What should I expect during my first visit?

It is best to arrive at least 15 minutes early so that you have ample time to fill out all the required paperwork. You will also be able to relax and settle in before meeting the Acupuncturist. You will then meet the Acupuncturist and enjoy an initial consultation which includes an interactive questionnaire and a body systems check. We follow this with a complete Tongue, Pulse and Facial diagnosis and combine it with any orthopedic exams necessary for a comprehensive assessment regarding your current state of health.

What should I expect during my consultation?

The initial consultation will involve the patient telling the Acupuncturist about the problem for which they are seeking treatment. The Acupuncturist will then ask them a few questions and the patient will have an opportunity to have any of their questions answered as well.

The Acupuncturist will then perform a tongue and pulse diagnosis, a facial diagnosis, any necessary orthopedic exams and a blood pressure check. The Acupuncturist will then discuss the treatment options with the patient and recommend a plan of action to resolve the health issues in the most comfortable manner possible.

Does Acupuncture hurt?

Most patients find the treatment to be pleasurable, rejuvenating and deeply relaxing. The needles are very thin and so cause minimal discomfort when they enter the body. Many feel nothing and those who are sensitive only feel a slight prick. Once the needles are in place one might feel heaviness and deep relaxation spread throughout your body. Many patients fall asleep. Don’t worry. It is natural to be a little nervous. You will soon find that all your worries have been cleared away.

How thick are the needles?

The needles are very thin. An Acupuncturist uses filiform (thread like) needles that could fit inside the hypodermic needles commonly used for injections. They can be compared to thickness of body hair.

How deep do the Acupuncture needles go? 

For most conditions we prefer to use shallow insertion. The depth of the insertion however, will vary according to the selection of points being used. Our needles are not placed near any vital structures and It is important to know that the acupuncture needles do not cut the skin. Depending on the patients comfort levels, individual body type, the condition being treated and the treatment method being selected, we accommodate the style and depth of needle insertion.

Are Acupuncture needles reused?

No, we never reuse any needles in our practice. This is illegal in the state of California. For safety reasons, we dispose the used needles immediately after each treatment. As a further precaution, we use only sterile stainless steel needles that individually packaged and strictly regulated by the FDA.

Who will be performing the treatments?

At our clinic, only licensed practitioners of Oriental Medicine perform Acupuncture. In California, a licensed Acupuncturist must earn a Masters level degree and pass a stringent State board Examination before they are allowed to practice. They must also continually update their knowledge and skills to maintain good standing with the board.

How effective is Acupuncture?

Millions of people have used Acupuncture for thousands of years in countries such as China, Korea and Japan. Unlike Western Medicine which has a reductionist treatment approach, Acupuncture is a part of Oriental Medicine that takes a holistic patient centered view to treating the problems faced by the body. Although more studies and research needs to be done on why Acupuncture works there have been many reported cases of patients experiencing great benefit through regular sessions.

How long will it take before I feel better?

The body has its own natural healing process that takes time. Acupuncture works to accelerate this process but it often requires multiple treatments before lasting results are achieved. Nonetheless Acupuncture can also give you immediate relief from pain and other discomforts. It really works on a case by case basis. General consensus is that with continued treatments, acupuncture does provide true, long term relief.

How often do I need to come in for treatment?

This really depends on the individual and the condition that is being treated. One might enjoy instantaneous betterment while some may require more consistent treatments for more serious conditions. When starting off most patients choose to receive consistent treatments as often as
possible, for this method is widely accepted as the best way to reinforce the beneficial effects of each previous treatment. In our experience it has a domino effect of providing effective long lasting change and can initiate a wonderful shift toward overall betterment. We slowly taper off the treatments and eventually one might choose to enjoy a body tune up once a month.

How does Acupuncture work?

In spite of a great deal of excellent research designed to answer this question, as yet there are no good, clear, simple answers available. There are, however, a variety of theories that attempt to explain the mechanism of acupuncture. Pain is the area in which most research has been completed, and therefore most of the theories about the mechanism of acupuncture are related to the use of acupuncture in diseases of pain.

The life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee) can be influenced and balanced by stimulating specific points on the body. These points are located along channels of energy known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Chinese medical theory, illness arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomesunbalanced or is blocked.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to increase the activity of pain-killing endorphins and immune system cells at specific points on the body. Brain chemistry and the release of neurotransmitters are altered, gently nudging the body to heal itself.

Do you accept insurance?

Yes, we do accept insurance. More and more insurance companies are now covering acupuncture as a medical therapy. Specifically, We are providers on numerous insurance panels (Kaiser Permanente, Anthem blue cross, Health Net, Cigna, United Healthcare, Easy Choice, Auto accident, Worker’s comp, and more)

We are happy to check your benefits and discover what your policy specifically covers, what your deductible is, how much if any is left on your deductible to meet before your benefits begin, what your co-pay is and how many visits/ year you are allowed.

We can usually get this checked while you receive your first treatment. Or if you would rather call us and provide the necessary information we can inform you of the details by phone prior to your first visit. Either way it is easy for you to get the answers you need about your policy and our services.

If you have any questions about this or any other topic, always feel welcome to contact us.