• Question No: 1

    Is Acupuncture painful?

    Most patients feel no pain at the insertion of acupuncture needles. Compared to needles used for injections, acupuncture needles are extremely thin. Through skillful insertion by gentle hands, most patients experience a light tingling or heat sensation around the needled area. Many patients say they do not feel the needles being inserted and are relaxed during the treatment sessions.

  • Question No: 2

    Are the Acupuncture needles sterile?

    We use disposable, individually packaged, sterile needles to ensure the safety our patients. Our acupuncturists are trained and certified in Clean Needle techniques.

  • Question No: 3

    Is Acupuncture covered by health insurance?

    Most health insurance plans cover acupuncture. However, coverage varies from plan to plan as well as the benefits. Our office staff can verify acupuncture coverage and benefits as a service to our patients. Have your insurance card ready when you contact us. We are also a part of the Cedars Sinai Medical Group network.

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With a comprehensive consultation with the acupuncturist, the appropriate herbs will be prescribed to the patient. Most prescription herbs are safe to take in conjunction with your current supplements and medications. Our acupuncturist will inform you if there are any precautions you should take with any of the prescribed herbs.

On your initial visit, there are some forms that need to be filled out. Please arrive about 10-15 minutes before your scheduled appointment to complete the forms. We advise that you have a light meal and plenty of fluids before treatment. We ask that you avoid consuming any dyed foods such as candy or coffee that stain your tongue. Tongue diagnosis is an important aspect of Traditional Oriental Medicine.

After acupuncture treatment, some patients may feel very relaxed and some may feel energized. Be aware of your body and take a rest if you feel it is needed. If you experience dizziness or tiredness, inform the staff and sit for awhile before walking or driving a vehicle. After your acupuncture treatment, we advise that you not consume food or drink for 30 minutes. Also, if you have any questions about the dosage and administration of herbs, be sure to clarify with the staff. Schedule your follow-up visit according to the doctor’s recommendation.

There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. In direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. This type of moxibustion is further categorized into two types: scarring and non-scarring. With scarring moxibustion, the moxa is placed on a point, ignited, and allowed to remain onto the point until it burns out completely. This may lead to localized scarring, blisters and scarring after healing. With non-scarring moxibustion, the moxa is placed on the point and lit, but is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. The patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring unless the moxa is left in place for too long. Indirect moxibustion is currently the more popular form of care because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint and retained. The tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) removed.

Cupping is a simple method of pulling “stuck,” stagnant, and congealed blood and fluids out of the injured area. Plastic or glass cups are placed on the skin and then applied using suction. Cups are kept on from three to fifteen minutes, according to the judgment of the acupuncturist. Cupping releases tight, painful muscles and increases blood circulation.

After any injury, areas that you hurt are areas that now have a blockage of blood and body fluids. Injured joints become swollen and painful. Backs become stiff, painful and difficult to move. This blockage of blood and body fluids that accompanies an injury is like a beaver dam. The force of the accident or injury creates the initial obstruction – the sticks, mud and leaves of the dam.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are extremely successful in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. Many people try Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as a “last resort” to serious and complex medical problems and find that it can help them when other treatments could not. Acupuncture is also often used as a preventative medicine. Many people see their acupuncturist only once or twice a month for a “tune up” or “balancing” treatment. This can prevent disease and promote health, energy and vitality.

Acupuncture treats your body, mind and spirit as a whole. In Asian medicine, wherever pain or illness shows up, it is about unbalance. Acupuncture addresses the life energy that flows through the body, called Qi (pronounced “chee”). Qi is carried through the body in meridians, which act like roads. When this energy flows smoothly, you live in ease. When it is blocked, the result is pain or illness on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. I help you repair yourself by unblocking and redirecting the energy flow to achieve maximum wellness. From a Western biomedical standpoint, there are various theories for why it works. One thought is that acupuncture releases endorphins, which it does, but that isn’t the whole explanation. A recent fMRI study found electrical micro channels that cross and connect the whole body; the researcher suggested that by changing the flow of electrical energy, acupuncture affects the electro-chemical responses of the body. Whichever explanation appeals to you, the undisputed fact is that acupuncture works!

Yes & no. Acupuncturists are not allowed to use the word “fix” or “cure”, but your body fix yourself ultimately: acupuncture just opens the door. For issues of physical trauma (for example, speeding up the healing of a broken bone, tendonitis, sprains, carpal tunnel, side-effects of chemo, etc), the treatments are fairly simple and “fix” you. Addressing non-trauma problems will require your active participation. The fundamental truth is that your body is wise: you do not have symptoms for no reason. This means that your symptoms are not independent of you, your lifestyle, or the choices you make in life. Therefore, to really heal, you have to listen and act on what your body is telling you about yourself and the way you deal with life issues. So yes, acupuncture can fix you, if you are willing to take responsibility and fix yourself.

The initial Consultation and Treatment takes 1.75-2hours. The first 45 Min. to 1 hour is a comprehensive conversation about your physical, emotional and spiritual health. The second hour is a needle treatment. Follow-up appointments are 1 hour each. You should start to see improvements in how you feel within 4-6 treatments, depending on the severity of your issues. Many patients notice an improvement after the first treatment.