What is community acupuncture?

Community acupuncture is a return to tradition. Patients are treated in a community space at an affordable rate, just like acupuncture has always been practiced in Asia. By removing financial barriers, we make it possible for you to get the treatment you need to feel better. Patients receive their treatments in comfortable recliners, making it possible for groups of people to rest and heal together in a quiet and peaceful setting.

Will acupuncture help 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 problems. For an official list of conditions acupuncture has been shown to help, click here. By directing and assisting the natural healing process, acupuncture benefits the whole body. Acupuncture is the fastest growing alternative healing modality in the United States and is gaining more and more recognition for its safety and effectiveness. And, because acupuncture has almost no side effects, it’s almost always worth trying! Still not sure? Contact us. We would be happy to talk with you!

Is acupuncture safe?

Very! Only sterile, single use disposable needles are used and there are little to no side effects with the exception of slight bruising on rare occasions. All our practitioners are 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.”

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. These two benefits create the ideal conditions for your own healing process to work for you. Rather than masking symptoms or altering your chemistry with a long list of side effects, acupuncture works with and supports a natural balance in body and mind.

Do the needles hurt?

The needles are hair-thin and flexible. Most often, what you will feel is a gentle tapping sensation as the needles are placed, followed by a mild ache, sense of pressure, or warmth. This is normal and usually quite pleasant. Typically, patients enter a deeply relaxed state. Some even fall asleep. Once in awhile, you may feel a brief pinch as a needle is placed. On the rare occasions this happens, the sensation goes away quickly.

How often will I need to come in for treatment?

It depends on the severity of your condition and how long you’ve had it. Many acute conditions respond well with a short course of 3-5 treatments. Stubborn conditions need a longer treatment plan, typically of 10-20 visits. At first, you may get the most benefit by coming in 2-3 times per week until your condition has stabilized. After that, you can come in less often.

You have a sliding scale. How do I decide how much to pay?

The purpose of the sliding scale is to make it possible for you to get the treatment you need to feel better. Patients who need to come in frequently or who feel comfortable paying less use the lower end of the scale. Others, who need less frequent treatment and/or feel able to may wish to pay toward or at the high end. All levels of payment on the sliding scale are absolutely acceptable. There is no need to discuss your income or explain why you would like to pay a particular amount. Our patients pay at the low end, the high end, and everywhere in between. Rest assured that if you are paying on the sliding scale, it works for us! A good rule of thumb is: Pay what allows you to get the treatment you need to feel better.

How long do treatments take?

Your first visit takes approximately 75-90 minutes. Follow up visits usually last about an hour. Treatment times can be shortened to 45 minutes if needed to accommodate your schedule. If you do require a shorter treatment please notify your practitioner what time you need to leave BEFORE your treatment.

How long do you leave the needles in?

The amount of time needles are in depends on the person, condition, sensitivity and patient’s schedule. Usually, it takes about 25 minutes for the Qi (the body’s energy) to circulate fully through the body. We like to leave the needles in at the very least for that amount of time, but generally patients rest for about 45 minutes to one hour – we find this amount of time to be the most therapeutic for most conditions. There are some patients without time restrictions who do end up falling into a deep relaxing sleep for more than an hour and we will let them rest until they are “done”. You know when you are done when you feel slightly restless – your body generally lets you know. Patients will make open eye contact with the practitioner or softly clear their throat to get the practitioner’s attention.

What about privacy?

Most of our discussion of your condition will take place in a separate, private area during your initial consultation. Your follow-up check-in is brief and done in whispered voices. Because we use the most effective points, which tend to be on the arms and legs, there is no need to undress. Most of the other patients in the room will have their eyes closed. Some may be fast asleep! One of the wonderful things about community acupuncture is the atmosphere of calmness and safety in the treatment room. Many of our patients say they find community acupuncture more relaxing than being in a room by themselves.

Should I see the same practitioner for every treatment?

Not necessarily! Many patients will see 2 or 3 different practitioners depending on the schedule. Some patients prefer to stay with one practitioner and adjust their treatment times accordingly. Many “point prescriptions” will treat the same condition and every practitioner is unique with how they choose their points. All of the treatments are beneficial – “all roads lead to the same end of optimal health” – and some patients find the different treatments/practitioners are beneficial to their healing. The bottom line is: You just need the needles no matter who is poking you!

How can you treat my back pain while I’m face up in a recliner?

Very effectively! In fact, 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.

Do you accept insurance?

Insurance companies don’t accept direct billing from community clinics because we use a sliding scale. If you would like, we can provide you with a superbill including the information you would need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. However, because our rates are on par or even less than most insurance co-pays, most of our patients choose to avoid the inconvenience and don’t bother doing this.