Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my first treatment?
Your first acupuncture treatment will involve an extensive health history, evaluation, and treatment. We will go over your health history and present condition in detail. Please bring any lab work or imaging studies to your first appointment. Next, a physical examination utilizing Chinese and Western medicine will occur. Lastly, your first treatment will include an acupuncture session as well as a detailed treatment plan which may include nutritional therapy or herbal medicine. The first visit usually lasts approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Do you accept insurance?
We are in network with most insurance including Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Cigna, Health Net, Aetna, Kaiser, United Health Care, Medi-Cal, and Triwest with the Veteran’s Choice Program. We are happy to check your insurance benefits and bill your insurance directly as part of our services. If you are under-insured, I offer discounted pre-paid packages.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the practice of puncturing the skin with needles at certain anatomical points in the body to relieve specific symptoms associated with many diseases. The anatomical points (acupuncture points) are thought to have certain electrical properties, which affect chemical neurotransmitters in the body.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used medical practices in the world. Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture gained attention in this country in the 1970s, when China and the US opened relations. The practice has been growing in popularity since.
What does acupuncture feel like?
Acupuncture is generally performed with metallic, solid, and hair-thin needles. Patients report different feelings associated with acupuncture, but most feel little to no pain as the needle is inserted. Acupuncture makes some people report feeling energized by the treatment, while others say they feel relaxed.
Many studies have documented acupuncture’s effects on the body, but none has fully explained how acupuncture works within the framework of Western medicine. Researchers have proposed several processes to explain acupuncture’s effects, primarily on pain.
In general, acupuncture points are believed to stimulate the central nervous system, which, in turn, releases chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. These chemicals either alter the experience of pain or release other chemicals that influence the body’s self-regulating systems. These biochemical changes may stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities and promote physical and emotional well-being.
Attention has been focused on the following theories to further explain how acupuncture affects the body:
Conduction of electromagnetic signals
Evidence suggests that acupuncture points are strategic conductors of electromagnetic signals. Stimulating these points enables electromagnetic signals to be relayed at greater-than-normal rates. These signals may start the flow of pain-killing biochemicals, such as endorphins, or release immune system cells to specific body sites.
Activation of the body’s natural opiod system
Considerable research supports the claim that acupuncture releases opiods, synthetic or naturally-occurring chemicals in the brain that may reduce pain or induce sleep. These chemicals may explain acupuncture’s pain-relieving effects.
Stimulation of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland Joined at the base of the brain, the hypothalamus and pituitary glands are responsible for many body functions. The hypothalamus activates and controls part of the nervous system, the endocrine processes, and many bodily functions, such as sleep, regulation of temperature, and appetite. The pituitary gland supplies some of the body’s needed hormones. Stimulation of these glands can result in a broad spectrum of effects on various body systems.
Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones
Studies suggest that acupuncture may alter brain chemistry in a positive way. This is accomplished by changing the release of neurotransmitters (biochemical substances that stimulate or inhibit nerve impulses) and neurohormones (naturally-occurring chemical substances that can change the structure or function, or impact the activity of, a body organ).
Acupuncture for Fertility and Women’s Health
The essence of the fertility wellness program is to take a closer look at the body from a holistic perspective and correct any and all imbalances that may be contributing to fertility problems. Our mission is to help restore your fertility so that you can conceive naturally or increase your success rates if doing assisted therapies.
Below is a list of the common types of fertility patients we work closely with:
It is our strong belief that all women and men should strive for optimal health when planning to begin a family. The reproductive system works much like a concert symphony, a masterpiece is created only if all the players are giving their best. Women may have clues that their periods are not healthy; they may have lots of PMS symptoms or pain, heavy bleeding or irregular cycles. The first goal of the fertility wellness program is to educate women on the details of their menstrual cycles to help them interpret BBT charts, identify cervical fluid, understand how the hormones interplay and work to create an optimal fertile environment. Then we use the tools within the fertility wellness program to attain better balance. These are:
PCOS &Ovulatory Dysfunction
High FSH/ Low AMH/ “Poor Responder”
Endometriosis & Cysts
Male Infertility – Low motility, morphology and count
Donors and Gestational Surrogates
Couples who have exhausted ART options
Relaxation and stress reduction
Lifestyle modifications to promote better health in general
Complimentary care for Assisted Reproductive Therapy procedures
What conditions do you treat?
Oriental medicine is a comprehensive system of medicine that is capable of diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions. It works with your body to reduce pain and inflammation and restore homeostasis.
Some of the conditions successfully treated by acupuncture and Oriental medicine include:
Women’s issues, including painful periods, menopause, infertility, and other gynecological issues.
Chronic pain, especially joint and muscle pain, arthritis, as well as headaches and other discomforts.
Fatigue, including chronic fatigue syndrome, or a general feeling of being down.
Most conditions that require medication can be co-treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. However, we insist on partnering with your doctor to determine a proper course of treatment. Some medications need special care and planning.
Endocrine and digestive disorders, including diabetes, hypothyroid, IBS, and other digestive discomforts