We have answers!
I am afraid of needles, can you still help me?
What are the licensing requirements and education for practitioners?
Do I need to be concerned about drug-herb interactions?
Do you accept insurance?
What is acupuncture?
How does acupuncture work?
What does acupuncture feel like?
Are the needles safe?
Can acupuncture help my condition?
Do you treat Personal Injury (PI) and Workers Compensation patients?
We don’t have to use needles. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been documented for millenia. And you would think that in all that time someone would have a fear of needles. And you would be correct. That’s why there are many more modalities a Chinese Medical practitioner can use other than acupuncture. Many of these are listed under our Services page. The bottom line is that there are many modalities used to treat patients other than just acupuncture. So if you have a fear of needles, but think Chinese medicine could help you, don’t hesitate to make an appointment or call to get more information about your condition. Back to the top
The California Acupuncture Board (www.acupuncture.ca.gov) requires that potential license holders graduate from an accredited school of Chinese medicine, and then pass the state licensing exam. All practitioners at A Better Life Acupuncture hold a Master’s of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) and are nationally certified in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Here is the official legal notice from the board:
NOTICE TO CONSUMERS
Acupuncturists are licensed and regulated by the California Acupuncture Board
Many patients have concerns over Chinese herbal formulas interacting with the pharmaceutical drugs they are currently taking. Although there are considerations to take into account, taking both herbal medicine and pharmaceuticals together is not only safe, but advantageous. Your practitioner will be able to avoid any interactions that will be anything but beneficial to you. At A Better Life Acupuncture, we actually have the person who wrote the book on drug-herb interactions. Dr. Greg Sperber wrote Integrative Pharmacology, Combining Modern Pharmacology with Integrative Medicine. He has taught the fundamentals of interactions to thousands of students and practitioners. Back to the top
The practitioners at A Better Life Acupuncture are dedicated to using integrative medicine to improving the lives of as many people as possible. To that end, we accept insurance from all insurers we can. It is a process and if we are not able to directly bill your insurer, we will try to get set up with them (which can take several weeks or months) and in the meantime, we can provide you with a superbill. With insurance verification, which we will do, insurers should accept the superbill and reimburse you directly for the visit. So, if your insurance covers acupuncture, we will make it as easy as possible for you to see us. Please note, that almost no insurance policies currently cover herbs. Any herbs you wish to purchase will be in addition to acupuncture services and must be paid out-of-pocket. However, most health and flexible saving accounts do cover herbs, if they are prescribed by an appropriate practitioner. Back to the top
Acupuncture is a process whereby a trained and licensed acupuncturist inserts thin, sterile, single-use needles into specific points on the body to elicit a healing response. Currently the fastest growing medical modality in the United States, acupuncture is archeologically documented to be at least 2500 years old. It has been consistently used since its beginning in China and has spread the world over. It is one of the most implemented medical techniques in human history. Needles range in size and thickness but are generally far thinner than any injection needle you have experienced. The needles are so thin, 20 of them could be inserted into the hole of a hypodermic needle. Generally, between five and fifteen needles are used per treatment, although this number can vary greatly. Each treatment is customized to meet your current needs and may be slightly different. Back to the top
While any competent acupuncturist can describe acupuncture in Chinese terms, there are lots of theories of how it works in modern medical terms. It has been shown that acupuncture can release various hormones and chemicals such as endorphins (natural pain killers) and lower cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. There is more and more evidence that acupuncture can stimulate nerves and cause changes in certain areas of the brain. It is also pretty clear acupuncture has local effects such as improving circulation and local stimulation of nerves. Lots of research is working to find out how acupuncture works, but there isn't one grand theory that puts all the research in a nice box.
Which brings us back to how acupuncture works in Chinese terms. Acupuncture is based on qi (pronounced chee) which literally translated means “life breath,” but is usually viewed as the “energy” (something that isn't exactly correct) of the body. All bodily functions rely on a constant flow of qi in the body. Disease occurs when the flow of qi gets blocked, becomes too strong, or too weak. Acupuncture can regulate this flow, and in so doing can treat disease. Back to the top
It depends. This medical skill evolved all over Asia so there were many techniques devised. Some generate a great deal of sensation, others cannot be felt at all, and several range in between. Once acupuncture needles are in place, the patient rests comfortably as the needles are generally not felt once in place. An acupuncturist may continue to interact with a patient or leave the treatment room while the patient enjoys the calming and relaxing experience privately. Acupuncture can feel wonderful! The process stimulates endorphins, substances that create a calming and pleasurable state. Many patients fall asleep or feel deeply relaxed as a result of treatment. Many times patients feel energized and relieved of their symptoms immediately. Back to the top
Absolutely. We only use disposable needles that are used once and discarded. Additionally, California regulations prevent the reuse of needles. Anything else we use in the clinic is cleaned using the latest approved cleaning techniques as described in the Clinic Needle Technique Manual.
Back to the top
This was the only medicine in China for thousands of years; it has and can treat almost anything. Acupuncture, herbs, and other techniques, effectively help your body adjust its own healing mechanisms to address nearly any problem. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can benefit a wide range of health challenges as explained on our Conditions page. Even if it is not listed, or you would just like to discuss your condition with one of our practitioners, please feel free to email or call us and we will be happy to discuss your situation. Back to the top
We treat both Personal Injury and Workers Compensation patients. These can both be tricky for different reasons. In personal injury cases, the patient is not billed at all. When their case settles, we will receive our pay. If it doesn't settle, we probably will not be paid. It is important for us to look at the case and make sure we are comfortable with it before accepting individual patients. When it comes to workers compensation, in California, there are specific networks based on the patient’s employer. Practitioners must belong to right one in order to accept a particular patient. We do belong to many of these networks. After that, a patient usually needs a prescription from their main doctor. In both of these types of patients, we can help navigate the system while helping our patients with there pain. Just give us a call... Back to the top