Acupuncture is one of the safest treatment options available when performed by a licensed practitioner. Relatively few complications from the use of acupuncture have been reported to the FDA, despite the millions of people treated each year and the number of acupuncture needles used. The incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than many drugs or medical procedures used for the same conditions. Acupuncture needles are solid, stainless steel, disposable, and are no bigger than a human hair or piece of thread. They do not contain a pharmaceutical agent.
The government requires acupuncturists to follow very strict sterilization procedures. In addition, pre-sterilized acupuncture needles are manufactured, packaged, and shipped in sterilized containers. There are virtually no negative side effects from acupuncture. Most people feel very relaxed and often fall asleep during a treatment. Following an acupuncture treatment many report feeling ‘euphoric’, which is likely due to acupuncture stimulating the central nervous system to release opiods (pain relieving substances) and serotonin (the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter in the brain).
No. Acupuncture can sometimes feel dull, achy, heavy, warm, and is usually not painful. Most people are quite relaxed during treatments and often fall asleep.
Absolutely. Integrative medicine and the combination of the best aspects of both Eastern and Western medicine are ideal. Acupuncture is a powerful system that alone can produce profound results. However, massage therapy, herbal medicine, physical therapy, counseling, and other modalities may also be needed. Please consult with your primary care physician regarding any questions or concerns that you may have.
Just like every human is different, each individual case is unique and the course of treatments will vary. A person’s age, activity level, health history, lifestyle, diet, emotions, occupation, and environment are all factors that contribute to the healing process. The results and benefits of a treatment course are cumulative over time, yet it is not uncommon to have immediate results. Acute conditions often have sudden onsets accompanied by intense symptoms. This treatment course usually is 2-8 treatments, with occasional follow-up visits for prevention and maintenance. Chronic conditions that have persisted for years or have not responded to other forms of treatment usually take 8-10 weeks or more to treat. Herbal medicine, massage therapy, exercise, diet recommendations and other healing modalities can be prescribed for added benefit, quicker recovery, and better overall health.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is designed equally to treat conditions and prevent illness. With people’s busy lives, work, and family, we often look to solutions far after they have compromised our health. It is common practice in China to receive ‘maintenance’ acupuncture treatments to preserve good health. One of the foundations of Chinese medicine is observing nature and its subtle affects on the body during different times of the year. It is therefore especially important to get a seasonal ‘tune-up’ at the beginning of each season to promote resilience within the body.
Absolutely. Acupuncture is a medicine of prevention, rather than intervention, meaning that we aim to prevent illness before it arises. Proper diet, exercise, balance of work and rest, emotional and mental stability, and acupuncture treatments are all integral components of maintaining good health. If every system is working in harmony and you have no health concerns, the minimal treatment plan is four times per year at the change in seasons. There are seasonal shifts (even in SoCal!) that affect our systems and energy cycles.
Many times patients try acupuncture once and decide it didn’t work for them. In Western medicine we often look to strong prescriptions or surgery to “fix” the problem as quickly as possible. In Eastern medicine, the focus is on restoring balance within all systems of the body, which often takes more than one session. Each treatment process is unique, with progress varying greatly depending on past and current medical history, age, diet, lifestyle, and genetic make-up. Also, each practitioner has a different style of treatment, so try out a few before you decide on one you like.
Yes! Prenatal acupuncture has been used for centuries to promote a healthy pregnancy for both mom and baby. It can treat a variety of symptoms such as morning sickness, swelling, pain, headaches, gestational diabetes, and a breech presentation. Of course, always consult your MD before beginning any additional health plan.
Most points on most people do not bleed. However, some parts of the body, such as the ears and face are more prone to bleed, which is very minimal. Licensed acupuncturists are well trained practitioners of the human body, and we are well aware of organs, veins, and blood vessels.
The needles typically stay in between 10-20 minutes, depending on the person and condition being treated.
Not usually. In California acupuncturists are considered primary care physicians, meaning a referral is not usually necessary. However, some insurance companies require pre-authorization from your MD, which we can verify for you.
Yes! Many insurance companies cover acupuncture under their health plans. Please contact me and I can verify your coverage, copay, and number of treatments allowable per year.
Acupuncture is a gentle and safe treatment. There are no side effects and no medication being injected. Before a treatment we suggest eating a light snack or meal and before and after your treatment drink plenty of water.