What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a medical treatment that involves the insertion of thin, sterile, disposable needles at specific points on the body. These points are carefully selected and needles are inserted for the treatment of a variety of conditions.

What does acupuncture do?

The purpose of acupuncture is to treat the whole body and to restore balance to the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the individual.

How does acupuncture work?

Meridians of vital energy (Qi pronounced ‘Chee’) run in regular patterns throughout the body and obstructions in these meridians can interrupt the flow of qi. These interruptions create imbalance in the body resulting in pain and disease. Needle insertion at acupuncture points can unblock these obstructions. The improved vital energy flow produced by acupuncture results in the stimulation of the body’s natural healing abilities.

Is there medicine inside of the needles?

Nope! The needles are filiform (i.e. not hollow like a hypodermic needle). The needles work their magic on their own and do not need any additional medicine in order for acupuncture to be effective.

What does acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture can be used in the treatment of; pain and tension anywhere in the body, digestive, menstrual, and sleep issues, addictions, colds/flu, stress/anxiety and depression (to name a few). Acupuncture treatments can also be used as preventative healthcare to strengthen your immune system.

Does acupuncture hurt?

Most patients say that there is little or no pain during an acupuncture treatment. You may feel achiness, warmth, pressure or tingling at the needle or in surrounding areas during the treatment. Those sensations are an indication that the vital energy (Qi) is flowing, which is good!

How many treatments will I need?

The specifics of this will be discussed during your initial evaluation on the day of your first treatment. This recommendation will depend on a variety of factors; how long you have been experiencing the condition, the severity of the issue and your overall health status. In general, I recommend at least 6-10 treatments. More frequent treatments are indicated for acute, severe pain and less frequent but longer term treatment is recommended for chronic issues.

How long are the sessions?

Initial sessions are 90-min and follow-up sessions are 60-min.

What should I wear?

Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing

How much does it cost?

Please see the rates page.

Do you accept medical insurance?

Holly is an in-network provider with Blue Shield of California & United Health Care. We are happy to verify your insurance coverage for acupuncture services prior to scheduling your appointment.

Follow this link to securely fill out your insurance information.


What other treatments are offered during an acupuncture session?

Cupping & Gua Sha: Generally, cupping and ‘gua sha’ are combined with acupuncture in a treatment, but they may also be used separately. During a cupping treatment, glass cups are suctioned on to the muscle layer and this suction allows for an increase in blood circulation resulting in a reduction in tension and pain.

‘Gua Sha’ treatments involve scraping the muscle layer with a ceramic tool after a lubricant oil has been applied. When used in conjunction these treatments help to loosen muscles, encourage blood flow and sedate the nervous system. Both treatments are useful in treating back and neck pain/tension, migraines and fatigue. They also clear congestion from the common cold and may help to control asthma symptoms.  These treatments will leave red or purple marks for about a week following the treatment. This is referred to as ‘sha’ and is an indication that the stagnation of blood in the area has been released. Cupping/’gua sha’ treatments may include both modalities of just one of the other depending on the condition.

MoxibustionMoxa is an herb also known as Artemisia vulgaris or mugwort. This herb is dried and rolled and used in a variety of methods to warm areas of the body and to promote blood circulation. This treatment will be added to acupuncture treatments when appropriate. Check out this video to see how it’s done.

Auricular therapyIn this treatment, very small, stainless-steel, disposable acupuncture needles are inserted into points on the outer surface of the ears. After the needles have been placed, they will be left in for 20-30 minutes while you relax. The ear is a microsystem for the whole body so these treatments may be used to treat a variety of conditions.

Electro-stimulationElectro-acupuncture involves the application of a pulsating electrical current to acupuncture needles as a means of stimulating the points. This treatment is especially useful for neurological diseases,  chronic pain, spasms, and paralysis.

Chinese herbal medicineSee this page for more information.

What is Community Acupuncture?

Please see this page for more information.


*Please be sure to eat a light meal, and be well-hydrated prior to your acupuncture session


Other questions? Contact us here.