What should I expect at an appointment?
Your first appointment starts with a complete health history and questions about specific ailments and lifestyle habits. I want to get the “big picture” and what may be the root cause of your health issues.
You will be asked questions about energy level, sleep, emotions, quality and location of pain, nutrition and eating habits, digestion and elimination or gynecological concerns for example.
A physical exam includes an analysis of the pulse and tongue. The color and texture of the tongue can show how the body is functioning while your pulses show the strength and the balance of your organs and energy.
Recommended treatments may include an assortment of therapies rooted in Chinese and Functional medicine, such as acupuncture, herbs and supplements, diagnostic lab testing, nutritional guidance, bodywork, and lifestyle counseling.
How long will my treatment take?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the complexity of your condition, how long you’ve had it, how much time, energy and attention you’re willing to devote to treatment, and how well you respond to treatment.
The ideal approach to illness is to begin treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you seek help, the easier it is to treat. Achieving healing requires a commitment on your part to maintain compliance with the suggested treatment plan.
In general, wellness programs for chronic illnesses could take between three to six months, but most patients start seeing improvement within the first month. With acupuncture, each treatment builds on the other as the effects tend to be cumulative. Generally with acupuncture, acute conditions of recent onset may only require 3 or 4 treatments, while a series of five to 15 may be needed to resolve chronic conditions.
To simply maintain good health, you may elect to continue with a maintenance program after your initial treatment plan is finished.
Will my insurance cover visits?
It is possible your insurance may cover your treatments for acupuncture and office visit. However, holistic medicine is considered above the standard of care and therefore elective as far as the insurance industry is concerned. Please check with your insurance company in order to determine if your plan includes out-of-network benefits for acupuncture.
What kind of training do you have?
I am a state board and nationally Licensed Acupuncturist. In California, acupuncturists are considered primary care physicians and can perform examinations and order lab tests. I received my Masters of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine and have training in the biological sciences such as anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, blood chemistry, and neurology, as well as conventional medical diagnosis and treatment.
In addition, I have received extensive training in nutrition, botanical medicine and lifestyle counseling. My services are not meant to substitute or replace those of a medical doctor but my programs are meant to work in conjunction with them.
Do you work with patients outside your clinic?
Yes, I offer long-distance consultation via telephone, Skype audio or Skype video.
How can I learn if this will work for me?
The best way to determine whether you would be a good fit is to schedule an initial 15-minute phone consultation. This gives me an opportunity to learn more about your goals and needs, and gives you the chance to ask me any questions you might have. There’s no obligation.
How does Acupuncture work?
Current research shows that acupuncture has a measurable effect on the autonomic nervous system, on vascular and endocrine physiology, and brain chemistry. In essence, it really stimulates your bodies’ own healing mechanism so it can do what it was designed to do: heal.
To the human body, acupuncture needles are a physical stimulus. When the body detects a change or stimulus, it produces a response in the nervous system to begin producing chemicals called endorphins, which relieve pain and increase a person’s sense of relaxation and wellbeing.
Scientists can now actually “see” the body’s response to acupuncture. For example, using an MRI, researchers have shown that when a needle is inserted at specific acupuncture points on the body, they can see corresponding changes occur in the brain.
What does Acupuncture feel like?
Unlike hypodermic needles, sterile, disposable acupuncture needles are solid and ultra-thin. They are inserted very shallow, generally an eighth to a half-inch depending on the location on the body.
When the needles are tapped into the skin, one may feel a slight sensation of heaviness or tingling when Qi is activated. Typically 10 to 20 needles are used each session and are generally left in place for 20 to 45 minutes while you relax under a heat lamp to soft music. Most people find treatments very relaxing and report a deep sense of emotional grounding after acupuncture.