Does it hurt?
The sensation of receiving an acupuncture treatment can rarely be described as painful. Now that is not to say that it is devoid of sensation, but generally the feeling is more of a tingling. Acupuncture needles have a doweled end, and therefore do not cut the skin as regular injection needles do. Following treatment, it is common for the patient to feel a tremendous sense of relaxation and/or exhilaration.


Are there any contraindications for acupuncture?
There are very few situations where acupuncture is not advised. These are the most common:
• If the patient has a hemophilic condition
• If the patient is pregnant - certain acupuncture points and needle manipulations should not be used during pregnancy
• If the patient has a severe psychotic condition or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol


How many treatments will I need?
Usually a series of treatments are necessary to resolve a condition. Each case and condition is treated individually. A consultation is required to determine requirements. Treatments can be between 45 to 90 minutes in length with the first consultation usually lasting longer. 


Will acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatment be covered through my insurance?
Some insurance companies cover acupuncture treatment, but they stipulate that the practitioner be board certified. In addition, a majority of flexible account spending plans will cover acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatment. We can call your insurance carrier to verify coverage over the phone or during your initial visit. 


How does the acupuncturist manage infection control?
Non-physician acupuncturists are required by California law to use disposable, one-time-use sterilized needles. Because blood loss and bleeding are minimal with acupuncture, there is no requirement for acupuncturists to wear gloves.  Basically, the risk of a serious infection is drastically less than the risk of a serious accident while traveling to the acupuncturist's office. 


Are acupuncture results due to a placebo effect?
Physiological changes after acupuncture are not the result of a placebo effect and will occur without conscious knowledge of the patient. Many of these results are measured by scientific investigation such as MRI or by conducting blood draws before and after the acupuncture treatment itself.  Further proof that acupuncture is not only placebo is by observing animal acupuncture: dogs and horses love it!


What are the benefits of acupuncture compare to Western medicine?
Western medicine generally focuses on and treats localized symptoms and problems, whereas Eastern medicine looks at the same problems in relation to the whole body and how those problems affect and interact with each other. Acupuncture promotes the natural healing capacity of the body. Our body is designed to heal itself naturally, and many times Western medicine will use artificial substances that are harmful. Acupuncture has been proven by clinical use for thousands of years, and it is a preferred treatment for many types of illness.