FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
For a description of treatments, please click under therapies
Why Try Acupuncture?
• It works
• There are no bad side-effects (unlike the side effects of medications and surgery)
• It works on the root of the problem, rather than just covering it up or suppressing symptoms
• Prevents disease
How do I get started?
Please schedule a consultation or treatment appointment by calling 858-405-8808. Consultations are free and we can discuss what acupuncture can do for your particular health concern(s). We have days and times to fit your schedule. Treatments and consultations are by appointment only.
How should I dress?
You can wear whatever you like. Ideally, you should wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing and a skirt or pants that can be pulled up over the knees without binding. Don’t worry though, if you come straight from work or an event, you can disrobe and I can drape you with towels or sheets.
Do I need to eat differently? No. It is best to have something light to eat before a treatment, but not necessary. After a treatment, you can eat normally.
Can I drink caffeine or alcohol? Yes, in moderation. Please refrain from alcohol before a treatment. We can also discuss these further in a nutritional consult.
What if I am on Coumadin (or another blood thinner)? Yes, you can still get acupuncture. It is very safe and is one of the alternatives that can help you while you are on this medication.
However, the Chinese Herbal Medicine is contraindicated if you are on Coumadin.
Is it safe?
Yes. Needles are stainless steel, single use (disposable) and come prepackaged and sterile. We never reuse them. The needles do not penetrate far under the skin, so infection is rare to nonexistent. Additionally, acupuncturists must go through rigorous schooling similar to a medical doctor before qualifying to sit for the Board exam and be licensed.
What are the side effects? There are no bad side effects! The worst that could happen is you get a tiny bruise; but usually this doesn’t occur. The good side effects are relaxation, an overall feeling of wellbeing, a boosted immune system, and increased circulation.
Does it hurt? No. Many people don’t feel anything. Some people feel a slight sensation. Overall, the treatments are very relaxing. Some people even fall asleep during a treatment! The needles are very thin, like a hair and do not penetrate far into the skin. Rarely is there any blood because we are not targeting the veins. The needles go superficially into the fascia or the muscle.
Is it enjoyable?
Most of our patients fall asleep in treatment. The endorphin release and also helping the body relax and heal are two reasons. All of our rooms are private, warm, and you listen to soothing music as you rest, and we also offer a nice heat lamp for the feet, neck, or back. If indicated, there may be stretching, and/or 5 minute Chinese medical massage to release painful areas.
How many treatments do I need? It varies from person to person and by ailment. This is what the consultation is about.
How long does it last? Each appointment is one hour. Consultations are 15-20 minutes.
How long does the treatment effect last? This varies from person to person. When you come in for a consultation, we can discuss what you can expect. Acupuncture is cumulative. With each treatment, the results last longer and longer. Some people have immediate results; and with some it takes more treatments. Again, we can discuss this in your specific case.
Can you treat more than one thing at a time? How many things can you treat at the same time? You can treat 1-3 conditions at the same time. Any more than that and it diffuses the treatment. If you have many things going on then we can focus on a few in the beginning and later change our focus as you get better. Additionally, we may not need to directly address some of those ailments. Because acupuncture treats the whole body, when we start to treat some things, other thing get better on their own because the body will be in balance.
Will insurance cover this?
It depends on your coverage. Sometimes it does, sometimes not. It is best to bring in your card so we may verify your coverage. You can also contact us ahead of time via so that we may verify. Alternatively, I can give you a superbill (you pay upfront, then get reimbursed by your insurance).
How do I pay if I don’t have insurance? We accept cash, check, debit, or credit cards.
Do MD’s support acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine? Many do and I often refer back and forth with MDs. I am happy to work with your MD in treating you, if you would like. Western and Eastern medicines each have their strong points and can be used as integrated therapies. Many hospitals are beginning to add acupuncture as an additional therapy and I interned at Scripps/Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego.
How old do you need to be? You can be any age. I have treated infants up to people in their late 90’s. Children under 18 need parental approval.
Can I watch my spouse, child, friend get a treatment? Yes. If it is ok with them, you can come in the room to observe.
What actually happens in a treatment? You fill in a form describing your medical history and the current issue. Then we discuss what your concerns are, how acupuncture can benefit your condition, how many treatments, and I answer any questions you may have. The consultation lasts approximately 15-20 minutes. If you decide to do a treatment, often we can do one right then. If you decide to wait, that is ok too.
In a treatment, you come in and lie on the table. I diagnose you by taking your pulse on both sides and by looking at your tongue. Then I apply the needles where appropriate. I usually insert 10-20 needles. It doesn’t hurt. Most people feel very relaxed and there is soft music playing. We leave the needles in for approximately 20 minutes. I come back and take the needles out. Then I may do 5-10 minutes of medical massage, or gua sha, or we may talk about an herbal prescription, nutritional advice, or you may be given stretching exercises and recommendations.
How much does it cost? It is the same price per hour regardless of what we are treating. In general, it is $85 for a one hour session. If you do need more than one treatment, we have payment options, and monthly plans. Health is the best investment you can make.
What if I am not in southern California?
Phone consultations are available, and are useful to establish your health history. Additionally, the herbs can be prescribed for anywhere. However, it is best if you can come at least once in person.
Can animals be treated with acupuncture? Yes. I have treated both dogs and cats with acupuncture and herbal medicine. They seem to enjoy it and respond very well.