FAQ

Acupuncture Needles BerkeleyAre the needles safe and sterile?

Yes. At West Berkeley Wellness, we use acupuncture needles which are extremely fine, sterile, disposable, and are approved FDA medical devices. After treatment, these single-use needles are disposed of just like needles in other medical offices. New needles are used for each treatment. A licensed acupuncturist has undergone years of training for their safe implementation.  We have over 25 different sizes of needles, and even the most sensitive patients are comfortable because we tailor the treatment to the individual.  We can make our treatments as gentle as necessary for patient comfort.

What does acupuncture feel like?

Most people are surprised to find that acupuncture feels nothing like a shot from a hypodermic needle, which are thick and hollow. Acupuncture needles are very tiny, only slightly larger than a cat’s whisker. The sensation felt during acupuncture varies from person to person, but can feel like heaviness, warmth, a slight pinch or ache, or even a traveling sensation along the acupuncture channel, much like water running down a stream. Needles are left in for a period of time, and most people feel deeply relaxed during the treatment. Many fall asleep and wake refreshed.

How long does an acupuncture visit take?

Treatment time varies depending on your acupuncturist, but generally the initial visit takes about two hours, and involves an initial consultation and an acupuncture treatment. Follow up visits take about 90 minutes, as they have a shorter consultation period before treatment.

How many treatments do I need and how often?

Acupuncture Needles BerkeleyBecause each personʼs health issues are different and response to treatment is unique, the number and frequency of treatments will vary. Usually acute conditions respond more rapidly than chronic conditions. Although acupuncture is most effective when employed twice per week, most patients with health complaints come in once per week due to their busy lifestyles. Some patients respond very well after just one treatment, while others may progress more slowly and require several months of treatments for maximum results. To enjoy the maximum benefits of our microcurrent facials, we recommend a series of about 12 treatments, depending on the age and condition of the skin.

What other modalities might be used during my session?

Cupping, moxibustion, heat therapy, sound therapy, electroacupuncture, and microcurrent therapy may also be included in your treatment, if indicated. Cupping uses light suction to benefit circulation and reduce local congestion. Moxibustion involves burning the herb mugwort above the skin at specific acupuncture points and is particularly good at strengthening when there is deficiency in the body. Sound therapy uses sound vibration to decrease pain, inflammation, and swelling. Electroacupuncture sends a mild current between two acupuncture needles, decreasing pain and inflammation and increasing circulation.  Microcurrent uses sub-sensory electrical current to decrease pain, inflammation, and swelling; promote healing of bones, strengthen tendons, and improve circulation of blood and lymph.

Do you take insurance?

Yes.  We are in network with most insurance companies. We bill directly for patients with Cigna, United, Sutter Health, Health Smart, Sutter Select, Blue Shield, Aetna, Harrington Health, Multiplan, Clarispointe, Coventry, Corvel, Beech Street, Clarispointe, and Interplan, among others, and accept a variety of plans.  When we bill directly, patients pay their copay or coinsurance, collected at the time of service.  For patients with Blue Cross, we collect payment for the treatment at the time of service and can provide a superbill insurance receipt which patients can submit for reimbursement, depending on their benefits.

We accept Workers Compensation and Personal Injury cases as well, and can provide superbills for patients with Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts.  If you are an insurance patient, please note that your insurance company may send you paperwork during the billing process before their payment is resolved.  Please call us with any questions, and know that this paperwork is not a bill.

If you would like us to check your acupuncture benefits for you, please send photos of the front and back of your health insurance card to info@westberkeleywellness.com, and we can usually check what benefits your plan offers within 24 hours.

How should I prepare for my Acupuncture treatment?

Patients should make sure they are not hungry when they arrive for a treatment, and should wear comfortable clothes. It is important to refrain from rigorous exercise or alcohol consumption at least several hours after treatment. Alcohol should also not be consumed before treatment.

How should I prepare for my Microcurrent Facial treatment?

We recommend to wear comfortable and loose clothing.  Our microcurrent facial treatment works naturally with your body, so there is no special preparation, nor is there downtime afterwards.  However, you should wait at least two weeks after a botox or filler appointment to receive treatment.

Do you carry herbs, supplements and skincare products?

Yes, we keep in stock hundreds of Chinese and other supplemental herbs that we have found to be effective for our patients, including Standard Process, Mayway, and Evergreen herbs.  We also carry a full line of Eminence Organic Skin Care products that have been clinically proven to naturally keep your skin healthy, and to resolve acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and dehydrated skin.  We cover the sales tax for our patients, so you’ll find that our pricing is lower than elsewhere.  We can also place special orders for you, which usually arrive within the week.

How can I pay for my treatment?

As a small business, we prefer personal check or cash, so if you are able to pay that way, we greatly appreciate it.  While we do accept credit cards, high fees make it challenging to keep our pricing low as low as possible.  Visa and Mastercard are accepted, as well as gift certificates.

Is there parking nearby?

Yes, there is a large free parking lot across the street, and 2-hour street parking on 7th Street.

What’s your cancellation policy?

We require 24 hours notice when rescheduling or canceling an appointment, so that others may receive care during that time.  If we have less than 24 hours notice, we must charge for the appointment.  If you are a insurance patient with a copay, we would have to charge our full cash rate since we cannot bill insurance for missed appointments and our practitioners hold that time for you and must be compensated.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes, we offer gift certificates for any amount towards Chinese Medicine treatments, Microcurrent Facials, Eminence Organic Skincare, or wellness herbs. For your convenience, if you call,  we can charge your credit card over the phone and send the gift certificate to your loved one. Our gift certificates never expire!