Tag Archives: acupuncture

Acupuncture: Placebo Effect or Just Effect?

A few years ago I decided to try a new technique to get my hormones in check. Well, the technique is actually ancient, but it was new to me. A few needling sessions and a half-drunk container of herbs later, I felt much healthier, and even my doctor’s noticed that I was improving in a few areas.

Was it the acupuncture? The herbs? The fact that I started to eat a bit healthier since paying a lot of money to stick myself with needles and lie still for a half hour twice a month? I’m not so sure.

I found out that my new insurance covers acupuncture with a $25 co-pay, so I figured now is the time to find out if that experience before was just a fluke. I’ve been in for two sessions so far this time around. If you’ve never experiencing acupuncture before, it’s certainly a strange sensation. The needles mostly don’t hurt, though today I got one in my foot that I had the acupuncturist take out and replace with a smaller needle. There are a lot of theories around why acupuncture helps health issues, ranging from solving energy flow to flight-or-fight response in your system because you are being stuck with sharp objects.

There is definitely something to it, though, for when the needles are in the right spots and I’m lying there I feel this tingling sensation. It’s an interesting heaviness that is both relaxing and disconcerting. At the very least, needling reduces stress because it forces you to lie still for a half hour (and who has time to do that these days?)

Have you ever had acupuncture treatments or any eastern medicine? What have been the results?

My 2009 Health Spending and HSA Account Report

This was the first year I had an HSA Account along with a high deductible health insurance plan. It’s worked out ok, though to be honest I’m still unsure if I’m doing this all right. I made some last-minute transfers from my account to reimburse myself for medical spending and glad I did it today, because I found out that I can only transfer $500 per day and I needed to take out the same $2000 that I just transfered in.

The biggest stumble with my HSA this year was my accidental over contribution (excess contribution), as I transferred $2000 into the account completely forgetting that my work would be putting in another $100 before year end, putting my account $100 over the legal limit for the year. Oops.

I’m still not sure how that is going to pan out… I’ll probably just be extra taxed on that $100 which sucks but it will be a few bucks (hopefully) and I know better for next year.

My medical expenses this year beyond what was covered by insurance were pretty costly…


$134.95 eye exam

$429 13 month supply of contacts


$761 deep cleaning 4 quadrants and oral cancer screen

Mental Health

$710 — group therapy 1 month, one psychiatrist appointment, one career counselor appointment, 2 individual therapy (group screening) appointments


$250 — 2 visits and herbs


$200? — ultrasound to see that yes, I still have many cysts on my ovaries and office visit to discuss this (all during my supposedly “free” yearly checkup

Foot Problems

$195 — this was either for my one visit to the podiatrist or the xrays, I’m unclear which but I probably owe more.

Monthly Health Deduction: $20 (x 12 = $240)

Total Health Costs this Year: $2919.95

– $1200 (employer contribution to HSA)

My Approx 2009 Health Expenses: $1719.95