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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?

Patients remain fully clothed in reclining chairs. Needles are placed in arms, hands, legs, feet, ears, and head. It is in this way, we can treat back pain by inserting needles into the hands or feet, or shoulder pain by treating the knee, for instance. After placing the needles, we will allow your body to conduct the remainder of your healing progress and return at the end of treatment.

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Should I stay with the same practitioner?

Not necessarily! Although continuity is important, all DCA acupuncturists have earned their Masters degree in Chinese Medicine and are fully licensed through the California Acupuncture Board. We work as a team to help you meet your health goals, and take careful notes every visit so no matter which practitioner you see, it is easy to keep track of progress and stay the course.

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How many treatments will I need?

The frequency and number of recommended treatments differ from person to person and depends 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 in a recliner?

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 DCA 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 and generally only needle the lower legs and arms, head, neck, and ears. We can treat all the same conditions that the back, chest, and abdomen points do, including back pain and internal conditions such as digestive and resipiratory disorders without putting needles directly into areas where your pain or issue may be. 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?

As much discussion as possible will take place outside or in a private area. Because we only use points that are on your limbs and accessible while you are in the recliner,  there is no need to undress. Other patients in the room almost always tend to have their eyes closed and the chairs are positioned to minimize any ability to look around the room. Regardless, one of our highest priorities in maintaining a calm and safe atmosphere in the treatment room and encourage patients to let us know if something doesn't feel right.

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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.

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