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Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture General Medicine Redwood CityJust like Western Medicine, we look to Acupuncture for common ailments. We often see patients who have become exhausted by the “system” and look to treat the root condition naturally. Along with Acupuncture we also employ vast herbal knowledge into the treatment plan.

Oftentimes, patients want to learn WHY they feel so bad. Yes, they want a solution, but the larger desire is to take care of the problem from the ground up instead of just masking the problem with medication. We help with the “Ground up” piece, in that we treat the root of the issue.

Chinese medicine tends to be the last hope when nothing else has worked. Our patients report they get the root of the problem managed, their bodies all back into balance then they feel a lot better.

Acupuncture is a medical system originating in China thousands of years ago

Acupuncture is one of many modalities that falls under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Other modalities include: herbal medicine, (bullet) Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Diet, and lifestyle. Long ago it was common for the Chinese physician to first use herbals as the first step to treatment, then diet and onto lifestyle. The use of Acupuncture was the last tool used in the ancient protocol. Today, we use Acupuncture in combination with all the other modalities to accomplish balanced health. In other words, Chinese Medicine could be considered a way of life.

Acupuncture is a complex system of examination, diagnosis, and treatment. How Does it Work?

All living beings have energy, (Qi, pronounced “Chee“) that courses through their bodies. The act of living can disrupt the balance of energy. Akin to tires on a car that have not been rotated, the tires still work but the car is way out of alignment, it steers harder to one direction, shakes and is unwieldy.

An active lifestyle can throw a body completely out of balance, giving rise to physical symptoms. At any age, the wheels can start to fall off, so to speak. Chinese medicine aims to correct energy imbalances by using a complex diagnostic system and ultra-fine needles, to move the energy into balance.

Acupuncture Needles

This is the first question on everyone’s mind! And it should be. Our culture is not used to needles being friendly and healing, we see needles as painful because that is out experience when receiving injections. Acupuncture needles are in a different category. The single-use, stainless steel needles are ultra-fine and comfortable. If a severe phobia of needles exists, let the practitioner know and all fears will be addressed.

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Conditions Treated

The World Health Organization ( presented a list of ailments which acupuncture is effective in treating. These include, but are not limited to:

Allergies/AsthmaIrregular CyclesInfertility
Neck/Back PainPMSAnxiety
Constipation/DiarrheaMenopauseUrinary Issues
Carpal TunnelLabor InductionHealth Maintenance
ImmunityBreech PresentationImpotence
FatigueDysmenorrhealSports Injuries

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a system of healing that involves a conversation with a practitioner (gathering of  health and any information that is contributing to discomfort), including feeling nine pulses in nine positions and a look at the tongue.  This information all goes together to form a chinese diagnosis.  The chinese diagnostic system is unfamiliar to us her in the West.  But the diagnosis is very important when looking at a health condition.  Like western medicine we must gather the facts before we can treat a condition.

The system of acupuncture uses 14 energy meridians and approximately 380 acupunctue points a long the meridians (channels) to create a change in energy and therefore solving the disharmony (complaint).

For example, if a patient comes in for common headache, there are approximately  eight different chinese diagnosis for headache.  Each one of these diagnosis come with their own set of Acupuncture points.  It is up to the practitioner to be creative with how the points are selected and used.

What should I wear?

It is best to wear loose fitting clothing. We often work on the lower legs area from the knee down and also around the elbows.  It is helpful to slide clothing up instead of getting undressed. No skinny jeans!

If you can not wear loose clothing, we have you covered.

What should I bring with me to my first appointment?

It is helpful to bring your latest blood work, a list of supplements/herbs, MRI reports or any documents you feel might help us with your issue(s). If you are undergoing any assisted fertility techniques such as IUI or IVF please bring your schedules.  We love information and using whatever tools we can get to bring us closer to your health.

What can I expect at my first visit?

You are greeted by our front office staff, offered warm apple cider and asked to wait for your practitioner.

In the comfort of our treatment room, the practitioner will check in with you about the details of your visit.  If it is a first visit, a review of systems is done along with a longer intake.

After the intake, the practitioner will make requests according to your complaint weather you will be face up or face down on the table.  If we are treating back issues you more than likely will be placed face down and will receive your treatment to your back.

The tiny needles will be placed to your comfort level and then you will be instructed to rest with them inserted for about 25 minutes.  Often times we will use other modalities such as cupping or electric stimulation to assist with the treatment.  We often use heat packs and eye pillows to maximize your relaxation.

After the 25 minutes we will remove the needle and after you rise and put your shoes on we will meet up up in the front office.

What are acupuncture needles like?

Acupuncture needles are really tiny and very sharp.  Each needle has its own tube it inhabits.  The tube is gently put on the spot and the needle then tapped swiftly into the point.  It feels like a mosquito bite.  Then we look for a dull, small pressure and that is all.  We use 8-12 needles in very obvious safe locations.  Most, almost all patients are amazed by the ease of the treatment.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture points can be sensitive depending on the severity of the issue we are treating.

The treatments are not “jump off the table” painful.  We have not lost one yet!

Some patients experience a dull ache at the needle sight and it can get strong, but not painful.   Most treatments are very comfortable and highly relaxing.

Is acupuncture effective?

The efficacy of Acupuncture is still debatable in this country and many studies have been published by many groups including the NIH (National Institutes of Health),  WHO (The World Health Organization) and the AMA (American Medical Association).  Most studies conclude that the use of acupuncture is therapeutic and its use safe and effective.

How many appointments will I need?

We don’t know. It is prudent to come in for the initial treatment and at that time we can determine a treatment plan for you.  Treatment frequency depends on the severity and the chronic nature of your health complaint. We are very focused on getting you to a comfortable health space, so we do our best to focus and prioritize the issues.

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