FAQ - Healing with Zen | Acupuncture & Herbal Remedies | Pasadena, CA

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient, effective, and noninvasive system of medical treatment that has been refined in China over a period of more than 2500 years. Acupuncture involves the use of fine, sterile needles to stimulate various pressure points throughout the body. These needles promote natural healing by boosting the body’s immune system and enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), good health depends on our body’s vital energy, called “Qi” (pronounced CHEE). When we have abundant and free flowing Qi, we have energy and are less likely to have illnesses. Consequently when our Qi becomes depleted, we are more likely to feel sick. When our Qi becomes blocked, pain and disease may develop.

Acupuncture needles are used to access and rebalance the body’s energy.  The needles can remove blockages in the body, reduce pain, increase energy, and assist our body in healing disease. Thus, allowing our Qi to move more freely. It is a safe, painless and effective way to treat a wide variety of physical and emotional problems.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture points are areas of designated electrical sensitivity. Inserting needles at these points stimulates various sensory receptors that, in turn, stimulate nerves that transmit impulses to the hypothalamic-pituitary system at the base of the brain.

The hypothalamus-pituitary glands are responsible for releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killing hormones. It is estimated that endorphins are 200 times more potent than morphine. This is why acupuncture works well for all types of pain in the body.

Endorphins also play a big role in the functioning of the hormonal system. The substances released as a result of acupuncture not only relax the whole body, but they also regulate serotonin in the brain, which plays a role in human and animal disposition. Thus depression, anxiety and other problems related with stress are often treated with acupuncture.

Physiologically acupuncture increases circulation, decreases inflammation, relieves pain and muscle spasms and increases T-cell count, which stimulates the immune system.

How can acupuncture help me?

Acupuncture is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to be effective in the treatment of a wide variety of medical problems.  Below are some common conditions treated by Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture:

Musculoskeletal and Neurological Disorders

  • Arthritis
  • Back Pain
  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Knee Pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Neuralgia
  • Sciatica
  • Shin Splints
  • Sports Injuries
  • Sprains
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis Elbow

    Respiratory Disorders – Ear/Nose/Throat Disorders

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds and Flu
  • Dizziness
  • Earache
  • Hay Fever
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore Throat

Immune Disorders

  • Candida
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Epstein Barr Virus
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV and AIDs
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

    Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Colitis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Food Allergies
  • Gastritis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Ulcers

    Gynecological and Urogenital Disorders

  • Amenorrhea
  • Chronic Bladder & Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Impotence
  • Incontinence
  • Irregular, Heavy, and/or Painful Menstruation
  • Menopause
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Emotional and Psychological Disorders

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Stress


  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Smoking Cessation


  • Chemotherapy/Radiation Side Effects
  • Diabetes
  • Weight Loss/Weight Control
  • Does Acupuncture hurt?

    Unlike Hypodermic needles, which most people are used to being injected with, Acupuncture needles are extremely fine filaments, which are approximately 2/10ths of a millimeter (.15mm to .20mm) in diameter, which is about twice the diameter of a human hair. They are sterile and used only once before they are disposed.Patients are often surprised that Acupuncture relatively painless! They usually report that needles create very little to no sensation at all, and within a few minutes they become so profoundly relaxed that they often fall asleep during the treatment and awaken feeling very calm and refreshed.

    How will I feel after acupuncture?

    Patients normally feel relaxed and calm. You may feel tired or drowsy for a few hours if the experience is particularly strong. You may also experience a short-term flare up of symptoms in the healing process. After a session, it is a good idea to sit quietly and relax. A gentle walk or very mild exercise can also be helpful. Avoid big meals, vigorous exercise, alcohol, and stressful situations.

    How many visits will I need:

    The number of visits will depend upon the underlying condition, the severity of the symptoms, and the state of health in general.  The suggested treatments will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.

    Other treatment modalities:

    There are a variety of techniques used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Below are a few that are typically used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance its effects.Electro-Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles are used to conduct small electrical currents. This technique has been proven to decrease pain, accelerate healing, and significantly reduce inflammation, edema, and swelling.Moxibustion: A technique in which a Chinese herb called mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris is used to heat an acupuncture point. Moxa is usually rolled into a stick, lit, and held over specific areas of the body. Moxa can also be placed onto the handle of an acupuncture needle or placed directly on the skin for deeper penetration of heat.Cupping: In cupping, a glass or plastic cup is suctioned onto the body and kept in place or moved around for 5-10 minutes. Cupping stimulates circulation and relieves swelling.Gua Sha: A technique which involves palpation and cutaneous stimulation in which the skin is pressed by a round-edged instrument; Gua Sha is used to prevent and treat diseases and strengthen the body.Tui Na/Massage: Bodywork used in conjunction with acupuncture for a variety of musculoskeletal and organ-related issues.

    What are your office hours?

    Our office works by appointment only. Appointments are generally available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm, and we recommend that patients book at least a week in advance. To book an appointment, click here or email us at info@healingwithzen.com.

    Where is your office located, and what are the parking options?

    Healing with Zen is located at 99 S. Chester Ave, Suite 101, Pasadena, CA 91106.pThere is plenty of two-hour free parking available on the street. Please do not park in our lot, as it is for staff only. 

    What are your office fees?

    For our current fee schedule, please click here.

    Do you accept insurance?

    Licensed Acupuncturist In-Network for Blue Shield of CaliforniaHealing with Zen is currently an in-network acupuncture provider for Blue Shield of California. We do not accept any other insurance, but we can create superbills upon request for patients to submit to their insurance for reimbursement. For more information about our insurance policy, please click here.