Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What can Acupuncture treat?
A: Acupuncture can be used in the treatment of many kinds of medical conditions, as well as for prevention
of illness. Acupuncture can be effective as the only treatment used, or as the support or adjunct to other
medical treatment modalities.
According to the World Health Organization, the National Institutes for Health, and clinical experience,
Acupuncture is useful in the treatment of:
Chronic and Acute Pain/Injuries: Headaches, neck and back pain, tendonitis, sciatica, carpal tunnel
Depression, Anxiety and Insomnia: Acupuncture is particularly useful in resolving physical problems
related to tension, stress and emotional conditions
Digestive Disorders: Irritable bowel, colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, food allergies, ulcers
Eye and Ear Disorders: Tinnitus, Meniere's disease
Immune Function: Recurrent infections, supportive treatment for cancer and AIDS patients
Addictions—: Addictions to nicotine, alcohol and drugs
Neurological Disorders: Post-stroke recovery, Bell's Palsy and Trigeminal Neuralgia, movement
Upper Respiratory Disorders: Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, sinusitis, sore throat, laryngitis, colds and flu
Urinary, Menstrual, and Reproductive Disorders: Cystitis, menstrual cramps, irregular or heavy periods,
infertility (male and female), menopausal symptoms
Q: Is acupuncture safe?
A: Acupuncture is extremely safe if you seek treatment from a licensed acupuncturist. The needles I use are extremely thin, individually wrapped, sterile, single use needles. After a treatment, when each needle is removed, they are immediately placed in a sharps container for proper disposal. On occasion, the needle may penetrate a small blood vessel. If that happens, a small bruise may occur for a few days following a treatment.
Q: Will it hurt?
A: It is important to me to create a comfortable experience for my patients and I employ a gentle approach during an acupuncture session. The acupuncture needles that I use are very fine, and many times cannot be felt during insertion. Normal sensations that are possible include heaviness, tingling, or a dull ache where the needle is inserted. Acupuncture points near the fingers or toes can be more sensitive and sometimes a sharp sensation is felt, but only for a brief moment.
Q: What can I expect for my first acupuncture visit?
A: During our first treatment together, a thorough history intake is performed so that I may get to know you and have a better understanding of your condition. A physical examination will be performed which includes, but is not limited to measuring things like blood pressure, temperature and weight, examining range of motion when appropriate, feeling the pulse, and viewing the tongue. I encourage you to ask questions at any time.
Afterwards, the needles will be inserted for about 20-30 minutes, this is usually a very relaxing experience and many patients fall asleep. First visits last around 1-1 1/2 hours and return treatments may take between 40-60 min. It is recommended that you wear loose, comfortable clothing that can be rolled up to the knees and elbows. If this is not possible, a gown or sheet will be provided.
Q: I don't have anything wrong with me. Can I still get a treatment?
A: Absolutely. In this way, a patient may use acupuncture to promote and maintain wellness. For example, one can use acupuncture to help strengthen their immunity during seasonal changes, to prevent severe hot flashes during menopause, or to relax the mind and body during times of stress.
Q: Can children be treated with acupuncture?
A: Acupuncture can be used safely for all ages, this includes babies and children as well as the elderly.
For babies, and for children who may be uncomfortable with needles, shoni-shin is used. Shoni-shin is a
Japanese technique which means "little children needle." This form of Pediatric Acupuncture uses a tool
which does not penetrate the skin with the traditional style of acupuncture needles. Children
respond very well to Traditional Chinese Medicine, and are not limited to acupuncture. Herbal Formulas,
lifestyle and dietary recommendations are given when appropriate and may serve to support their
development promote their health, and help them through common childhood illnesses.
Q: Can pregnant women receive acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine?
A: Absolutely! Acupuncture and herbs have been used safely for over 2,000 years to treat and promote the wellness of women during the various stages of pregnancy as well as both pre- and postnatally. There are a few acupuncture points and selected herbs that are contraindicated and must be avoided during pregnancy, so if there is any chance you may be pregnant it is important to let your acupuncturist know.
Additionally, Acupuncture can be done to help increase fertility in both men and women and is often used during IVF treatments.
Q: Is my insurance covered by acupuncture?
A: The State of California recognizes Acupuncturists as Primary Health Care Providers. As such, health insurance companies have been offering coverage to those seeking the care that an acupuncture provides.
While this office does not bill insurance directly, upon request, we will provide all necessary paperwork that the patient will need to submit their healthcare claim to their insurance provider on their own. Once submitted, reimbursements and/or payments, if covered will be mailed directly to the patient from their insurance provider.