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555 South Dora Street, Suite A
Ukiah, CA, 95482

707-462-4448

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Acupuncture

acupuncture

 

I use Japanese acupuncture in my practice. The techniques that I use come from my teacher, Kiiko Matsumoto, who describes her work as: 

“… a systematic, easy to learn, palpatory method which is designed to provide instant feedback. When using this system, a practitioner follows a palpation sequence which both establishes a diagnosis, and suggests several treatment options which might be effective for treating a particular patient.

This style is largely defined by its use of a highly systematized method of palpation. Palpation is the ability to gain information through touch. Rooted in Han dynasty China, this method evolved to an extraordinary level of sophistication in Japanese acupuncture for a very unusual reason. Since as early as the Edo Period (1602-1868) Japanese acupuncture was a profession practiced largely by the blind. Once learned, palpation becomes an easy to use method for obtaining instant feedback as to the patient’s condition of health. The diagnosis and treatment strategies follow one another in one circular motion. Specific active reflexes suggest the diagnosis and the treatment efficacy be established by changes in the same reflexes."

What is acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is the painless insertion of very fine, sterile, disposable needles into points on the body that activate our innate healing function. 

How does acupuncture work? 

Each point lies on a channel or meridian, and each meridian is associated with one of twelve organs. By stimulating points on a channel, treatments can address problems along that channel, and also problems associated with that organ. For example, if a patient complains of nausea, a point or points on the Stomach channel would be selected. If the complaint was tennis elbow, then points from the Large Intestine channel (which passes along the lateral side of the elbow joint) would be selected for treatment. Research has shown that acupuncture has both a local and distal effect on the body: in treating painful conditions, for instance, treatment can disperse local inflammation and spasm while at the same time, stimulating pain-relieving chemicals which are produced in our brain.

What does an acupuncture treatment involve? 

An acupuncture treatment has many similarities and several big differences from any visit to a doctor’s office. A thorough health history is taken at the first visit to identify what needs attention. A physical examination is given, which includes pulse diagnosis, tongue observation, and palpation of the abdomen and back. All of this is then taken into account to formulate the diagnosis and treatment plan, and the acupuncture treatment is given. Treatment usually involves 5 to 15 needles inserted in selected points on the body that are left in to take effect for approximately 20 minutes. Most visits include treatment of both the front and back.

How many treatments are necessary to benefit from acupuncture? 

Each condition requires a different amount of treatment. Generally, the longer that you’ve had the problem, the more visits will be necessary. Some patients need only one treatment; others may come weekly for several months.

Are treatments uncomfortable or painful? 

Acupuncture needles are very fine, especially compared with hypodermic needles. Insertion of the acupuncture needle causes a slight sensation, which someone once referred to quite accurately as being similar to “the afterthought of a mosquito bite”.

One of the most common reason people don’t try acupuncture is that it includes needles. This is unfortunate that someone in so much pain chooses not to seek relief for such a minor reason.

How safe is acupuncture? 

In our training, we are strongly advised which points need to be treated cautiously: some because of their proximity to a shallow-lying organ; some because certain conditions forbid their use (i.e. certain points are contraindicated during pregnancy).

Here is some important information about acupuncture needles:

They are 100% sterile and disposable, used ONLY once before being discarded. They are only as thick as a strand of a beard hair. You can fit an acupuncture needle inside the hollow tube of the conventional hypodermic needle. The acupuncture needle does produce a subtle sensation along the acupuncture channels. These sensations include tingling, a sense of warmth, a sense of pressure, and a sense of release. These sensations do not typically include pain. Often, after I ask the patient, "Did you feel it?” The response is, “Feel what?”

The effectiveness of acupuncture analgesia has already been established in controlled clinical studies. … Acupuncture analgesia works better than a placebo for most kinds of pain, and its effective rate in the treatment of chronic pain is comparable with that of morphine. In addition, numerous laboratory studies have provided further evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture’s analgesic action as well as an explanation of the mechanism involved. In fact, the excellent analgesic effects of acupuncture have stimulated research on pain.

Because of the side-effects of long-term drug therapy for pain and the risks of dependence, acupuncture analgesia can be regarded as the method of choice for treating many chronically painful conditions.
— World Health Organization

Are there any “side effects” to acupuncture? 

The only “side effects” are usually beneficial: patients generally report feeling more relaxed and less stressed. In addition, since my approach is holistic, the effect of treatment is often wide-ranging, so that seemingly unrelated issues will also improve simultaneous to the main complaint. 

What should I expect from my first acupuncture treatment? 

For many patients, especially those with acute symptoms, the initial acupuncture may provide 50% improvement. For others, one or several follow-up visits may be necessary before any significant results are had. Nearly all patients report feeling both energized and relaxed after treatment.

How long does an acupuncture treatment session take? 

The initial visit, which includes a complete health history, physical exam and acupuncture treatment, will take from 1.5 to 2 hours; follow-up visits usually take a little more than one hour.

Is acupuncture covered by health insurance?

Many insurance companies now cover acupuncture. Each plan offers different coverage: some have limits on dollar amounts or number of visits allowed per year. Local employers such as Mendocino County Government and Willits Unified School District offer excellent benefits for acupuncture. Please call us if you have any questions about your insurance coverage. We’d be glad to helpl

How do I prepare for an office visit/treatment?

The only preparation necessary is that you don’t have an empty or full stomach when you come to your appointment, and that you aren’t intoxicated. Wearing loose-fitting clothing is helpful for providing access to the points.

Where can I get more information about acupuncture? 

You may feel free to set up a complimentary initial consultation with me to ask any questions you have. Also, check our links section for more information on acupuncture.

What kind of licensing and/or training does one go through to become an acupuncturist? 

The State of California Acupuncture Board, part of the Department of Consumer Affairs, licenses acupuncturists. Currently, acupuncture training is 3,200 hours of classroom and clinical study, at the end of which graduates are awarded a Master’s degree.

L.Ac. — What does this mean? 

L.Ac. stands for “Licensed Acupuncturist”, and this title is granted by the State of California once a person has passed the state license examination for acupuncture.

 

conditions I treat

 

General

Chemical Sensitivities
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Dizzyness and Vertigo
Edema
Fatigue or malaise
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Low energy
Osteoporosis
 

Fever and Infections

Boil
Candidiasis
Canker sore, oral
Common Cold
Conjunctivitis
Epstein-Barr virus
Fever
Hepatitis A, acute
Hepatitis C
Herpes simplex
Herpes zoster (shingles)
Impetigo
Influenza
Lyme’s Disease
Otitis media (ear infection)
Pertussis
Pharyngitis, acute
Sinus infection
Spider bite
Strep throat
Urinary tract infection
Viral infection, acute
Viral infection, chronic

Autoimmune Disorders*

*we can provide supportive care, but not a cure
Lupus
Scleroderma
Rheumatoid arthritis
Hashimoto’s thyroid
Thrombocytopenic purpura

Blood Disorders

Anemia
Atherosclerosis
Blood clots
Blood sugar elevation
Leukopenia
Thrombocytopenic purpura


Cardiology

Angina
Arrhythmia
Atherosclerosis
High blood pressure
Low blood pressure
Hypercholesterolemia
Palpitation
Tachycardia
 

Cancer Support

Cancer remission support
Chemotherapy support
Post-surgery support
Radiation support
 

Dermatology

Acne
Alopecia
Burns, acute
Dermatitis
Eczema
Herpes simplex
Herpes zoster-shingles
Leg ulcers
Pemphigus
Psoriasis
Skin rash
Scleroderma
Urticaria
Viral warts
 

Endocrine Disorders

Adrenal fatigue
Diabetes mellitus
Goiter
Hypothyroid
Hyperglycemia
Hyperthyroid
Type II Diabetes
 

Ear, Eye, Nose, Throat, Mouth


Eye:
Conjunctivitis
Cornea trauma
Glaucoma
Optic atrophy
Red eye
Retina disorders (non-surgical)
Stye

Ear:
Ear infection

Nose:
Nosebleed
Sinusitis

Throat:
Laryngitis, acute
Lymph node swelling
Sore throat
Swollen tonsils
Vocal cord disorders

Mouth:
Bell’s palsy
Canker sore
Gum disease
 

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Esophagus, stomach, pancreas:
Acid reflux
Epigastric pain
Esophageal constriction
Gastric ulcer
Gastritis
GERDS (acid reflux)
Hiatal hernia
Nausea-vomiting
Pancreatitis

Liver-Gallbladder:
Cholecystitis
Gallbladder disorder
Gallstones
Liver dysfunction

Small and large intestine; anus:
Abdominal bloating
Abdominal pain
Anal fissure
Constipation
Crohn’s disease
Colitis
Diarrhea
Gastroenteritis
Hemorrhoids
Irritable bowel syndrome
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Parasites
Rectal prolapse
Ulcerative Colitis

Other:

Food allergy
Food poisoning

Gynecology

Amenorrhea (late or no period)
Breast fibroid
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)
Endometriosis
Female hair loss
Fibrocystic breast
Infertility
IVF suppport
Irregular menses
Leukorrhea (vaginal discharge)
Mastitis (breast infection)
Menopausal hot flash or sweats
Ovarian cyst
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Tipped (rotated) uterus
Uterine fibroid
 

Mental, Psychological, Emotional

Anxiety
Depression
Insomnia
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Panic attacks
Poor memory or concentration
Stress
 

Pediatrics

Abdominal pain
Allergy (pollen)
Allergy (food)
Asthma
Chicken pox, acute
Cold
Colic
Constipation
Cough
Diarrhea
Ear infection
Eczema
Epigastric pain
Fever
Food allergy
Food poisoning
Injury
Molluscum contagiosum
Nausea
Night crying
Pertussis (Whooping cough)
Poor concentration
Roseola
Strep throat
Vaccine reaction
Warts
 

Pregnancy and Post-Partum

Baby won’t drop or turn
Back pain
Infertility
Mastitis (acute breast infection)
Morning sickness
Poor milk production
Postpartum depression
Postpartum uterine bleeding
Pregnancy tonification
Starting labor
Stopping milk production
Threatened miscarriage
 

Respiratory Disorders

Allergy, grass-pollen
Asthma
Bronchitis, acute
Bronchitis, chronic
Respiratory infection
Rhinitis, allergic
Rhinitis, chronic
Pertussis
(Whooping cough)
Sinusitis, acute
Sinusitis, chronic
 

Urogenital

Glomerulonephritis
Hematuria
Incontinence
Kidney disease
Kidney stone
Male infertility
Prostatic hypertrophy
Prostatitis
Urinary tract infection
Urinary dribbling or incontinence
 

Pain

Acute trauma
Arthritis
Back pain
Bell’s palsy
Carpal tunnel
Chronic pain
Degenerative joint
Degenerative disc
Generalized pain
Gout
Headache
Intervertebral disc
Joint pain
Migraine
Morton’s neuroma
Osteoarthritis
Otitis media
Otitis externa
Pain: shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers
Pain: hip, knee, ankle, heel, foot, toes
Pain: neck, thoracic, lumbar, sacral
Peripheral neuropathy
Post-operative pain
Restless leg syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sciatica
Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ)
Tooth pain
Traumatic bruising and swelling
Trigeminal neuralgia
 

Sprain-Strain Injury

Hip, knee, ankle, foot, toes
Lumbosacral joint
Shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers
Spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar
Temporal mandibular joint (TMJ)
Traumatic bruising and swelling