Goleta Acupuncture Wellness Clinic

What is Acupuncture? top

Acupuncture is a medical system that treats many diseases and promotes general health. It originated in China over 3,000 years ago, and is presently used as a primary health care system in many parts of the world. The practice of acupuncture is rooted in the belief of Chinese medicine that human body is a complicated bio-electrical system through which the vital energy, known as "qi" (pronounced "chee"), flows in fourteen meridians. When the qi flows freely, your body is healthy; when the flow of qi is blocked or imbalanced, it manifests itself in physical, emotional, and psychosomatic stress-related disorders. Acupuncture is used to regulate the flow of qi to treat both acute and chronic ailments, relieve pain, enhance recuperative powers, and strengthen the immune system.

Your medical conditions are first diagnosed by a thorough evaluation which includes a careful examination of your medical history, pulse, and tongue. Acupuncture is then administered by inserting thin needles in the selected points of certain meridians to release blockage and promote the free flow of qi, which, in turn, helps to stop pain and cure diseases. Acupuncturist may also use in conjunction with other treatments: moxibustion (heat), cupping (suction), auricular therapy (ear acupuncture), electrical or laser stimulation, and manual manipulation of the points. Chinese herbal supplements may also be used to enhance the effect of the acupuncture treatments.

How Acupuncture Works? top

Recently, medical science has determined that human beings are complex bio-electrical systems. As mentioned above, this understanding has been the foundation of acupuncture for several thousand years. Energy circulates throughout the body along well-defined pathways (meridians). Points on the skin along these pathways are energetically connected to specific organs, body structures, and systems. If this energy circulation is disrupted, optimum bodily function is affected which results in pain and illness. Acupuncture treatment corrects the energetic imbalance and blockage by encouraging the body's innate ability to heal itself, without the use of drugs or surgery.

Scientific studies from both the East and the West have established that acupuncture treatments stimulate the release of endorphin, a morphine-like substance, in the brain to help stop pain. Acupuncture also regulates the release of hormones, neuropeptides, and neurotransmitters, particularly at the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. This may explain why acupuncture may help many other conditions such as women's hormonal problems including infertility.

What does Acupuncture treat? top

Acupuncture has been used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Some practitioners use it for treating illness, and others use it for well-being, i.e., to keep the body functioning in a balanced way. Many years of clinical observations and scientific research have shown acupuncture to be an effective remedy, not a wishful thinking. Thus far, National Institute of Health (NIH) and World Health Organization (WHO) have listed more than 30 conditions that have been routinely treated by acupuncture successfully. Clinical studies in China and Europe have indicated that many more conditions may benefit from the acupuncture treatments. Click here to read more.

Does acupuncture hurt? top

Most people are surprised to learn that acupuncture needles are very thin, nothing close to the needles nurses use for shots. From ten to fifteen acupuncture needles can fit into one conventional hypodermic needle. Acupuncturists with a high level of skill can gently place these tiny needles into the skin with minimum discomfort. When the needles are inserted you may experience a sensation of tingling or warmth.

Is acupuncture safe? top

Acupuncture is a very safe procedure when skillfully administered by a qualified practitioner (one should always make sure that the acupuncturist is licensed and has undergone extensive training at an accredited institution). It virtually has no negative side-effects. An NIH news release notes that "One of the advantages of acupuncture is that the incidence of adverse effects is substantially lower than that of many drugs or other accepted medical procedures used for the same condition." (NIH consensus 1997).

I am certified by NCCAOM for Clean Needle Technique Training. Furthermore, I comply with the strict regulations of NCCAOM and practice conscientiously based on their guidelines. I use only single-use, sterile needles and dispose of them properly to protect my patients and the environment.

Are herbs safe? top

The Chinese herbs that I recommend are GMP certified (Good Manufacturing Process) where the herb contents are verified through a rigorous chemical analysis. I have been thoroughly trained in the use of Chinese herbs, and I keep my knowledge current by attending research seminars on a regular basis. I am particularly keen on the latest research on possible adverse interactions between western medications and Chinese herbs. Such adverse interactions are readily preventable by due diligence. I am confident about the effectiveness, safety, and usefulness of Chinese herbs and believe that they can greatly enhance the treatment results.

Is acupuncture treatment OK for children? top

Yes. Children often respond well to the treatments. Conditions of children that can be treated by acupuncture include, but not limited to, common cold and flu, muscle pain, asthma, anxiety, digestive problems, and ADHD/Autism. Acupuncture can also be used for strengthening the immune systems and promote healthy growth of children. If fear of needles is a problem, magnets, herbs, and parental massages of specific body areas can be used.

Article: Adolescent Acupuncture: Study Finds Most Pediatric Patients Find Relief Through Therapy

How long will my appointment last? top

Your first treatment will be a little over an hour. Follow-up treatments last around 45 minutes. For the wellness programs (facial rejuvenation and weight control), the initial free consultation is twenty minutes, and each following session lasts about one and half an hours.

What will I feel after the treatment? top

You should feel deeply relaxed and rejuvenated. In my practice, I have heard comments from patients that they haven’t relaxed this deeply for as long as they can remember. Many patients enjoy getting acupuncture during their lunch break at work so that they can go back to work feeling replenished. Acupuncture is also a great way to wind down after a busy day.

How many treatments will it take? top

The number of treatments depends on how long you have suffered from a particular illness and how well you respond to the treatment. A standard treatment includes four to five sessions over a period of two to four weeks, and then an additional, once a week session for the following two to four weeks if the treatment is for a chronic condition. In the best cases, two to three treatments eliminate the pain that people suffered for years. Typically about 80% of the patients will see results within four treatments and about 90% of patients will see results within six treatments. If the treatments seem to be working, the goal is then to space out the therapy until no further therapy is needed or only occasional visits are needed for maintenance.

For facial rejuvenation, weight control, and fertility programs, the frequency of visits are different from the treatments for other purposes. For details, please contact the practitioner.

Do I have to choose between acupuncture and other types of health care? top

No, they can be integrated. In fact, different types of medicine all have their unique strengths and merits, and all can contribute to your overall health and well-being.

Is acupuncture good for weigh loss, food cravings, or smoking cessation? top

Acupuncture greatly enhances your chance of success in achieving weight loss and diminishing sugar and/or nicotine cravings. I am passionate about helping my patients lead a healthy life, and excess weight is detrimental to health and, often times, to happiness as well. Even if you have tried many alternatives for weight loss to no avail, please do consider acupuncture which might just help you achieve your weight-loss goal.

As to nicotine addictions, I have seen many successful results using acupuncture treatments. Often times, half-an-hour treatments over a few consecutive sessions can prove very effective in curtailing the craving.

Does acupuncture treat flu and cold? top

Acupuncture has been proven to strengthen the immune system and improve immune responses. Several traditional Chinese herbal formulas contain strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs. If you combine acupuncture treatment and herbs with some simple lifestyle adjustments, such as nutritional support (Did you know that a teaspoon of sugar lowers the strength of the immune system significantly for several hours?), you can often ward off flu or cold much more effectively.

Do you give nutritional and other lifestyle advice? top

Chinese medicine has a concept called “Three Free Therapies.” The idea is that you can use these simple lifestyle guidelines to take care of your health for free. These free therapies are exercise, rest and relaxation, and nutrition. We can do ourselves a world of good by examining our lifestyle to see if they promote health and happiness or pain and disease, and then do something about it.

I regularly offer classes on these topics, recommend books to read, answer questions, make suggestions during treatments, and write related articles for our free newsletter. It is very satisfying to see a patient who, after years in pain, makes some simple lifestyle changes and is able to maintain the positive results of the acupuncture treatments.

Will treatments be covered by my insurance? top

Acupuncture treatment is covered by many private insurance and group benefit plans. Because each plan is different, please contact your insurance provider or employer to verify your coverage and if a physician’s referral is needed.

We currently do not bill any business managers or insurance companies. We are not yet a health care provider that participates with any insurance companies. We will gladly provide a bill that you may submit directly to your insurance company, which in turn may reimburse you directly. Our insurance policy is subject to change.

If you have other questions concerning acupuncture please do not hesitate to contact us. We will do our best answering them.