Q & A

Some common questions about acupuncture are answered below. Call us if you have other questions or if you are interested in improving your life through acupuncture treatment.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an effective form of health care that has evolved into a complete and holistic medical system. Practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine have used this medical system to diagnose and help millions of people get well and stay healthy.

An acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints on the body. The stimulation of these points affect both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It triggers the release of the body’s internal chemicals such as endorphins and enkephalins, which have pain-relieving properties.  This activates the body’s  natural healing abilities by enhancing recuperative power, immunity and physical and emotional health. It also can improve overall function and well-being. It is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of medical problems.

What will my acupuncturist do?

During the initial exam a full health history will be taken. Questions will be asked regarding symptoms, health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist also may check pulses and your tongue and may conduct a physical exam. This information is then organized to create a complete, accurate and comprehensive traditional Chinese diagnosis. After the interview process, you will receive an acupuncture treatment. Visits with your acupuncturist may last from thirty to sixty minutes.

Why do they want to feel my pulse?

There are twelve pulse positions on each wrist that your acupuncturist will palpate. Each position corresponds to a specific meridian and organ. Your acupuncturist will be looking for twenty-seven individual qualities that reflect overall health. If there are any problems, they may appear in the pulse.

Why do they want to look at my tongue?

The tongue is a map of the body. It reflects the general health of the organs and meridians. Your acupuncturist will look at the color, shape, cracks and coating on your tongue.

Is acupuncture safe for children?

Yes. In some instances children actually respond more quickly than adults.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will vary from person to person. Some people experience immediate relief; others may take several treatments to achieve results. We expect at least some improvement within 3 to 4 treatments. Chronic conditions usually take longer to resolve than acute ones.

How much does it cost?

Rates vary and depend upon what procedures are performed. Please contact our office regarding rates and insurance coverage.

Will my insurance cover acupuncture?

Insurance coverage varies from plan to plan. Contact our office to find out if your plan covers acupuncture.

How should I prepare?

  • Write down and bring any questions you have. We are here to help you.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing for easy access to acupuncture points.
  • Do not skip a meal before your appointment.
  • Refrain from overexertion or working out, for up to six hours after the visit.
  • Avoid stressful situations. Make time to relax, and be sure to get plenty of rest.
  • Between visits, take notes of any changes that may have occurred, such as the alleviation of pain, pain moving to other areas, or changes in the frequency and type of problems.

What can acupuncturists treat?

Acupuncture is recognized by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems. Below are some of the health concerns that acupuncture can effectively treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Bronchitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Digestive trouble
  • Dizziness
  • Emotional problems
  • Facial palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Fertility
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headache
  • Hiccough
  • Indigestion
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low back pain
  • Menopause
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Migraine
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • PMS
  • Reproductive problems
  • Rhinitis
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stress
  • Tennis elbow
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Wrist pain

How safe is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is extremely safe. It is an all-natural, drug-free therapy, yielding feelings of relaxation and well-being. There is little danger of infection from acupuncture needles because they are sterile, used once, and then discarded. Before treatment, Gregory will address any concerns you may have.

How are acupuncturists educated?

Acupuncturists in California undertake four years of extensive and comprehensive graduate training at a nationally certified school. All California acupuncturists must pass a licensing exam, complete 50 hours of continuing education every two years, and meet strict guidelines to practice in the state.