Frequently Asked Questions about Acupuncture and how it works

Frequently Asked Questions






What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture itself is the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points that lay on these meridians. These points have been proven effective throughout time for specific problems or diseases. In acupuncture, there are no side effects. It is merely a tool to allow the body to heal itself.

How does acupuncture work?

In Chinese Medicine, each organ has a set of symptoms (ie. headaches, insomnia, anxiety, low energy, etc) that will manifest when that organ is “out of balance”. Each organ also has a meridian or pathway. Acupuncture is administered along these pathways that send a signal back to the organ rebalancing it. When the organ is back into balance, those symptoms virtually disappear.

What does acupuncture do?

Acupuncture is a self-regulating treatment that balances the body. As I said earlier, when an organ is out of balance, we experience symptoms. When we receive acupuncture, it sends a signal to that organ to rebalance it and then symptoms disappear. It’s quite remarkable actually and in some ways, simply a manipulation of directing one’s Qi and Blood. Another thing to mention is since it is self-regulating; the body knows what it needs. For example, let’s say I have four patients and I needle Large Intestine 4 (He Gu) on all of them. One patient may need that point for constipation; to move the intestines. Another patient may need it for sinus issues; LI4 is the command point for the face and ends in nostril area. The other patient may need it for emotional letting go of grief that is being stagnated in the Lungs; they are partners in crime and support each other. The last patient may need it for pain in the foot along the Liver channel. The body knows exactly what to do in all four cases by needling the same point. Incredible!

What is acupuncture good for?

As opposed to “What is Acupuncture?”, people are more interested and tantalized about what it will do for them. We are extremely well versed in fertility and pain management.  However, our practice runs the gamut. Because Chinese medicine is about balance, and symptoms stem from an imbalanced body, we treat just about anything; gynecology to autoimmune issues to pain management.

Systems we work with include:

  • Fertility Challenges
  • Pain Management
  • Gynecological Problems
  • Migraines and Headaches
  • Digestive Issues
  • Immune System Issues
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Emotional Wellness (Stress, Anxiety, Sadness, Depression)
  • Allergies
  • Dizziness
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol

Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupunture treatment with needles does not hurt.

This is the most common question asked about acupuncture (besides, “What is acupuncture?”) because many people associate needles with pain. Acupuncture needles are about the thickness of a dog’s whisker, so they are virtually painless when inserted.  Most people feel a light tap when the needles are applied. You may feel warmth, heaviness, tingling or pressure around the needle. These sensations are normal and desirable. Should you experience any discomfort, inform the practitioner, and they will adjust the needles accordingly. All needles are disposable.

Is acupuncture safe?

Acupuncture is very, very safe. There are no complications or negative side effects.

How can I prepare for my first session?

If this is your first time with us, we recommend you do not brush your tongue (during teeth brushing) that day.  The practitioner will want to look at your tongue to assess for diagnostic reasons.  It is also best to eat a light meal before your session so that your body has energy to work with.  Not too overly hungry or overly full is best.  It is also best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms/legs below the elbows/knees are easily accessible. Do not engage in strenuous activity, drink alcohol, smoke excessively, or ingest heavy meals before or after your treatment. This will allow the treatment to solidify in the body.

What happens during my first visit?

On your first visit, the practitioner will do a thorough consultation asking questions relating to many different aspects of your body and life, not only the condition for which you are seeking treatment. The practitioner will then take your pulse, examine your tongue, and sometimes palpate your abdomen or check for tender areas along the blood vessels.  After all your questions are answered, the practitioner will then begin your acupuncture treatment.  Have no fear if this is your first time, feel free to communicate whatever sensations or feelings are coming up for you, the practitioner will work at your pace.  After the needles are inserted and we’ve made sure you are comfortable you will be left alone to rest.  Most patients say this is the deepest rest they’ve had in years!  Sleeping is encouraged!  For more information about your first visit, click here!


How many treatments will I need?

Back Pain can be reduced with the help of acupunctureEach individual is different.  This depends upon the duration, severity, and nature of the complaint. Generally from 10 to 20 treatments are adequate for the majority of chronic disorders. Some acute conditions may only require a single treatment and some degenerative conditions may require as many as 40 treatments.

What style of acupuncture do you use?

We are exclusive to a Taiwanese style of acupuncture called the Balance Method, it utilizes imaging and the I Ching.  In addition, we also practice within Master Tung’s system.

Do I have to take herbs?

Traditional Chinese medicine uses herbs and herbal medicine to help patients relieve their symptoms. Herbs and Acupuncture commonly go hand in hand, one representing Yin and the other Yang.  They work together synergistically and will help a patient get to his/her desired state of health at a faster rate. In our fertility work, herbs are always recommended.  However, if a patient is sensitive to herbs or feels very strongly about NOT taking them, we will certainly work with this and support you the best way we can.

What is your experience in treating fertility?

Tao to Wellness has been a wellness center for 18  years and we have helped hundreds and hundreds of couples achieve their wish to become parents. Our secret lies in the fact that our practitioners possess an education in both Eastern and Western modalities surrounding the subject of reproduction and fertility.  If you are trying naturally or are working with an OB or Reproductive Endocrinologist towards IUI or IVF, we have a full understanding  of what that entails and how it meshes with Chinese medicine.  This additional knowledge ultimately helps us when choosing your treatment plan as a whole.

Can I receive Acupuncture if I am pregnant?

Absolutely!  Weekly treatments are highly recommended in your first trimester as opposed to massage which is contraindicated.  We commonly work with women throughout their pregnancy and beyond.  

Do you have evening or weekend appointments?

Months and dates shown on a calendar whilst turning the pagesWe sure do! Our last appointment during the week is typically at 7 pm, sometimes 7:30 pm. As for weekends, we are open on Saturday and closed on Sunday.

What is your fee schedule?

Our first initial consultation and acupuncture treatment is $165. Our follow up treatments are $100. We offer packages of 5 treatments for $90 each.  Herbal medicine ranges, but is approximately $25 a week. Supplements vary widely.

Will my insurance cover my treatments?

Yes, we are in network with Cigna and United Healthcare.  We also take other insurance plans like Aetna, Sutter Select, IATSE and Harrington Health to name a few provided you have out of network acupuncture benefits on your plan.  We do not take Blue Cross, Blue Shield or ASHP.  We can give you an invoice to submit to Blue Cross and Blue Shield for reimbursement.  As for ASHP, we are not in their network, please refer to the website for a list of practitioners that participate.

What kind of payments do you accept?

We accept cash, checks, debit and credit cards.