Acupuncture And Integrative Medicine

Cardio Metabolic Institute

Multi-Specialty Group located in Somerset, Monroe Twp, East Brunswick, and Edison, NJ


What is Integrative Medicine?

Sometimes referred to as alternative or complementary medicine, integrative medicine is an approach to medicine that focuses on treating the “whole person” and often includes the use of non-traditional treatment modalities. Some integrative treatment modalities include: acupuncture with and without electrical stimulation, cupping, scraping (gua sha), frequency specific microcurrent (FSM), cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), transdermal nerve reprocessing therapy, and manipulation.

What is currently being offered at CMI?

  • Acupuncture with and without stimulation
  • Cupping
  • Gua sha (scraping)
  • Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) 

What conditions can be treated with Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is used to treat a wide variety of conditions including acute and chronic pain, trigger points, nerve pain and neuropathy, insomnia/sleep issues, stress, anxiety, and depression. Some modalities can be used to help with smoking cessation and weight loss as well. Several integrative techniques can also be used as adjuncts to conventional medicine and/or lifestyle modifications aimed toward lowering blood pressure, treating heartburn and other digestive health issues, healing wounds or fractures, and improving blood flow.

What is the difference between Integrative and Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine aims to optimize health by addressing the "root cause" of diseases and/or by preventing diseases from developing primarily through lifestyle modifications whereas integrative medicine focuses on treating the whole person with different treatment modalities. Functional and integrative medicine are often used in combination as they can have a synergistic effect on creating health in a holistic way.


Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

  • What is acupuncture?

    • Acupuncture is a practice of puncturing the skin with solid, thin, metal needles. In most cases, the needles are activated through gentle movement of the needle and/or electrical stimulation. Acupuncture is an ancient practice, originating from Traditional Chinese medicine to help optimize the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”) through specific pathways, or meridians, throughout the body.
  • Will it hurt?

    • Most patients do not feel any pain during acupuncture treatments. If there is pain associated with the placement of a needle, it is mild and very brief. It is normal to feel pressure or a mild ache when the needle is inserted.
  • Where will the acupuncture needles be placed?

    • Depending on the condition being treated acupuncture needles may be placed in the ear, on the scalp, or in various locations on the body.
  • Will there be electrical stimulation?

    • Some treatments include gentle electrical stimulation which is not painful.
  • How long will it take?

    • Some treatments include the use of needles that stay in (semipermanent), usually in the ear or scalp, and either fall out on their own after several days (ears) or are removed by the patient or a caregiver at home after several hours. The semipermanent ear needles are very short and small, so they do not typically interfere with normal activities, use of earbuds, or brushing the hair.
  • Does it work?

    • Most patients treated with acupuncture will have some benefit, and the amount of benefit can vary depending on the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, and the duration of the condition.
  • How long does the benefit last?

    • Acupuncture treatments typically lead to several weeks to months of relief depending on the condition being treated. Most individuals will require more than one treatment, and the duration of benefit often increases with subsequent treatments.
  • Are there risks?

    • Complications (infection, bleeding, organ damage) from acupuncture are extremely rare, however you should discuss the risks with your acupuncture provider prior to treatment.
  • Can I do acupuncture if I am taking blood thinners or aspirin?

    • It is usually safe to do acupuncture while taking blood thinners or aspirin however be sure to let your acupuncture provider know that you are on these medications prior to the treatment.
  • Will it be covered by insurance?

    • Insurance coverage varies depending on the plan, the condition being treated, and the number of treatments. Medicare only covers acupuncture treatments for the diagnosis of low back pain and there is a limit on the number of treatments that will be covered. It is important to check with your insurance plan to find out if treatments will be covered, and how much you will be expected to pay prior to beginning a treatment. When talking to your insurance plan, make sure they know that the acupuncture provided through CMI is performed by a “medical acupuncturist” (a doctor that is certified to do acupuncture) and not a “licensed acupuncturist” (a non-doctor individual trained in acupuncture). If your insurance does not cover acupuncture and you are interested in paying out of pocket, please contact us to find out more about costs.