What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a key component of a 2,000 year old healing approach that includes diagnosis, diet and herbal medicine, and physical exercise. Originally developed in China, this system continues to be used to illness of all kinds.  

In an acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted at various points on the body to help unblock energy and restore the body’s natural state of balance. To help better understand how acupuncture works Kimberly Ertl, L.Ac.answers a few common questions:

Q: Does Acupuncture Hurt?

A: “Different people describe the needle sensation with different terms, “like a small pinch” is the way I usually describe it. Sometimes, people do not even feel the needles going in, sometimes the sensation is a bit stronger. But when they are told that an acupuncture needle is about 1/30 the size of a flu shot, many people are able to put aside their fears.” 

Q: What does acupuncture treat?

A: “Well, in my experience, acupuncture can treat a very wide variety of health concerns. It is a system of medicine, not just a prescription for a particular disease. For example, I have successfully treated patients with anxiety, depression, asthma, common colds, TMJ pain, shoulder pain, menstrual irregularities and menstrual pain, weight loss, fatigue, skin disorders and more.”

Q: Will insurance cover acupuncture?

A: “Many insurance companies provide at least some coverage for acupuncture and some cover the full cost of treatment. I am happy to contact the specific company to verify the amount that will be covered and I will bill insurance for my patients. However, I ask patients to pay up front for all treatments and then make every effort to ensure they are reimbursed.”

Q: How did you become an acupuncturist?

A: “ I was actually in the marketing field for about 12 years before going back to school to become an acupuncturist. I found that as a mother and wife, life in the corporate environment did not provide much opportunity for balance. It was time for me to take back my life! I had always been interested in a holistic approach to health and healing and had kept a few books from college holistic health classes I had taken over 15 years prior. This was a big sign to me, I knew where my heart really was. Going back to school was absolutely one of the best decisions I ever made. Now I strive to help my patients achieve a healthy state of balance in their own lives.” 

Q: I’ve heard acupuncturists use herbal medicine, is that true?

A: “It’s true. Chinese Medicine has over 3,000 substances in the primary Materia Medica (book of medicinal materials). Acupuncturists get over 300 hours of clinical instruction in herbal medicine. I may not always prescribe herbs, but for many situations, herbal medicine will bring about more complete healing than acupuncture alone.”

Q: How can patients book a treatment with you?

A: “Just call! 831-272-4112. A typical first treatment takes about 1 ½ hours. After that, a typical treatment takes about 1 hour.” 


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