Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture does not hurt.  The needles are so much finer than the regular hypodermic needles, and they’re inserted very quickly so at most it feels like it’s just a sensation of a gentle poke.

You are receiving acupuncture treatment to feel better, not worse!

How many sessions do I need?

We all want a definitive answer, and as much as I like to give you one, the answer is always “it depends” because everybody is different and the severity of each condition is different.

There are many factors at play here, and the the number of treatments required really depends on the severity of your physical and mental condition, age, and constitution, and your lifestyle.

However, the goal for each session is to make a discernible difference for you, so you can feel the benefits right away.  In clinical research, the benchmark is 30% for any kind of therapeutic intervention, and that is what I am aiming to achieve at minimum.  So for typical acute conditions, four sessions should be sufficient to bring the condition down to a level that a patient can manage/improve on her own.

However, for most chronic conditions, I generally prescribe eight sessions.  Why is that?

First of all, your body is used to that chronic condition, you may not like it, but your body is used to it, especially for muscular related pain.  Your muscles have been conditioned to contract in certain ways, and you are accustomed use your body a certain way. So the treatments can loosen up and relax certain muscles, but unlike acute conditions, your body will habitually try to resume their previous states…  And that’s why it takes longer to recondition the body to reduce the pain and to reclaim a higher level of functionality.

What is sports acupuncture, and how does differ from regular acupuncture?

Sports acupuncture focuses on athletes’ issues.  So in addition to the overall constitutional treatment, sports acupuncture pays particular attention to treating soft tissue related pain and injuries.

For a more detailed presentation, please check out this article What is sports acupuncture?

Are you using sterile needles?

Acupuncture needles are sterile and single use only.  

State law requires all licensed acupuncturists to be certified in Clean Needle Techniques and only use sterilized, individually packaged, disposable needles.

Are there any adverse side effects associated with acupuncture?

One of the characteristics of acupuncture is the almost complete absence of adverse effects and complications from its use. Most patients find that the treatments are relaxing and cause minimal discomfort.   

Acupuncture is a safe modality as long as the acupuncturists are properly trained and follow appropriate techniques.

Do you take insurance?

Acupuncture is considered as primary care in California, so it is covered by the majority of insurance policies.

I am an in-network provider for:

  1. BlueShield of CA
  2. Anthem BlueCross
  3. Aetna
  4. Cigna
  5. United Health, Sutter, Optum (in October, 2019)
  6. American Specialty Health (ASH)

For more details please visit www.meridianahc.com/insurance.


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