Frequently Asked Questions

What safety measures are you taking during COVID-19?

Your health is my top priority. To make sure we both stay healthy and safe during this time, I am implementing the following safety measures:

  • All patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All practitioners will wear medical masks with direct patient contact.
  • Medical masks and exam gloves are available for patients upon request.
  • Hand sanitizer is available in the common areas of the office and in the treatment rooms.
  • Social distancing will be gently enforced.
  • Office and treatment room surfaces will be sanitized frequently throughout the day.
  • Portable office air purifier will be utilized to filter virus-sized particles (Placerville location only).

What is Chinese medicine? 

An ancient, yet sophisticated form of medicine that uses the body’s own internal resources to foster healing.

Chinese medicine has existed over 3,000 years. A wealth of information gathering and knowledge has culminated in a medicine that is effective in treating a wide range of conditions. To illustrate the relevance of this medicine, there is plenty of clinical research supporting its success treating modern diseases and yet it was developed at a time when many of these diseases did not exist.

Chinese medicine has five branches:

  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal medicine
  • Energetic exercises (Qi Gong/Tai Chi) / Exercise Therapies (stretching/strengthening)
  • Massage (Tuina) 
  • Nutritional therapy

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that uses very fine needles, gently inserted at specific points, to stimulate the body’s own healing systems which restore balance, decrease pain and increase functionality. It is used for both acute and chronic conditions and excels as a preventative medicine. 

How does Acupuncture work?

An Eastern Explanation

Life energy termed Qi (pronounced chee) flows throughout the body along meridians and promotes the smooth circulation of blood and body fluids. When this flow is blocked, pain and illness prevail. Qi flow, and hence blood and body fluid flow, are influenced and balanced by the stimulation of specific points of the body. These points are located along meridians which connect to every organ system.

A Western Explanation

Acupuncture is the stimulation of points on the skin that influence and restore balance to the biochemical and physiological systems of the body. It is a medicine that is inherently regulatory.

Effects of acupuncture include:

  • Increased circulation
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Pain relief
  • Increased immunity
  • Regulates the endocrine (hormonal) system
  • Regulates the central nervous system

What does Acupuncture treat?

Over many decades, extensive studies on acupuncture through controlled clinical studies have taken place. In recognition to the ever increasing worldwide interest in acupuncture, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a lengthy document establishing acupuncture to be a proven, effective treatment based on controlled clinical trials for the following diseases, symptoms and conditions:

  • Cardiovascular: Hypertension, hypotension, stroke
  • Gastrointestinal/Renal: Peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, gastrospasm, dysentery, nausea and vomiting, biliary colic, renal colic
  • Head/Ear/Nose/Throat: Allergic rhinitis, headache
  • Mental/Emotional Health: Depression
  • Pain: Dental pain, facial pain, sciatica, neck, low back and knee pain, shoulder periarthritis, postoperative pain, rheumatoid arthritis, tennis elbow, sprain
  • Women’s Health: Dysmenorrhea, morning sickness, malposition of fetus, induction of labor
  • Other: Adverse reactions to radiotherapy/chemotherapy, leucopenia

The WHO also composed an extensive list of diseases, symptoms and conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown but for which further proof is needed:

  • Addiction: Alcohol dependence, tobacco dependence, opium, cocaine and heroin dependence, detoxification
  • Cardiovascular: Hyperlipidemia, Raynaud Syndrome, vascular dementia
  • Endocrine: Diabetes Mellitus
  • Gastrointestinal/Renal: Ulcerative colitis, abdominal pain (gastroenteritis/gastrointestinal spasm), cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, hepatitis B, gastrokinetic disturbance
  • Head/Eye/Ear/Nose/Mouth/Throat: Earache, epistaxis (nosebleed), eye pain, Meniere disease, Sjogren Syndrome, post extubation in children, sore throat, sialism, craniocerebral injury (closed)
  • Mental/Emotional Health: Anxiety, stress, insomnia, schizophrenia
  • Neurological: Bell’s palsy, facial spasm, neuralgia, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, Tourette syndrome
  • Pain: Cancer pain, fibromyalgia, fascitis, gouty arthritis, osteoarthritis, radicular pain, stiff neck, spine pain, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, pain due to endoscopic examination, pain due to thromboangitis obliterans, Tietze syndrome
  • Post-Surgical Support: Postoperative convalescence
  • Respiratory: Asthma, whooping cough (Pertussis)
  • Skin: Acne vulgaris, herpes zoster, neurodermatitis, pruritus
  • Urogenital: Prostatitis, urinary tract infections, urine retention, urolithiasis
  • Weight Loss: Obesity
  • Women’s Health: Female infertility, hypo-ovarianism, labor pain, lactation deficiency, PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), PMS, female urethral syndrome
  • Other: Craniocerebral injury, male sexual dysfunction, postextubation in children, epidemic hemorrhagic fever

Will Acupuncture work for me? 

I am happy to provide a brief, free phone consult to determine if acupuncture may be a treatment option for you.

Due to low cost and safety, acupuncture is a sensible option for most health conditions. There is plenty of evidence proven through clinical trials that acupuncture is effective. Please keep in mind that you can receive acupuncture treatment without a diagnosis from your medical doctor. 

I take your health seriously and am trained to refer out to an M.D. or other healthcare provider when necessary.

What does it feel like? 

Needles the width of a cat’s whisker are inserted at specific points of the body restoring healthy function, resolving symptoms and reversing disease. They are thin, flexible needles compared to the thicker, non-flexible hypodermic needle. In fact, acupuncture needles are 25-50 times thinner. Sometimes these points are stimulated with heat, pressure or electrical current. Although acupuncture is virtually painless, one may feel a brief discomfort when the needle is inserted through the skin. Needle insertion may be followed by a dull ache around the needle, sensations of pressure, movement, warmth, heaviness, numbness or tingling. These are harmless sensations that are usually brief in nature and from a Chinese medicine perspective, are a positive sign that healing is taking place. However, if any of these sensations persist please notify me, as I want you to have a relaxing and enjoyable treatment.

How deep are Acupuncture needles inserted?

Typically the needles are inserted from a 1/4 – 1 inch in depth. Depending on the condition treated and your age, body size and weight, needle depths can exceed 1 inch.

How many treatments do I need? 

This is highly individual. The number and frequency of treatments will vary based on the condition being treated. In general, more acute disorders can take less time to treat while chronic conditions take longer. However, you should start experiencing some level of improvement within the first 3-6 treatments. A usual course of treatment is between five to twelve sessions, depending upon each individual case. Remember, acupuncture is a natural medicine that is helping your body to make positive changes. This lends to a gradual healing process.

What should I feel after treatment? 

The effects are many but most will agree you will feel relaxed and have a sense of well-being. If you came in with pain, you will more than likely experience relief. You may also feel peaceful, refreshed, energetic or all the above! 

Are Chinese herbs safe?

There is a very low risk of side effects from taking Chinese herbs. The most common adverse side effect is minor gastrointestinal upset. If this occurs, please stop taking your herbal medicine and contact me.

There are increasing concerns of herb-drug interactions. Therefore, please be detailed and inform me of all pharmaceutical medications and supplements that you are taking. Also, please keep me informed of any changes to this list.

Quality of Chinese herbs

I purchase Chinese herbs that are manufactured in laboratories that meet or exceed the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). GMP guidelines ensure that a food or drug product is safe for human consumption through manufacturing, testing, and quality assurance. 

Good manufacturing practices are overseen by regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, China and other countries.

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