There are still skeptics out there!

Even though, Cigna, Blue Cross, MDs, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the countless research studies all say Acupuncture works!  We still meet the naysayers…

Here are the top 3 reasons, people stay away from us!

“I’m afraid of NEEDLES!”

People are traumatized as young children around needles, I get it.  The phlebotomist could never find my vein and I have memories and her digging around in there.  Ugh.  Here’s the great news that will help release your fears, acupuncture needles are about the size of one hair on your head and are NOT hollow, just solid, we aren’t taking anything our or putting anything in to your body.  AND we avoid things like veins, arteries and nerves, that’s why we have Masters degrees in Chinese medicine, we study the body deeply to avoid coming into contact with these structures in the body.  True we are piercing the skin, but usually only going into the fat and muscle layer.  Patients usually report that needle insertion feels like a little mosquito bite or nothing at all.

“Do I have to believe in Acupuncture for it to work?”

Although the acupuncture meridian system does stem from a bunch of guys meditating under a tree to map out the pathways, in no way is acupuncture religious.  There is no affiliation with religion whatsoever and you don’t have to carry any kind of certain belief system in order for it to work.  Case in point, dogs, cats and even race horses receive acupuncture for pain and all kinds of other ailments and their family members can see a difference, they can tell it’s working!  And of course we know that animals don’t have the capacity to believe in in or not.

“My insurance doesn’t cover it, it’s so expensive!”

Almost all insurances cover acupuncture now, including the VA, Medicare and Medi-cal.  You may need to do some digging to find a practitioner that accepts your particular insurance, but they’re out there!  Even Kaiser Permanente has acupuncturist on staff now.  At Tao to Wellness, we are in network with Cigna, United Healthcare and also accept out of network benefits with Aetna, UMR, IATSE, Harrington Health, etc.  It all depends on the plan that your employer has chosen for you.  Another option is to ask your doctor for a prescription, he or she will usually gladly give you a prescription for a number of treatments to see if it’s a viable option.  Most times with a prescription, insurance will cover it.

Aside from all that, what is your health worth to you?  I’ve had patients say they can’t afford treatments, but then the following week are going to a five-star all inclusive resort in Turks and Caicos.  Some patients can, but choose not to.  Again, what is your health worth to you?

Still interested, but can’t quite make the money work?  Another option are community acupuncture clinics that are popping up all over the place.  They offer low cost, community style treatment which is a little more generalized but can get the overall job done!


Sometimes it’s hard for people to have faith in this ‘new’, but very traditional practice of medicine.  Please remember the medicine has been around for thousands of years and precedes Western medicine.  In fact, ‘back in the day’ when Western medicine was first being created, it was very different.  The terminology and words they used were more similar in nature to Chinese medicine, they spoke about black bile, humors, body fluids and they took the seasons into consideration.  Then the plague hit Eastern Europe and Western medical doctors were called upon to save the dying, this shifted the whole Western medicine paradigm, this was the moment Western medicine became a medicine that SAVES LIVES, the problem is most of us when looking for an appointment with our doctor are not ‘dying’, if we were we’d be going to the Emergency Room.  Chinese medicine, on the other hand, is and always has been a medicine that keeps you HEALTHY, so most times more appropriate for any symptom that comes up for us in our day to day.  Both medicines are miraculous and useful and both deserve a place in our lives.

Christina Martin, L.Ac.

Tao to Wellness

Berkeley, CA

510-883-0383opens phone dialer