles if you experience any discomfort, and you should feel comfortable during the treatment. Once the needles are in and you’re “cooking”, you may experience what we call a de qi sensation — a feeling of fullness, distention, tingling, warmth or cold, or movement around the needles. It can be a little surprising the first time you feel it, but it’s totally normal. That sensation is one of the indicators that the needles (and your body!) are doing their job.

How do you know what points to use?

I think of acupuncture points like spices and herbs in your kitchen. The more you cook, the more you know which unique combination of seasonings will create the flavor you want, whether it’s a pot of your famous chili, a spicy Thai coconut curry, a lemon and herb roasted chicken, or a loaf of tender gingerbread. The combinations and variations are limitless, and each chef has their own way of combining flavors in a dish. 

Points are similar — we acupuncturists spend a lot of time learning about the hundreds of points on the body and what they do. Each point has a unique function, and when combined, they create a powerful overall effect on your body’s systems. Over time each acupuncturist develops their own way of combining these points, and there are many ways to achieve the same result. Utilizing the information you give me about your health concerns and wellness goals, and the information I gather from physical examination, I choose the points that align with your unique presentation and the outcome we hope to achieve. Because your body (and your experience of living in it) is dynamic and changing constantly, the points I use in your treatment may differ from one treatment to the next. 

Are more needles better?

The number of needles used in a treatment varies greatly on the style of acupuncture used by the practitioner, your unique presentation, and the goal of the treatment. Whether your treatment involves 4, 14, or 44 needles, it will encourage your body’s intrinsic healing potential.

I’m afraid of needles, can I still get treated?

Definitely – no needles, no problem. I have treated many patients without needles, and have witnessed excellent results from these “needle-free” treatments. Although needling is the most well-known approach here in the United States, Traditional Chinese Medicine includes a wide variety of modalities such as acupressure, cupping, gua sha, moxa, Tui Na massage, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy. Additionally, I often use modern treatment approaches like tuning forks, laser therapy, e-stim, magnets, and ear seeds/beads. All totally “needle-free”! We can work together to find the approach that best fits your needs.

How will I feel after a treatment?

Many people feel relaxed and “blissed out”. You may notice an immediate improvement in symptoms, or you may not – sometimes it can take 1 to 2 days to notice the effects of a treatment. After a treatment, take it easy and try to have a restful day; I do not recommend vigorous exercise post-treatment.

How do I know the treatment is working?

Acupuncture can treat your main area of concern, as well as create a balancing effect on all the systems of your body. Some people respond very quickly to treatments, while it takes other people a bit longer – your response will be unique. Over time, you can expect to see an improvement in your primary symptoms. You may also notice other changes, like increased energy, sounder sleep, a more stable mood, a more balanced appetite, and improved digestive function.

Who did your logo design and headshots?

Tim Cronin of Tim Cronin Graphic Design designed my logo after listening to me ramble for several hours about the stars, macrocosms and microcosms, atoms, and the body as a universe. My headshots were taken by John Haynes of John Haynes Photo, a buddy of mine from my former life of working in commercial photography. Both of these talented fellas are based here in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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