Frequently Asked Questions

What will the first treatment be like?

Prior to your first visit, please download and fill out the forms located on our website (click here for the Forms page). If you are unable to do this, please show up 15-20 minutes prior to your first appointment. 

Other things you should consider:

  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Please don’t come on an empty stomach
  • It is not recommended to eat a large meal right before or right after your visit
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your treatment
  • Bring a list of any medications or supplements you are currently taking
  • Between visits, take note of any changes that may have occurred in your condition


Does acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture should not hurt, but you should feel it. Most people enjoy treatment and find it very comfortable, restful, and relaxing. Sometimes the needle insertion feels like a quick pinch that rapidly subsides. Some people report a mild tingling, heaviness, warmth, or a dull ache at the acupuncture point, which is a sensation of qi moving. Generally sessions last about an hour, in which the patient rests or even falls asleep. After your treatment, you can expect to feel less pain, more energy, and a heightened sense of well-being. 


How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments a patient needs depends upon the severity and duration of the symptoms. For a cold or flu, one or two treatments can be very helpful. For chronic health, a longer course of treatment is normally required. This will be determined and discussed during your first session.


Does health insurance cover acupuncture?

Family Roots Acupuncture is currently working on accepting Insurance, did you know that  because of the affordable care act, the vast majority of California’s 38 million residents will have a basic level (up to 20 treatments a year) of acupuncture coverage starting 2014? If your plan covers acupuncture, please let me know your carrier. If you would like more information whether or not your insurance covers acupuncture, we recommend you call the number on your insurance card and ask. In the mean time, at the time of your visit, we can provide a receipt and “super bill” that your insurance requires for reimbursement, this will include information on how to submit a claim to your insurance.   


Can children be treated with acupuncture?

The practitioners in our clinic are trained in pediatric acupuncture. Children as young as one month can be effectively treated using shonishin, a Japanese technique. Instead of inserting needles, practitioners of shonishin employ light tapping, brushing, or rubbing along entire channels or at specific acupoints. Because children are quite sensitive and have a lot of energy, shonishin can be very effective in balancing children and restoring their natural state of health without using needles. Common childhood conditions treated with shoneshin include the following: 

  • digestive disorders
  • asthma
  • bedwetting
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • eczema
  • insomnia
  • hyperactivity
  • emotional stress
  • teething
  • sinusitis


What should I look for in a qualified acupuncturist?

Today acupuncturists are trained in accredited graduate programs and are licensed by most states. Some physicians, chiropractors, and physical therapists offer treatments known as “medical acupuncture” or “dry needling”, a modality based on a much shorter course of study. While an accredited, masters-level program in acupuncture includes more than 3,000 hours of study, programs for physicians or chiropractors offer only about 200 hours in needling techniques and Oriental medicine theory. 

In the state of California, Acupuncturists must be California Board certified to practice Chinese Medicine. Acupuncturists who graduate from accredited programs have completed an extensive course of study in Oriental Medicine as well as in Western biomedical approaches to illness. We strongly recommend looking for a practitioner with formal training, national certification, and an active license to practice Oriental Medicine (acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine).