Frequently Asked Questions

Does insurance cover acupuncture?

Yes! More and more insurance companies and insurance plans cover acupuncture. If you have insurance just call and check your benefits. Make sure you ask if you have acupuncture coverage that is done by a licensed acupuncturist. Check what your deductible is and what percent is covered and what your copay is. If you have coverage we will bill your insurance directly (including Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois), just as they do at your MD’s office.

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a system of healthcare aimed at naturally promoting health and alleviating sickness through the stimulation of very specific anatomical points, known as acupuncture points, throughout the body. These points generally lie along meridians, or energy channels, that run through and along the surface of the body. It is believed that pain and sickness occur when these channels become blocked, and that these blockages can be removed through the stimulation of acupuncture points. In modern day acupuncture, this stimulation is achieved by superficially inserting sterile, super thin, disposable needles into these points. This may be done with or without the addition of gentle manipulation, heat, or electricity to further stimulate the points and break up the obstruction.

Although acupuncture may seem mysterious to some, it is a time tested therapy that was first developed in China thousands of years ago and is still very much a main method of healthcare there and in many other parts of the world today. It is one of the most proven and well-known forms of alternative therapies, and many studies have been conducted demonstrating the safety and efficacy of acupuncture.

How does acupuncture work?

According to classical theory, acupuncture works by removing the obstructions in the energy channels, or meridians, in the body. Like rivers of energy, these meridians flow along regular pathways to irrigate and nourish the body’s organs and tissues. An obstruction in the movement of these rivers is like a damn that backs up the natural flow of energy, causing an imbalance that manifests as sickness and pain. By inserting needles and stimulating acupuncture points, an acupuncturist removes these dams and restores the natural balance and smooth flow of energy throughout the body.

In contrast to the classical theory, modern science proposes that needling acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release biochemicals, such as endorphins, immune system cells, and neurotransmitters, in the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. In addition to killing pain, these chemicals can influence the internal regulating system of the body and affect involuntary bodily functions such as blood flow, immune reactions, body temperature, and digestion.

Is it safe?

When administered by a licensed practitioner, acupuncture is a very safe form of therapy. Licensed acupuncturists in Illinois are trained and certified in Clean Needle Technique, which requires the adherence to strict safety guidelines, such as the use of sterile, disposable needles, to minimize the risk of infection.

What can acupuncture treat?

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), acupuncture has been proven effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions, ranging from pain problems, to addictions, to emotional disorders.

To view a list of conditions we commonly treat, please see our Conditions Treated page.

Does acupuncture hurt?

For most people, acupuncture causes minimal to no pain. The needles used during acupuncture are very fine and are nothing like the hypodermic needles used to give injections at a doctor’s office. A patient may feel a slight prick similar to a mosquito bite when the needle is first inserted. At times, a tingling, dull ache, or warm sensation may be experienced at the point where the needle is inserted. This is a desired affect and should not be uncomfortable. Often, during an acupuncture treatment, a patient feels so relaxed that he or she will fall asleep.

What can I expect during my acupuncture visit?

During a typical first visit, your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history, fully investigate your chief complaint, perform a physical exam, and determine a differential diagnosis for you. From this, a treatment plan is designed and administered. This plan may include acupuncture as well as adjunctive techniques, such as cupping, massage, electro stimulation, gua sha, or heat therapy, if necessary. This may take 60 to 75 minutes but is necessary to create an individualized treatment plan that addresses your unique health condition while focusing on your main concern. Treatments during subsequent visits will be adapted to your progress and will generally last between 30 to 45 minutes.

How many treatments will I need and how often will I need them?

The number of treatments needed varies from person to person. Some people experience significant improvement after one or two treatments, while others may take weeks or months to achieve lasting results. Chronic conditions generally take longer to resolve than acute ones, and the longer a patient has had a condition, the longer it usually takes to resolve. Other factors that influence the number of treatments needed include the severity of the problem and the patient’s lifestyle, overall health, and constitution.

Your acupuncturist should be able to give you an idea of how many treatments will be needed after he or she becomes familiar with your unique situation and needs. He or she may suggest one or two treatments per week during the initial phases of treatment, and then less frequent treatments as the condition improves.

Our Clients Speak...


Steven is amazing, I have been going to see him for a year and a half for various reasons, he always delivers positive results. As a health care professional myself, trust him completely! Highly recommend!



I have been using acupuncture for anxiety that is hormone related. I love it! It calms me and it after I have gone 3 or 4 times It keeps all my symptoms at bay so I go occasionally for a quick tune up. Works like a charm and I don't have to take any medicine. What could be better? True Believer!



My reflux is so much better! I still get symptoms but not like before. I can eat, and I don't have reflux every day. Also my PMS is much more manageable and my cycles are more predictable. Steven Vasilakis is a wonderful acupuncturist! Very professional, thourough and kind! Thanks You, Steven!



I have had type one diabetes for 33 years. Along with the diabetes I have the complications of heart disease, thyroid disease, neuropathy and depression. I have suffered from all over body aches and knee pain for a few years. I went to Steven as last resort and now he is the first one I go to. He was able to start by reducing the pain and now it is no longer an everyday struggle. I have never felt pain free like I do now! He is miracle worker!



I am back to running 10 miles a day on my weekend runs. I sleep soundly, no more anti-inflammatory meds. I can stretch easily and have no pain in the morning. I Highly recommend Steven! This was my last attempt before surgery - I am very happy with the results!



I've seen Steven a number of times, specifically when my back was the worst. His ability to focus on the troubled area and offer treatment without medicine is almost a miracle. He's followed up with me after treatments and advise ways to better treat myself. I'm a big fan, and would advise others to check him out.



I have been suffering from seasonal allergies (grass, trees, pollen, ragweed) for several years and decided to try accupuncture.  The results have been amazing and I am no longer dependent on allergy medication and shots. The last 4 months, I have had appointments with Steven Vasilakis and he has helped make the spring allergy season much easier to deal with. For those of you with allergies, try accupuncture it really works. I am so impressed with the results.


INFERTILITY Thank you for all your help. You're a big reason we're enjoying our little miracle. JEANETTE, CHICAGO, IL

My 18 year old son received 3 acupunture treatments from Steve V to help relieve pain he had been experiencing for a year following surgery. (Nuss procedure) Acupuncture was one possible option for pain management. I was skeptical but was amazed at the results.  My son felt some relief after the first session and considerably better after the 3 treatments.  2 months following treatment he is pain free. Appointments were always on time, the office was neat and clean. I recommend seeing Steve to help with any type of pain relief.



Steven has helped me with my migraines on two seperate occasions. Two years ago was the first time I started going and the migraines went from two times a week of a dark room and vomiting to manageable slight headaches. I stopped going and the migraines returned in about six months. I have returned to getting treatments and again the headaches have gone away. You never realize the quality of life you are giving up when you suffer from reoccurring headaches. Steven has helped me manage the migraines through acupuncture and my stress level has also improved. Thanks Steven.



Pain subsided after two treaments and was gone after five or six This was two years ago and I have had no problem with sciatic pain and very little lower back pain ever since.


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