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What does acupuncture feel like?
The sensation varies with the practitioner, needles used, style of treatment and how you are feeling that particular day. Upon first needle insertion you may feel an initial ‘mosquito bite’ like sensation or you may not feel much of anything at all. This is then followed by a unique sensation known as deqi, meaning obtaining qi, often described by my patients as heavy, spreading, warm, tingling or electrical. Sometimes a tingling or energetic sensation is felt in other areas of the body as well.
During treatment my patients are often completely relaxed and may even fall gently to sleep. The experience is often described afterwards as relaxing yet energizing with a greater sense of focus.

Do you have to believe in acupuncture for it to work?
No, acupuncture is a procedure anyone can benefit from without having an understanding of how it works or even believing in the process or qi.

How many needles do you use?
I usually use between 5 and 20 sterile needles of varying lengths between about 1/4 inches and 2 inches or 50 mm. These are disposed of after each use.

What are Shi zhen needles and do you use them?
Shi zhen or Teishin Japanese (meaning ‘blunt needle) needles are made of gold, silver. platinum or copper and are used at acupuncture points to move or circulate, fortify or clear qi. They are placed on the surface of the skin and are manipulated but do not penetrate the skin. I sometimes use these for children or individuals who are especially sensitive to regular acupuncture needles. This technique is considered a Qigong technique.


How should I prepare?
Wear loose clothing so that it is easier to access points needed for treatment. Although it is better to have a little food in your belly, however, make sure to avoid eating a full meal right before treatment.

What about parking?
Parking is generally pretty good within a short distance from the office. There is 2 hour street parking available (with street cleaning Monday 10 am—1 pm on the opposite side of the street and Tuesday 10 am—1pm on our side). There are also metered spaces farther away and the parking garage on Oak Street 1 block away at 50 cents an hour.

How long is a treatment?
The first meeting should take between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You will have a complete intake evaluation and diagnosis based on the principles of Chinese medicine. You will then be recommended to receive treatment using one or more modalities based on this diagnosis. Treatment will be tailored to your individual needs. You will spend about 20 minutes to 30 minutes with needles. This is your time to relax, breathe and recuperate as the needles assist you. Follow up treatments typically run about 1 hour.

How frequently should I come for treatment?
The benefits of acupuncture are cumulative, so more then one treatment is necessary and varies with each patient from several times a week to once every two to three weeks. For acute conditions you can expect to have 10 to 15 treatments, but you will usually begin to feel relief after just the first few. Chronic conditions may take longer to respond, depending on the type, severity, and duration of the condition. Acupuncture is also beneficial for preventative care and and for general well-being or wellness care.


How much does it cost?
Cost varies with what services are being used and will be discussed prior to treatment.

How do I pay?
I accept personal checks, VISA, MasterCard, Debit and Discover card. Payment is expected in full following each treatment.

Can I use my Health Savings Account (Flex Spending Account) funds to pay for treatments?
Yes, I will provide you with a super bill to submit to your HSA following each treatment. The cost of herbs may or may not be covered depending on your individual account. You can use your Health Savings card for ease of making your payment.

Can I use my health insurance?
Contact your health insurance provider to see if they cover acupuncture as an ‘out of network’ service under your policy. If they do, bring your health insurance card with you and I will bill your Insurance carrier directly and they should either apply the appropriate charges to your deductable or reimburse you directly for the covered charges.


Harmony Healing Center
2245 Santa Clara Ave., Suite 218
Alameda, CA 94501
ph. 510-814-8771

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