Clinic FAQ

Do acupuncture needles hurt?

Most people barely feel needles when inserted. Some patients may feel a slight pinch. Acupuncture needles are very thin (about the width of two hairs) and flexible. There are certain sensations associated with the therapeutic effects of acupuncture. These may include slight cramping, heaviness, distention, tingling or electric sensation traveling along a meridian. If any discomfort is experienced, it is usually mild and temporary.

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 state medical boards.

How often do I need to come in for treatment?

It depends on your medical condition. Many conditions respond more quickly to frequent acupuncture treatments, while other patients may need less frequent treatment. When you come in for your first treatment, we’ll formulate a personalized treatment plan for you.

What conditions can be treated?

Some of the diseases, symptoms, and conditions recognized by World Health Organization (WHO) for which acupuncture has been proven to be an effective treatment or for which therapeutic effects of acupuncture have been demonstrated include: Acne, Adverse Reactions to Radiotherapy and/or Chemotherapy, Alcohol; Tobacco Dependence; Detoxification, Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever), Back, Neck, Elbow and Knee Pain, Bronchial Asthma, Cancer Pain, Common Cold, Diabetes, Mellitus, Depression, Facial Rejuvenation, Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Gastrointestinal Disorders (including Diarrhea, Constipation, and Gastritis) Headaches (including Migraines), Hypertension, Infertility–Male and Female, Insomnia, Menstrual Pain & Premenstrual Syndrome, Menopause, Obesity, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works by balancing the body’s Qi, which can be described as a form of bioenergy that runs through the body. If Qi gets blocked, it shows up as an imbalance or illness. Basically, if you have a health condition, some part of your body’s system is out of whack. Chinese medical theory allows us to diagnose the imbalance and balance it. In Western medical theory, acupuncture appears to work by stimulating parts of the brain. It also stimulates the body to release natural biomolecules such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. The exact mechanisms which brings this about are unknown, but the effects are measurable.

Do I need to do anything to prepare for my first appointment?

If you’re new to the Community Clinic, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out the necessary new patient forms. Or download the New Patient Forms, fill them out at your convenience, and then bring them with you to your appointment. Your first visit to the Clinic for an Intern appointment will be for 2 hours. Appointments for Specialty Clinics and Licensed Practitioners will be for 1-hour.

The initial consultation includes a thorough medical intake that covers all aspects of your health. Some questions may seem unrelated to your current medical condition, but remember that our treatment philosophy is designed to treat you as a whole person – body, mind and spirit. Interns will use acupuncture during the treatment and may recommend an herbal prescription and/or lifestyle recommendation for diet and exercise.

Do you accept insurance?

If you have health insurance that pays for acupuncture, we can provide a “superbill” that provides all the information you need to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. It is a standardized form which health insurance plans accept. If you have an HSA or flexible spending account (FSA), this will pay for acupuncture. At this time, we do not directly accept insurance.

How can I pay for my acupuncture treatments and herbs?

All payment for services (treatment and/or prescription herbs) will be collected at the time of your appointment. Payment can be made with cash, checks, credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) cards with a Visa or MasterCard logo. At this time, we do not accept American Express or Discover cards.

Can I return my herbs for a full refund?

Only patent herbs can be returned if unopened for a full refund. Any custom herbs, special formulas created specifically for you, are not refundable. Please check with you practitioner about the uses of herbs during your treatment if you have any questions.

How do I cancel or reschedule my appointment?

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment for any reason, please call the Community Clinic at least 24 hours before your appointment. A clinic receptionist is available to assist you with this at (310) 577-3006.

Appointment cancellations made less than 24 hours before your appointment are subject to cancellation charges of $25.00 for Master’s Intern and the Healthy Aging Specialty Clinic and $35.00 for the Orthopedic & Pain and Women’s Health & Reproductive Medicine Specialty Clinics. The cancellation free for a licensed practitioner appointment is $50.00.

What does it mean when I receive a treatment by a Master’s Intern or Doctoral Resident?

Yo San Community Clinic is a training facility for our Master of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (MATCM) Interns and Doctorate of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) Residents. All aspects of your treatment by an Intern or Resident are closely supervised by a Yo San Clinical faculty member who is an experienced licensed acupuncturist. With this supervision and guidance, Interns and Residents take an active role in your visit from gathering information to appropriately diagnose with supervisors, communicating with you, and then personally treating you using the instructed acupuncture and TCM modalities.