acupuncture balances body, mind, mood

abba headshotNew! Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture smoothes facial lines and wrinkles while it balances body, mind and mood. Special rates through February 29, 2016. For more details, see my recent blog post here.

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years in China to treat all health issues, and is particularly beneficial for people with pain, anxiety and depression, digestive and autoimmune disorders and women’s hormonal symptoms.

Most people are surprised to find that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, and is deeply relaxing. I use the smallest needles possible with gentle Japanese acupuncture techniques. You may occasionally feel a sensation when the needle is inserted, but I believe that acupuncture shouldn’t hurt, so please tell me if a needle ever bothers you. I will remove it or adjust it so you are completely comfortable during your treatment.

Acupuncture can be used alongside conventional medical treatment for any condition, and excels at treating chronic symptoms that conventional medicine doesn’t offer much help with. It can make a big difference for people with any chronic disease or autoimmune disorder and anybody who is considering antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. Acupuncture is especially effective for treating women’s health issues including infertility, PMS, heavy bleeding, irregular cycles, and menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and insomnia. Click here to see the World Health Organization list of health issues that acupuncture can help.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture

Does acupuncture hurt? Acupuncture needles are tiny, flexible and about the size of a hair – calling them needles is kind of stretching it. Most people are surprised to find that that acupuncture treatment is deeply relaxing and they don’t feel the needles at all, though occasionally you may feel a tiny, passing pinch. If you ever feel more than a tiny pinch, please let me know so I can remove or adjust the needle. I want you to be completely comfortable during your treatment, because part of acupuncture’s magic comes from the deep relaxation it induces.

What can acupuncture treat? Because it enhances your body’s ability to regulate all its functions, acupuncture is especially helpful for anything your doctor says you’ll just have to live with. I regularly see people get relief for the following conditions: sports injuries, plantar fasciitis, neck and shoulder pain, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, fatigue, chronic pain, insomnia, migraines, PMS, menstrual cramps, menopausal symptoms, allergies, addictions, stress-related and autoimmune disorders.

How many treatments will I need? For most chronic health problems, I suggest you plan on 6 treatments to start with to get the best results. In that time, you should experience an improvement in your symptoms and overall well-being. Most people notice a difference after the first treatment. At the 6th treatment, we will together assess your progress and discuss a treatment plan for going forward. Acute pain conditions typically respond quickly, usually improving in the 1st treatment. For women’s health issues such as PMS, heavy bleeding, irregular periods, the best plan is weekly treatments until symptoms are alleviated, and then monthly treatments to maintain that improvement. I find that women often see a big improvement in their cycles after a month of weekly treatments, resolution of menstrual issues usually takes 2-3 months of weekly treatments.

Do you take insurance? There isn’t much coverage for acupuncture in Missouri, and I don’t currently do insurance billing, but I am happy to provide you with a receipt that you can submit to your insurance company.  You can also use your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for acupuncture.

What forms of payment do you accept? Cash, personal check, and credit and debit cards.

What can I expect on my first visit? Come a little early to fill out some simple paperwork. Then we’ll sit down and talk about your goals for treatment and the relevant details around the issues at hand.  This conversation will take 15 or so minutes, during which I’ll feel your pulses and look at your tongue. Then you’ll lie down on a comfortable massage table and I’ll insert the needles, usually on your head, ears, arms, legs, and sometimes on your back and/or belly. People are always surprised to find that acupuncture mostly doesn’t hurt, and that it is deeply relaxing.  It’s best to wear shorts or stretchy pants that roll up easily, because I usually want to do points around your knees. You may also need to remove or pull up your shirt so that I can put needles and cups on your back.  Once the needles are in, you will have a nice nap for about 30 minutes.  Most people find that they feel deeply relaxed during their treatment, and often fall asleep.  I always set an intention when I am receiving a treatment – it’s a great opportunity to ask your inner wisdom for insight into questions that are puzzling you, and you never know what will bubble up!  Also, it is best if you can schedule your treatment so that you can relax afterwards, rather than rushing back to a busy, stressful day.

What sets you apart from other acupuncturists? I think eclectic and integrative would best describe my practice. I was trained in the Japanese acupuncture tradition, which is much gentler than the Chinese tradition, and I feel more appropriate for American clients.  My Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine degree program in California included intensive training in the rich Chinese herbal tradition that stretches back thousands of years – it always awes me to remember that I am giving my clients herbal treatments that have been proven useful for thousands of years. I also use modern knowledge of nutrition and supplements to complement these ancient herbal remedies.  I am also certified as a clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki master, and incorporate this experience into treatments.

Why do you look at my tongue? Your tongue can give me a very good idea of what’s generally going on, what acupuncture points I should use, what herbs will be most helpful.  If the tongue is pale, I think deficiency of some sort, and if it’s deep red or purple, I’m thinking what we call an “excess” condition such as heat or stagnation.

What do you feel in my pulse? In Chinese medicine, we feel the pulse at three locations on the wrist, basically three fingers on each side. On the left wrist, I feel the heart on the first finger, then the liver, then the kidney yin. On the right wrist, I feel the lung, spleen and kidney yang.

Have other questions?  Email them to me at