Sullivan Acupuncture And Preventive Medicine, Your Source for Keeping Well
~Just like a pebble creates waves of change, so does a single step towards good health
Important Insurance InformationHeather Sullivan, L.Ac, is in-network with United, Aetna and Cigna insurance and does take Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance as an out-of-network provider. Please note that insurance companies list in-network acupuncturists on their general website, but may not guarantee coverage under specific patient plans.
Sullivan Acupuncture requires first appointment payment at the time of service unless our office confirms insurance coverage ahead of the first appointment. Refunds will be given if insurance coverage is confirmed after the appointment. Medicare and Medicaid do not cover acupuncture under their benefit plan.
Location, Hours and Directions
Directions: Sullivan Acupuncture is located at Windsor Courts, 495 N. Rte 21, Ste 107, Gurnee. Windsor Courts (3 sets of two-story brick buildings) is located on the east side of Rt 21 (AKA Riverdale Road) between Grand Avenue and Washington Street, just north of Tacos El Norte and Stevens Restaurant and just South of In-Laws Pub.
To Download New Patient History Forms for First Visit:
For same day appointments, call for scheduling instead of online booking
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine and How Does It Work?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and, more specifically, Acupuncture is an ancient healing modality designed to alleviate current signs and symptoms as well as treat the underling root problem. What many people do not know is that it is also a prevention medicine, designed to keep people at their optimal health, so they can avoid potential disorders that they are constitutionally prone to. Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Anxillary Chinese Modalities all work to increase circulation, optimize organ functioning, alleviate undetected inflammation, boost the immune system and balance out hormones for people of any age. People who utilize TCM into their health routine increase their chances of living longer and growing old gracefully. Try it today!
What Does It Take To Become An Acupuncturist?
Many people do not fully know what it takes to be a licensed acupuncturist. In truth, it takes a lot of time, money and courage. The average program can range from 36 months for a basic Master's level education in Acupuncture to 48 months for an advanced Master's level education in both Acupuncture and Herbs (Masters in Oriental Medicine). Acupuncture students spend on average between $48,000 to $60,000+ to receive a license in their state. They must complete 3 to 4 national boards as well as a clean needle technique exam before they are even allowed to treat. Because of this advanced education, a patient can always be secure that they are receiving the highest level of medical treatment from their acupuncturist! Heather Sullivan has been awarded both high honors in a Masters of Oriental Medicine, a Bachelor's in Nutrition and a degree from China's premier Traditional Chinese Medicine University in Guangzhou, China. Call her today!
Basic Questions Of Concern For New Patients
- Does Acupuncture Hurt? No! Many times patients are concerned that the needles used are the equivalent to hypodermic needles used to draw blood. In fact, acupuncture needles are almost as thin as hair. Did you know that up to 21 acupuncture needles can fit into a standard hypodermic needle? If a patient does feel anything, it usually ranges from a small pinch to an acceptable dull ache. Most of the time, patients are pleasantly surprised to feel nothing at all!
- Do you reuse your needles? Never. In the 80's, acupuncturists used to reuse needles after they have been autoclaved, but not anymore. Advances in needle production allow acupuncturists to buy one-time use needles that come in sterilized packaging. The needles are disposed of in a biohazard unit after each treatment.
- Does Insurance Cover Acupuncture? It depends on a patient's individual policy plan. In contacting your provider to find out your benefit coverage, you may also need to confirm if your deductable is met and whether the symptom you are being treated for is covered. Heather Sullivan is an in-network provider with Cigna, Aetna and United. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) does not have acupuncturists in-network. However, acupuncturists can submit claims and get paid with BCBS as out-of-network. If your BCBS benefits include acupuncture, Heather Sullivan will work with them for payment so you don't have to! Heather Sullivan is also contracted with BCBS only to provide a 25% discount for patients who do not have acupuncture benefits. Heather also accepts personal injury, HSA/Flex spending and workers compensation programs.
- How Many Treatments Will It Take To Help Me? This is a somewhat difficult question to answer as everyone's body responds differently to treatment. The general rule is 10 sessions with the first 3-6 session being within a two week period. After the first 3 sessions, an acupuncturist can usually tell by the patient's response to the treatments how many more sessions will be needed.
- How Many Needles Are Used? Between 10-20. Remember, the needles are thin and the patient generally does not feel them!
- What Should I Expect To Feel After The Treatment? Fully relaxed with relief from symptoms. Acupuncture stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and relaxation state we feel when we are falling asleep). It also decreases inflammation, promotes circulation, boosts the immune system and releases dopamine/serotonin. Release stress, feel relaxed, freedom from pain and other symptoms? Why not give it a try!
- I'm Not Sure I Believe Acupuncture Works. Why Should I Try It? Because acupuncture has only been introduced into this country 40 years ago, many people question it's validity. The amount of evidence supporting acupuncture's efficacy is staggering, but the best evidence comes from the following: Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institute of Health (NIH) officially endorsed acupuncture as a valid form of therapy for over 40+ symptoms in 1996. Many insurance plans offer acupuncture, a practice not given to therapies not recognized for their medicinal value. John Hopkins University requires that patients undergoing joint surgery have acupuncture after the surgery to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Cook County Hospital employs acupuncturists for chronic pain care to decrease the number of patients from getting hooked on dangerous chronic pain medication. Loyola University (among many other hospitals) employs acupuncturists to treat patients for nausea and vomiting after chemotherapy treatments. The Armed Forces employs acupuncturists over in Afghanistan and Iraq to treat it's soldiers for PTSD. Acupuncture in Veterinary Medicine is one of the nation's fastest growing occupations. Why? Because it works and you can't fool an animal with placebo effects (an argument acupuncture critics often give). And finally, 51% of MD's recently surveyed would recommend acupuncture to their patients as an adjunct therapy over any other complimentary medicine. Acupuncture Works! Try it today!
Wellness While Driving - NBC News Interview
April 16, 2012
On April 14, 2012, Heather Sullivan was interviewed on Chicago's NBC News with Kim Vatis! She was General Motor's official wellness expert offering tips to stay well behind the wheel. To learn more about these tips, click on the below link or visit GM's drivingthemidwest.com/wellness.
Acupuncture Parties Now Offered!
Have friends and family members who are interested in acupuncture? What a better way to introduce them to it than through a party! Heather Sullivan will come to your party and give each participant a mini-acupuncture treatment designed to relief stress and build relaxation. Check out the details in our Wellness Services Menu tab.
Three Chinese Herbs That Can Save Your Life!
August 5, 2012
The first evidence of the Chinese using herbs happened 5000 years ago when tribal Shamans prescribed herbs to their patients for a variety of complaints. Through the centuries, Emperors – striving to maintain their God-like status – ordered their doctors to find the elixir of immortality that legends said to be real. The directive produced centuries of materia medicas (bibles) of herbs, their various healing properties and thousands of effective formulas. Gratefully, this knowledge was never lost and now modern medicine is incorporating these herbs in clinical trials for many pharmaceuticals needed to stay off heart, respiratory and kidney disease.
Below is a list of three essential herbs used in a variety of Chinese formulas that can possible save a life!
Cinnamon (Rou Gui) – Once I treated an 84-year-old woman in the hospital who was suffering from a severe case of respiratory distress. With each treatment, she consistently complained of feeling unnaturally cold. Her family wrapped her in blankets, but she still shook with an internal cold. In Chinese Medicine, I diagnosed her with severe kidney yang deficiency. In essence, her internal warmth (yang energy) had mostly left. I advised her daughter to feed her cinnamon tea. Within 15 minutes of drinking it, she stopped shivering and became more alert. Why? Cinnamon has a strong warming property to it. It increases circulation and promotes vigor. It also has antifungal, antiviral, bactericidal and larvicidal properties. It can kill e-coli, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella and several viruses. When you are feeling severely cold or weak from fighting off a flu/cold, try some Cinnamon tea!
Licorice (Gan Cao) – In the Arab world, the consensus is: whatever ails you, use licorice. It’s traditionally been used for various symptoms such as fever, respiratory ailments and gastritis. Long term use clears eyes and boosts vibrancy. It can treat stomach ulcers, fight off degenerative conditions (such as cancer) and fights inflammatory conditions like arthritis or rheumatism. Asian licorice has been used to treat allergies with great success!
Ginger (Gan Jiang) – Ginger is a wonderful tonic for all things gastrointestinal, including indigestion, stomachache, and malaria. It can relieve throat inflammation and asthma. With honey added, it is a valued remedy for bronchitis and coughs. The Chinese often used it to treat fevers and mushroom poisoning. Sometimes people use it for hangovers. Ginger gets the kidneys working and helps flush out toxins from the system. If you suffer from low blood pressure, try ginger. If you suffer from high cholesterol, try ginger. In certain clinical trials, it has been used to prevent cancer in animals. What a wonderful herb!
Electro-Acupuncture Helps Obese People Lose Weight
!July 11, 2012
Leptin is a protein that's made in the fat cells, circulates in the bloodstream, and goes to the brain. "Leptin is the way your fat cells tell your brain that your energy thermostat is set right," Leptin tells your brain that you have enough energy stored in your fat cells to engage in normal, relatively expensive metabolic processes.
In leptin resistance, people's leptin is high, which means they are fat, but their brain can't see it. In other words, their brain is starved, while their body is obese. And that's what obesity is: it's brain starvation
Chinese research showed that electroacupuncture treatment led to a reduction of body weight, decrease in the plasma leptin levels, and an increase in leptin receptor expression in the hypothalamus. Our results suggested that regulating the expression of leptin and the leptin receptor might be one of the molecular mechanisms underlying the reduction of body weight in diet-induced obese rats by electroacupuncture treatment.
Reference:Gong M, Wang X, Mao Z, Shao Q, Xiang X, Xu B.Am J Chin Med. 2012 2012;40(3):511-520.
Coffee and Fat Reduce Fertility Chances, Acupuncture Increases Them
July 9, 2012
"If you drink more than five cups of coffee a day, you reduce your chances of achieving pregnancy during IVF treatment by 50%," says researcher Ulrik Kesmodel, MD, PHD, a consultant gynecologist at the Fertility Clinic of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark.
Eating high amounts of saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats also made IVF success less likely, says researcher Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, an assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.
Can acupuncture increase your chances of achieving pregnancy during IVF treatment?
Answer is Yes.
Ten years ago, German researchers reported that acupuncture seemed to improve pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF, but since then research on the topic has shown conflicting results.
But, In this year, Chinese researchers found that women who had acupuncture generally had a slightly higher pregnancy rate, but not a higher birth rate than women who did not have the therapy. Researchers are unsure as to why acupuncture may help a woman conceive with IVF, but they note that there is some evidence that suggests needle stimulation may improve blood flow to the uterus. Scientists are still researching if acupuncture treatments could yield a uterine wall to be more receptive to the embryo.The study is published online in the Fertility and Sterility on January 12, 2012.
A particular treatment for infertility like IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization is largely aided to enhance its success rate. In reality, a large number of specialists now offer acupuncture as part of IVF treatment. This becomes quite noticeable in the developments done in the process of transferring the embryo which results to success in pregnancy. Another specific concern of infertility that can also be cured by acupuncture is having spasmed tubes. This is simply done by making these spasmed tubes into de-spasmed ones. Moreover, there are also many other infertility issues that can be effectively cured by acupuncture like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, increased follicle stimulating hormone, repeated miscarriage, idiopathic infertility, luteal phase defect, hyperprolactinemia, and also sperm DNA fragmentation.The body has the capacity to heal itself naturally and acupuncture also enhances this ability. In this case, the more frequent you treat yourself with acupuncture, the better. Women who are to undergo IVF treatment or donor egg transfer, they are often subjected to acupuncture about 3 to 4 months before the said process. Acupuncture is strongly advised for women before and after they have the embryo transfer. This is done for the purpose of enhancing the therapeutic effect along with different infertility treatments. Basically, fertility treatments bring about stress on the person undergoing it. And what is considered the best remedy for this is acupuncture. because acupuncture has a lot of ways to add to the treatment of infertility, it is highly advisable for couples who are suffering from this type of concern to give each option a shot.
Acupuncture Study Brings Hope For Parkinson's Patients
June 25, 2012
The research study funded by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is currently determining whether alternative Eastern medicine, specifically acupuncture, can help alleviate symptoms of severe fatigue in those living with Parkinson's.
Robert Downey Jr. Honored For Traditional Chinese Medicine Advocacy
June 25, 2012
In the last two decades, movie star Robert Downey Jr. has achieved good health and he credits it all to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Downey spoke about his gratitude for the ancient medicine while being honored for his advocacy with the Robert Graham Visionary Award in March.
New Study Correlates Electroacupuncture With Depression Alleviation
June 25, 2012
A recent research study out of Hong Kong shows electroacupuncture stimulation can quickly reduce the severity of depressive symptoms to help patients dealing with depression recover faster using alternative methods.
DCEAS (dense cranial electroacupuncture stimulation) is a novel acupuncture treatment, which was developed by Dr. Zhang Zhang-jin, associate professor of the HKU School of Chinese Medicine.
In DCEAS, Zhang believes that stimulating Bai Hui and Yin Tang, as well as other acupoints including Si Shen Cong, Tou Lin Qi, Tai Yang, Shuai Gu and Tou Wei, triggers the release of serotonin (5-HT) and other chemicals in the brain more efficiently, resulting in better treatment outcomes.
For the study, 73 participants, ages 25 to 65 years, had been diagnosed with MDD (major depressive disorder) and had suffered with the disorder from several months to several years.
On the 21st day after receiving treatment, the DCEAS group had a greater improvement in both the clinical depression assessment and the self-rating depression scale. Furthermore, strong improvements were observed in the DCEAS patients as early as at day 3, and this continued until the end of the treatment.
The findings suggest that DCEAS may be considered as an additional treatment for depressed individuals to achieve better clinical effects.
Study: Acupuncture Helps PCOS Patients
May 1, 2012
Acupuncture combined with frequent physical activity is key to reducing hormonal imbalances in women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a recent report from the University of Gothenberg, Sweden. http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32386
Keys to How Acupuncture Alleviates Pain-Based Disorders
Activation of brain areas involved in pain perception are significantly reduced under acupuncture, a study recently found. http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=32355