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Top Questions

about Traditional Chinese Medicine

What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Chinese medicine is rooted in an ancient system of thought developed over thousands of years. Central features of Chinese philosophy include harmony with nature, balance of yin and yang, and relationship of the five elements.  The human body is seen as a miniature reflection of the cosmos; internal principles of balance and flow are equated to the forces which operate in the external world of nature.

Treatment methods of traditional Chinese medicine include the following:

Acupuncture is applied to specific points along the 12 meridians to affect the flow of qi throughout the body.  The use of needles to access the internal qi dates over two thousand years.  The first needles were made of stone—today we use very fine stainless steel disposable needles.

Moxibustion is the burning of the herb mugwort (usually in a cigar shaped stick) near certain acupoints.  This creates a pleasant, deeply felt warmth which helps to stimulate qi and blood circulation and warm the body.

Tuina ('tway-nah') massage encompasses many therapeutic techniques including acupressure (direct stimulation of acupoints), rolling, kneading, rubbing and hitting.  Tuina was developed in kungfu monasteries and by blind practitioners whose sensitivity in their hands is highly refined.

Herbal medicine is seen as working at both an energetic and a functional level.  Like Western drugs, herbs have physiological effects on the body; like acupuncture, an herb influences the meridian system and flow of energy.  Most herbs are of plant origin.  A few are minerals, and some substances are obtained from animals or insects.  If you have particular restrictions, please notify your practitioner.

Nutritional principles reflect the over-arching philosophy in that foods are seen as yin or yang, with different energetic properties.  Because everyone has a unique body, there is no single diet recommended for everyone; rather, foods should be eaten or avoided according to one's unique condition and constitution.

What does Acupuncture feel like?

This questions is often asked more specifically "does it hurt?"  The answer is, acupuncture is usually barely felt.  The common misperception is that the needles will feel like the booster shots we got as kids, or the huge needle we give blood through.  Hypodermic needles used for injections are large and hollow with a razor-sharp beveled point for piercing through tissue.  Acupuncture needles, on the other hand, are extremely thin—often no thicker than the human hair.  They are made of solid stainless steel with a rounded pencil-tip point that pushes the tissue aside without cutting it.  As a result, only a slight pinprick sensation is felt when they are inserted, and there is usually no bleeding during the entire treatment process. 
Once the needle is properly in place, a characteristic tingling or a heaviness may be experienced.  Although this sometimes may feel strange and unusual, most patients report that it is not painful.  Studies have shown that approximately 5% of the population is hypersensitive to needling; for these patients we might choose another modality.

Are there alternatives to needles?

Yes.  Chinese medicine offers several ways to stimulate acupoints and access the meridian system.  Acutonics (using tuning forks), Acupressure, moxibustion, and energy transmission are all effective.  Needles in less sensitive areas of the body may be experimented with.  Apart from these modalities based on the meridian system, other therapies offered in this office are effective for many disorders and for wellness enhancement.

What are the effects of herbs?

Herbs may be prescribed in conjunction with acupuncture and tuina or as a single therapy.  They are highly effective for many internal disorders as well as musculoskeletal and skin conditions.  Herbs are generally much gentler on the system than pharma-ceutical drugs; so while it may take longer to feel the positive effects, there are rarely harmful side effects.  Each of the hundreds of herbs, minerals, and animals in the Chinese pharmacopoeia has unique properties and applications, and many herbs have been found to complement each other, their additive effects being stronger than when used alone.  Usually the herbs are combined into formulas of 4 to 20 herbs, crafted to address main symptoms and the overall pattern. I offer formulas of herbs in capsule form.

How much does it cost?

Fees are as follow:

            Initial visit                             $150

            Follow-up visit, basic         $100

            Follow-up visit, extended  $175


Initial visit includes consultation and treatment, which may be scheduled in one or two appointments.  Initial and follow-up treatments may include any of the following:  acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, NET, Bars, Breema, herbal prescription, education, applied kinesiology, tuina/acupressure. Extended length follow-up visits include multiple modalities.

The cost of herbs and supplements is not included in the above costs.  An average 2 week supply might range from $20 to $40.

You may choose to pre-pay for your recommended series of treatments; discounts of 12-15% apply to pre-payment of 6-12 visits.

For those on fixed or limited incomes, please inquire about sliding scale options.

Will my insurance cover it?

Some insurance companies cover acupuncture; most do not cover herbal medicine or supplements.  You should contact your company or check your policy to see whether acupuncture is covered, and if so whether there are any practitioner restrictions (preferred provider, etc).  If it appears that your insurance will cover treatment, you will be responsible for costs at the time of service and we will provide you a bill which you may submit directly to your insurance company.

What is your training?

I received a Master of Science degree in 1996 after completing a four year program in traditional Chinese medicine at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) in San Francisco. At ACTCM, courses in acupuncture, moxibustion, herbology, tuina, diagnosis and theory make up the core of the program.  Western anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology are also emphasized. I completed an internship in Harbin, China and a 300 hour post-graduate course in acupuncture orthopedics. In 2020 I completed the Doctorate program in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine at the Pacifica College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM). Apart from studies of traditional Chinese medicine, I’ve completed over 1000 hours of Breema bodywork training. Additional post-graduate studies in Cranio-sacral therapy, Qigong energy work, Acutonics, and Neuro Emotional Technique enhance my practice.

In 2020, I earned a Doctorate in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the Pacific College of Health and Science, San Diego, CA.

I hold a Diplomate of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac.) and Diplomate of Chinese Herbs (Dipl.C.H.) from the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and have also successfully completed the California State Board exams in Chinese medicine. I am a Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of California, a Diplomate of the National Board of Acupuncture Orthopedics, a Certified NET Practitioner, and a Certified Breema Practitioner and Instructor.

What is your perspective on health care?

The aim of alternative medical practices is to restore the body, mind and emotions to their natural state of balance and harmony. My approach in healing work acknowledges the wholeness and wisdom of each individual’s physical, mental and emotional being. Whatever exists and presents itself in the moment is complete.
Within our inherent wholeness, we are continually changing, constantly seeking a state of deeper harmony and balance. The practitioner is present to support the recipient’s process of realizing optimal balance and ease. In my practice three aspects of healing are emphasized:
•Nurturing, tonifying, supporting what is depleted.
•Circulating and moving what is stagnant.
•Releasing what is extra; letting go of conditioned patterns which no longer serve.
Through this process of releasing, moving and nourishing, as we allow that which is vital and harmonized to express and manifest in our lives, we come to move, feel, think, act, experience and respond to life more fully and directly, with greater ease, awareness and adaptability.

What conditions does Chinese Medicine treat?




•Post-operative pain

•Stroke residuals

•Parkinson's disease

•Bladder dysfunction

•Trigeminal neuralgia


•Muscle pain and weakness


•Backache or pain

•Sports injuries


•Muscle cramping


•Disc problems


•Abdominal pain


•Chronic diarrhea




•Krohn's disease

•Irritable bowel syndrome


•Ulcerative colitis

Eye, Ear, Dental

•Poor vision, central retinitis

•Tinnitus, nervous deafness


•Post extraction pain

•Gum problems




•Common cold





•Fibroids/overian cysts


•PMS, cramps

•Menopausal symptoms

•Dysmenorrhea/painful period

•Amenorrhea/lack of period







Metabolic Disorders



•Peripheral neuropathy


•During/after radiation or chemotherapy

  (especially nausea, poor appetite, pain)




•General welfare





Other Benefits

•Increased vitality and energy

•Stress reduction and deep relaxation

•Skin rejuvenation

•Weight control

•Stop smoking, alcohol or drug addictions

•Enhanced athletic performance

•Pain control

•Immune system tonification

•Regulate blood pressure

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