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Frequently Asked Questions

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Is acupuncture right for me?

Acupuncture has been developed and perfected over thousands of years, studied extensively, and found to be helpful for an extremely wide range of health difficulties. Though a tried and true resource, every body is different and we encourage you to reach out to us directly so we can help you decide if this modality is right for you.

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How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture brings relief via two main actions: 1) By gently directing the flow of energy and blood to regions of the body that are in pain or need help to function well, and 2) By producing an overall balancing, regulating, and deeply relaxing effect on the body.

*More scientific explanations here

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What can I expect to happen at my appointment?

Prior to your appointment, you will be prompted to submit an intake form which will allow your practitioner to get a sense of what you may be seeking help for. We recommend budgeting at least an hour of your time for your appointment, and wearing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows access to a variety of acupoints.

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Should I stay with the same practitioner?

Not necessarily! Many patients see multiple practitioners depending on their schedules, financial ability, and personal preference. We support you finding the practitioner that best suits your needs and supports your process. 

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How many treatments will I need?

The frequency and number of recommended treatments differ from person to person and depend on condition severity and chronicity. Many acute conditions respond well with a short course of 3-5 treatments. For complex or long-standing chronic conditions, one to two treatments per week for a few months may be recommended. Some people experience dramatic relief in the first treatment.

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Do the needles hurt?

The needles are hair-thin, flexible, and more like tiny filaments! What you may feel is a gentle tapping sensation as the needles are placed, followed by a mild ache, sense of pressure, or warmth. Typically, patients consider this a pleasant or relieving sensation and soon enter a deeply relaxed state. Every now and then, there may be a brief pinch as a needle is inserted, which tends to dissipate quickly.

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How can you treat my back pain while I'm face up or sitting in a chair?

Very effectively! In fact, sometimes even more effectively. it’s better to treat pain by accessing the inflamed or injured area with a distant access point connected to the painful area via the energy pathways that cover the entire body. By using points on the arms and legs, we can help energy and blood flow through the affected area without causing more pain and inflammation.

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Is acupuncture safe?

Very! Only sterile, single use, disposable needles are used. There are little to no side effects, only the rare slight bruising. Every practitioner is licensed and regulated by the State of California. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Statement states: “One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted procedures for the same conditions."

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Do I have to remove my clothing?

No. We use a method called "distal" or "distant" needling that allows us to treat an affected area without putting needles directly into it. Oftentimes, needles are only placed on the lower legs and arms, head, neck, and ears. We sometimes utilize points on the back or abdomen if deemed necessary by the practitioner. 

*Please wear loose clothing that can easily roll up above your knees and elbows.

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How long do the needles stay in for?

The amount of time depends on the person, condition, sensitivity and patient’s schedule. We say it usually takes ~30 minutes for the Qi (the body’s energy & resources) to circulate fully through the body, so tend to let patients rest with needles in for ~45 minutes. Generally, your body will let you know and we do our best to time this with our check-in with you around the 45 minute mark.

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How about my privacy?

We take your privacy seriously and are committed to this by remaining HIPPAA compliant in our communication with you as well as remaining professional, respectful, and understanding of your individual comfort levels. Please ask us questions if you have them, and inform us of any particular request you may have that will facilitate your feeling understood and cared for throughout your session.

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Do you accept insurance?

We do not bill insurance. Check with your insurance provider to see if they will reimburse you. Receipts can be emailed to your email address on file, and we can provide you with a superbill if your insurance provider requires a diagnostic code for reimbursement.

"Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."

~Lao Tzu

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