Can Acupuncture Help My Condition?
There are literally hundreds of conditions, disorders and diseases that acupuncture can effectively treat. Treatments are tailored for individual case circumstances, which enhances the efficacy of the treatment. An experienced practitioner will determine if acupuncture treatment is right for you, based upon your symptoms and unique medical history.
Does Acupuncture Hurt?
When a needle is inserted a slight sensation may be felt, however, most clients feel very relaxed and even fall asleep during their session. There are sensations from the needle insertion you may experience that your acupuncturist can explain in more detail during your visit, but acupuncture should not be painful.
Are There Other Forms Of Treatment Besides Needle Insertion?
Yes. Acupuncture is just one modality used to treat disorders in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Your practitioner may also incorporate heat therapy, light massage, cupping, e-stim or relaxation and visualization therapy depending upon your specific needs.
Is Acupuncture Safe?
Acupuncture is extremely safe. Licensed acupuncturists in the state of California use single-use, sterile, disposable needles which are properly disposed of in accordance with health regulations.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), addressing "the place of acupuncture in the treatment of various conditions" in its 1997 NIH Consensus Statement on acupuncture stated, "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 conditions. As an example, musculoskeletal conditions, such as fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and "tennis elbow," or epicondylitis, are conditions for which acupuncture may be beneficial. These painful conditions are often treated with, among other things, anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) or with steroid injections. Both medical interventions have a potential for deleterious side effects, but are still widely used, and are considered acceptable treatment. The evidence supporting these therapies is no better than that for acupucture."
How Many Sessions Do I Need?
The number of sessions required really depends on the nature of the disorder. Fertility clients are typically seen once a week for 4 - 12 weeks prior to conception or ART procedure, but each individual situation is different. Acute pain may require 2 - 12 treatments depending on the progression of the pain relief and how long the relief continues between treatments. Chronic disorders may take more time. At the time of the initial examination, your acupuncturist will evaluate your condition and will assess the approximate number of treatments needed.
How Should I Prepare For My Session?
Have a light meal or snack before your treatment - it is best not to come on an empty stomach. Wear anything you like.
It is important to us that you feel comfortable understanding your treatment plan, so we encourage you to bring your spouse, another family member or a friend to your initial consultation. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during your appointment. Having someone you trust listen to the information with you can not only be reassuring, but may also help you ask questions or remember something you missed or forgot.
What Training is Required to Practice Acupuncture?
A licensed acupuncturist must complete rigorous education requirements which differ from state to state. However, 3-4 years of extensive study as well as a 1 year internship are generally required. Acupuncture.com offers a listing of certification requirements by state. Most states also require certification with the NCCAOM.
Acupuncturists practicing in the state of California are licensed and governed by the California Acupuncture Board, a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. In 1978 California became the first state to license acupuncturists as primary health care providers. Effective January 5, 2005, in order to practice in this state, an acupuncture student must first complete two academic years of undergraduate work, then move on to and graduate from a California Board approved school, with a minimum of 2,050 hours of theoretical training, including 350 hours in Basic Sciences, 1,255 hours in Oriental Medicine Principles, Theories and Treatment, 240 hours in Clinical Medicine, Patient Assessment and Diagnosis, 90 hours in Case Management, 45 hours in Practice Management, 40 hours in Public Health, and 30 hours in Professional Development. Students must also complete an additional minimum 950 hours of Clinical Training before graduating with a Masters Degree (MTOM - Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine). Finally, before becoming a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and being able to practice acupuncture in the state of California, they must pass a comprehensive state licensing exam, encompassing patient assessment, diagnosis, acupuncture treatment, prescribing herbs, and regulations for public safety.
Medical doctors (MD) and osteopaths (DO) may practice acupuncture in California without any specific training. Acupuncture is not within the scope of practice of chiropractors (DC).
In California, licensed acupuncturists are the only licensed health care professionals who are required to be trained and tested for competency in the prescription of herbal medicine. As of January 5, 2005, in addition to clinical training and licensure testing, students must have a minimum of 450 classroom hours of instruction in herbology before they can practice acupuncture in the state of California.
With the ever increasing popularity of herbal remedies, this intense training is significant. While herbs are touted as being "safe", "natural" and "less expensive" than prescription medications, there are still risks. Because they are effective and because they are so easily available, it is important to consult with a licensed acupuncturist or herbologist to be aware of potential side effects, prescription drug interactions and contraindications before taking any herbs or supplements.
Please also be aware that in the state of California it is considered unprofessional for a licensed acupuncturist to diagnose or prescribe treatments without first performing the diagnostic standard of care as established by the California Acupuncture Board. This means that prescribing herbs or rendering a treatment over the internet, via e-mail or over the telephone without first seeing you, asking questions and completing a physical examination is contrary to the Business and Professions Code (4939(b)) and could result in disciplinary action against the practitioner for having engaged in unprofessional practice. This is for your protection.
How Much Does Acupuncture Cost?
In San Diego an acupuncture session can cost between $40 and $175 depending upon the condition being treated and the facility you choose.
At the Acupuncture Fertility Center and Galena AcuSpa our typical time of service fee is $125 for the initial office visit and $85 for subsequent office visits, but this could vary depending upon your condition and the modalities used during your treatment.
We offer a $10 discount on all office visits for military personnel and their dependents, and we offer a $10 discount on all office visits to members of the San Diego Cookies infertility support group. Membership is free.
San Diego Cookies is a RESOLVE Peer-led Support Group. "RESOLVE Peer-led Support Groups are informal opportunities for women and men experiencing infertility to connect with one another, to discuss their situations and to receive support from others who have had similar experiences or who are struggling with similar issues. Group moderators are volunteers and are not mental health professionals. Attendance is free."