|Acupuncture & Natural Medicine Dr. Peng in Bethesda and Rockville
Frequently Asked Questions
Where was Dr. Peng trained for acupuncture?
Dr. Peng is a graduate from Beijing University of (Traditional) Chinese Medicine in Beijing, China in 1982. The school is
the highest ranking medical school for training doctors to practice acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and
Where is Dr. Peng credentiated outside of his clinic?
Dr. Peng is also credentiated at Clinical Center of National Institutes of Health (NIH). As a member of pain and palliative
care team, he serves as main acupuncturist for NIH since 2005.
What is Dr. Peng's approach for acupuncture treatment?
Dr. Peng practices acupuncture according to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It emphasizes the balance
of Yin-Yang, regulation of Qi movement and adjustment of functions of internal organs. His practice also incorporates
concept of current medical diagnosis/treatment into the treatment design.
What is the concept of personalized medicine in Dr. Peng's practice?
Personalized medical care is at the heart of Dr. Peng's practice. Personalized medicine that focuses on individual
information, genetic basis, and individual response to drugs are the future of medical practice. Dr. Peng uses
traditional approach to define the diagnosis and to design the treatment strategy that is based on individual situations.
Traditional Chinese Medicine gives highest emphasize on personalized medicine. It recognizeds every individual is
different. Each patient may present different body conditions (background) while having similar symptoms or diseases.
The acupuncture is designed based on the goal to correct overall patient's own abnormal body condition as well as
treating the presenting symptoms.
Does Dr. Peng accept insurance?
Yes. Dr. Peng accepts most insurances that covers acupuncture. Insurance for acupuncture various significantly. Dr.
Peng is a member of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Network. The best way to check if you are covered for
acupuncture is to call your insurance before you come. Or when you come to the clinic, we will call your insurance to
verify the coverage.
Do I need to pay a fee for consultation?
Patient is welcome to visit the clinic and to inquire information about acupuncture. If you did not receive the treatment,
you don't have to pay. Consultation is free.
Does acupuncture hurt?
Modern acupuncture is largely a painless procedure. It uses hair-thin needles. The needles penetrate top layer of
skin quickly. In most cases, patients feel no more than prickle-like feeling. However, in a few cases, patient may
feel some pain when needles accidentally reach the nerve or blood vessel. When it happened, the needle would
be taken off or replaced. In general, acupuncture treatment is a very comfortable method.
How long is each acupuncture session?
A typical acupuncture treatment takes about 45 minutes. It includes placing and taking out the needles to
acupuncture points and allowing needles remained at the points for 30 minutes. During this 30 minutes, patient
is placed in a relaxed environment which helps to improve the treatment outcome.
How many and how often is acupuncture treatment required?
Numbers of required treatment depend on the patient's condition. As a general rule, 1-2 times of treatment are
sufficient for acute conditions such as acute low back pain. 6-8 times as one course of treatment are needed for
the chronic conditions.
As effect of acupuncture usually last a few days, patients usually visit the clinic twice a week for first 2-3 weeks
followed once a week for later times.
How does acupuncture works?
Acupuncture inserts the fine sterilized needles into acupuncture points. Acupuncture points are located in 14
different meridians distributed over the entire human body. According to the theory of Traditional Chinese
Medicine, each meridian regulates a set of body functions. Acupuncture through needling on acupuncture points
adjusts the body's conditions and corrects the dysfunction of human body. Description of meridians and
acupuncture points has existed at least two thousand years. In modern times, many scientific research have
been done on acupuncture points and acupuncture effect in both basic research and clinic aspects.
Does acupuncture have side effects?
Adverse effect of acupuncture is very rare as acupuncture is a moderate approach to adjust body's physiological
condition and procedure is very mild compared to other medical procedures.
Common side effects maybe things such as occasional pain when needles touch the nerve or occasional
bleeding (a drop of blood) when needles touch the small blood vessel. In some occasions. The bleeding can be
stopped by pressing the point for a few seconds.
Who should be careful when deciding to receive acupuncture?
Women in pregnancy or has intent to be pregnant at the time should inform doctor before receiving acupuncture.
Acupuncture on certain points may affect the pregnancy.
Patients has low platelet count or bleeding tendency should inform doctor before the treatment to avoid bruise or
unnecessary subcutaneous bleeding.
Can I receive other therapy while I am getting acupuncture?
Yes. In fact, acupuncture in most of cases can work together with other therapies. It is common for patients
receive acupuncture while receiving physical therapy in the same time. Medication usually does not affect
acupuncture. However, patients should inform the doctor the other treatments he or she is receiving so that the
doctor can incorporate this consideration into treatment design.