FAQs

Learn more about our community acupuncture in San Diego:

Why “community” acupuncture?
We find that treating patients in a community acupuncture setting has many benefits. It’s easy for friends and family members to come in for treatments together; many patients find it comforting; and a collective energetic field becomes established that actually makes individual treatments more powerful.

How does acupuncture work?
Eastern Explanation:
Acupuncture is a therapy that uses the insertion of tiny thread-like needles to specific points on the body along meridians (energy channels of the body). As long as the energy flows freely through these pathways, health is maintained. When the flow of energy is disturbed for any reason, there is disruption in health, resulting in pain or illness. By stimulating the proper acupuncture points along these meridians, the energy is regulated, and health is restored.

Western Explanation:
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points located near or on the surface of the skin which have the ability to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions in order to achieve the desired effect.

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.

The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. This is why acupuncture works well for back pain and arthritis and also for PMS and infertility.

The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, they regulate seratonin in the brain which plays a role in human and animal disposition. This is why depression is often treated with acupuncture.

Some of the physiological effects observed throughout the body include increased circulation, decreased inflammation, relief from pain, relief of muscle spasms and increased T-cell count which stimulates the immune system.

What does Acupuncture treat?
Millions of people have found acupuncture to be a better solution than drugs or surgery. With a 3,000-year history, acupuncture successfully addresses many ailments and manages pain with no drugs or side affects. The World Health Organization has issued a comprehensive list of diseases and conditions for which acupuncture has demonstrated therapeutic effect. Acupuncture is a safe, painless alternative for treating the following:

  • Arthritis, fibromyalgia, low back pain, neck pain.
  • Asthma, allergies and other respiratory symptoms.
  • Gastrointestinal/Digestive issues.
  • Gynecological issues such as infertility, PMS, irregular and/or painful menses.
  • Depression, anxiety, insomnia, stress.
  • Prenatal and post natal care
  • Addictions: food, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.
  • And many, many more physical, emotional and neurological issues.

Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is widely acknowledged as one of the safest forms of medicine. Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Acupuncturists undergo extensive training and are regulated by the individual states’ medical board.

One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that it has virtually no side effects. Occasionally a small temporary bruise may appear at the site of an acupuncture needle. When compared to the laundry list of cautions and side effects for the average pharmaceutical drug, acupuncture is very low risk!

Do acupuncture needles hurt?
Most people barely feel a thing when needles are inserted. Some people feel a slight pinch, and others ask “Is it in yet?” Acupuncture needles are solid, flexible, and very, very thin (about the width of two hairs). There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. These may include heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. Some people say it feels like you are floating on clouds. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild and temporary. Most people find acupuncture treatments very relaxing and comfortable and usually drift off to sleep.

How often do I need to come in for treatments?
That depends on your medical condition. One of the benefits of the sliding scale is that it allows patients to come in frequently, often 2-3 times per week. Many conditions respond more quickly to frequent acupuncture treatments, while other patients only need to come in once a week. Once your condition is stabilized, you won’t need to come in as frequently. When you come in for your first treatment, we’ll formulate a specific treatment plan for you.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for a treatment?
Eat something light a few hours before treatment. Please do not wear heavy perfume or cologne. Wear loose clothing that can comfortably be rolled up to your elbows and knees. Turn off your cell phone and prepare to relax.

What is a typical acupuncture treatment like at Hillcrest Community Acupuncture?
After completing necessary paperwork you will have a brief consultation with your acupuncturist. You will then be taken into the treatment room where you can sit back and relax in one of our comfortable recliners. We practice a style of acupuncture that uses mostly “distal points” in the hands, feet and head to treat problems in the body – meaning we will probably treat pain in your back by placing tiny needles in your hands. You will relax with your needles in for at least 30 minutes. The average treatment is 45 minutes to an hour.

Recliners?
Oh yes, recliners. Many clients have provided feedback that recliners are far more comfortable than massage tables, while offering equal accessibility.

Do you accept insurance?
Because we have a sliding scale, we cannot do insurance billing (that’s the insurance companies rule). If you have insurance that covers acupuncture we will be happy to give you a payment receipt and you can submit it; that’s ok with the insurance companies.