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We've got answers!

If you are new to acupuncture you probably have a lot of questions.

Check out our FAQs below to see if your question is answered.

If you still have questions, please email us .

For our policies click here.

  • How does acupuncture work?
    Modern science is still catching up with Traditional Chinese Medicine. That is to say, with all our modern tools, we have yet to figure out the exact mechanisms of acupuncture. We do know from over 2,000 years of practice and empirical evidence that it does, indeed, work. Like western medicine, it's not a magic cure-all and is most effective when combined with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest. The primary theory in Chinese medicine is that there are pathways of energy, called meridians or channels, that travel throughout the body bringing energy (qi). Along these pathways are the acupuncture points that are stimulated with the needles to promote proper flow of qi and blood. If you would like to learn more about the theory behind acupuncture we recommend the following resources: BOOK LINKS For the basics click on the title - "Why Did You Put That Needle There?" For a deep dive click on the title - "Between Heaven and Earth"
  • Does it hurt?
    At BAP, we practice gentle needling technique. When a needle is inserted, you may feel nothing or you may feel a slight pinch or mild pressure. After the needles are in, it's normal to feel some sensation such as a mild itchiness or warmth for a few minutes - though most people feel nothing at all. Any sensation you have should subside within a few minutes. If a needle is not settling down after this or if it is preventing you from relaxing, always let your practitioner know so we can help you get comfortable. If a needle is very painful right away, let us know so we can remove or adjust it.
  • Why did you put that needle there?
    This has a complex answer. Most acupuncturists have spent 4 or more years studying the theories and techniques of acupuncture, and it is difficult to sum up in a few sentences. Essentially we are using the pathways of energy in your body (also known as channels or meridians) to promote healthy circulation of energy (qi), blood, and body fluids in order to allow your systems to function normally and healthfully. If you would like to learn more about how we choose which points to use, we invite you to read the book: "Why Did You Put That Needle There?"
  • Do I have to remove my clothing?
    No. We use a method called "distal" or "distant" needling and generally only needle the lower legs and arms, head, neck, and ears. We can treat all the same conditions that the back, chest, and abdomen points do, including back pain and internal conditions such as digestive and resipiratory disorders without putting needles directly into areas where your pain or issue may be. Please wear loose clothing that can easily roll up above your knees and elbows.
  • Are the needles sterilized?
    Yes. We only use sterilzed, one-time use needles. Once needles are used, we dispose of them in "Sharps" containers that are processed by a licensed medical waste disposal service.
  • What are you feeling for when you feel my pulse/look at my tongue?
    Examining pulses and tongues can give us a sense of your constitutional strength, the general health of your organs, meridians, and body fluids as viewed within Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can give us a sense of how to construct the best treatment for you. At BAP, we use this diagnositic technique in a very general way, and if you are being treated for ortho-sketelal issues, we may not need to do it at all since where your pain is informs us of which meridians we need to balance.
  • Why don't you feel my pulse or look at my tongue every time?
    Traditional Chinese Medicine uses many different diagnosis methods including but not limited to asking questions, feeling the pulse, and looking at the tongue. Sometimes examining a pulse or tongue can give us a bit of extra information we may need to choose the best treatment for you. However, it is more often the case that your description of your condition and answers to our questions give us all the information we need.
  • Why don’t you use the same points every time?
    There are a few reasons for this. First, even if you've come in with the same health concern as your previous treatment, you are different every day. Your practitioner will treat you as your condition presents in the moment. Additionally, there are many ways to treat the same issue. 10 acupuncturists may use 10 different methods to treat the same condition. Having said that, if you experienced positive results after a particular treatment, please let us know!
  • Do more needles/time/deeper insertion mean a stronger treatment?
    No. The number of needles and depth of insertion that your acupuncturist uses is not random but part of the technique they have chosen to treat you with that day. Some people and/or conditions do better with fewer or greater needles. Different needle depths treat different conditions. As far as timing, for most people 30 minutes is plenty of time for the needles to take effect. Occasionally we may reccomend that you stay longer for your individual needs or specific conditions. Likewise - some people have found they do better with shorter treatment times (15 - 20 minutes.)
  • Is stronger better?
    We get this question a lot and people mean different things when they say "stronger." A treatment that utilizes more needles, greater needle depth, or a needling technique that causes more sensation doesn't necessarily equate to a "stronger" or better treatment. If you know that you prefer a more gentle experience or a more intense qi sensation, be sure to let your practitioner know. Ultimately, a treatment that makes you feel better is what counts.
  • How often should I come and for how long?
    It depends. Typically, acute or severe conditions will improve more quickly when you come frequently, while chronic conditions require fewer regular treatments but a longer duration. Some people come weekly or bi-weekly for ongoing health concerns or general wellness. Ask your practitioner for an individual treatment plan to guide you in your health goals, or check out this treatment plan guide for a general idea of the best plan for you.
  • Why didn’t the needles go where my pain is?
    Depending on your condition and how long you've experienced it, we may or may not put needles near the location of your pain. We frequently use a technique called "distal" or "distant" needling. Because acupuncture uses pathways of energy (also called channels or meridians) we can treat pain "distally." For instance, we may needle your shoulder or elbow to treat knee pain or your hand or foot to treat back pain. We often use the example of light switches - the light is on the ceiling but the switch is on the wall - to turn on the light, you don't screw in the lightbulb directly, you flick the lightswitch. In this case your symptom is the light and the switch is the acupuncture point.
  • Can children and babies get treated at BAP?
    Since it is inadvisable to place masks on children under the age of two, children must be older than two to come to BAP. Additionally, they must able to remain masked for their entire visit. For children, the age that they can start receiving acupuncture depends on their comfort level with the needles AND their ability to sit comfortably and quietly for at least 10-15 minutes (children require a shorter treatment times than adults). Typically, children can start receiving acupuncture with needles around 8-10 years old as long as they are comfortable with the idea of needles.
  • Can pregnant people get acupuncture?
    Yes. Acupuncture can be extremely helpful in alleviating discomfort from conditions occuring in pregnancy, such as morning sickness and back and hip pain. Acupuncture is also known to support general health during pregnancy. Please tell your acupuncturist if you are or suspect you might be pregnant.
  • Is it safe to take herbal medicine while breastfeeding, on medications, etc?"
    Yes. However, some herbs are contraindicated in certain conditions, so you MUST tell your practitioner if you are or become pregnant, are breastfeeding, and any medications you are taking so we can find the right formula for you.
  • Should I take herbs?
    It depends. Your practitioner will let you know if they think you will benefit from the use of an herbal formula. A few herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy or with the use of blood thinners and other drugs. Please let your practitioner know if this applies to you.
  • What does this Prop 65 label mean on the herb bottle?
    We know that reading the Prop 65 label on an herbal product can be alarming. It is a complex issue that is difficult to sum up in a short answer. It is important to note that the companies we purchase our herbal products from follow very strict GMP guidlines, and we have great trust in their quality control. All of our practitioners and our familes personally use the products we carry. Please see resources below regarding Prop 65 and the quality control of the companies we carry at BAP. On Prop 65 Herbal Times/Jade Dragon Quality & Safety Mayway/Plum Flower Quality Assurance / Control
  • I never sleep when I’m at BAP. Is my treatment still effective?
    Yes. Many people fall asleep during their treatments but not everyone. You don't need to fall asleep for acupuncture to work. If you find that you are always awake during your treatment, we invite you to use earbuds or head phones to listen to your favorite podcast or music (remember to keep the volume low so your neighbors don't hear it too!). Some people like to read during their treatments, and we can keep one arm free of needles in this case.
  • I followed my treatment plan but I’m still not seeing the changes I’m looking for…
    Just like Western medicine, acupuncture is not a cure all or magic bullet, and practitioners of either medicine can't predict exactly how an individual will respond to a treatment. If you are following the recomendations of your practitioners at BAP and still not feeling better, after a series of treatments, let us know and we will adjust your treatment plan.
  • Can acupuncture help me lose weight?
    Weight loss is a complex issue, and there is no single method that will ensure that you will successfully lose weight. Acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep and energy, optimize digestion and metabolism, as well as alleviate food cravings - all of which will support you in a holistic approach to weight loss. It's still important to eat well, drink enough water, and get plenty of rest and exercise.
  • Can I see different acupuncturists?
    Yes. We work as a team. When you become a BAP patient, we create a confidential health record for you. Your acupuncturists will create detailed notes at every treatment so that we can keep track of your condition and progress, which points we used for each treatment, which herbal formula you might have been prescribed, etc. so that whoever you see the following time will be completely prepared.
  • What kind of training do acupuncturists get?
    To obtain licensure in California, all acupuncturists must complete an accredited 3 - 4 year Masters in Oriental Medicine and pass rigorous state board exams. California acupuncturists are licensed by the California Acupuncture Board.
  • Are the practitioners at BAP students or professionals?
    All BAP acupuncturists have completed their education, passed California acupuncture licensure exams, and are licensed to practice acupuncture by the California Acupuncture Board.
  • Do any of the acupuncturists specialize in certain types of medicine?
    All BAP acupuncturists receive the same training and are able to treat the same conditions.
  • Where are you located? What is your NEW address?
    The new address is: 1229 Solano Avenue, Albany, CA. There is free 90 minute parking on our block on Solano Ave and free all day parking on Evelyn Ave (except for street sweeping once a month on Wednesdays - look out for signs!)
  • I feel like I’m catching a cold/am getting sick. Can I still come?
  • Trouble logging in?
    "Profile not found" message: Try resetting your password by clicking "Forgot your username or password?" to request a password reset. Did you set up an account for a friend or family member? This may the the problem! Jane is our new scheduling system, but also our payment and medical charting system. Therefore, privacy and security are of utmost importance. If you set up a profile for someone else and used the same email address as your own profile, Jane will not allow you to login. You MUST use a distinct email address for all profiles. Email us for help in this case (
  • How do I schedule?
    Visit our "Services" page and click on the "In-Person Acupuncture" or "Telehealth" buttons, depending on what you want to book. These buttons will take you to the respective pages where we have info on our new COVID safety policies, telehealth offerings, etc. Please read through all our new policies before booking. Still having trouble scheduling? Click here for help.
  • How do I cancel or reschedule my appointment?
    We have a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you know 24 hours in advance that you can't make your appointment, you can cancel through your online accountor email us at Cancellations with less than 24 hours notice can NOT be made online (please email us) and will be charged a $30 Late Cancel fee to the credit card on file. Cancellations due to illness will not be charged a fee. Please cancel if you are feeling sick. Email us at and let us know you'll be missing your appointment due to illness.
  • Do you take drop-ins?
    Until further notice we do NOT take drop-ins. Please read our "In-Person Acupuncture" page carefully and book an appointment through our online system. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Are you wheelchair accessible?
    BAP is on ground level. We do not have an automated door. If you will need help with the front door let us know in the "Notes" section when booking online so we can be prepared to assist you. After selecting your day and time, click "Continue". The next screen will provide a "Notes" section where you can let us know you may need help opening the front door. Click "Save Reason" to save your note to us. BAP staff are not able to transfer or assist in transferring people from wheelchair to reclining chair but we are happy to treat you in your wheelchair.
  • Can bring my service or emotional support animal?
    Service animals are welcome in the clinic. We are not able to accommodate emotional support animals. If you are coming to the clinic for the first time please leave a note in the comments box when booking online that you will be coming with your service animal.
  • Are you (still) a fragrance-free space?
    BAP strives to be a fragrance-free space. Many of our patients and some of our staff have sensitivities to fragrance that cause physical reactions, sometimes causing them to have to leave the clinic if they are exposed. Therefore we request all our patients, staff, and visitors to refrain from using any scented products, including essential oils and other "natural" scents, prior to coming to BAP. However, we cannot guaruntee a completely fragrance free environment. If you smell fragrance in the clinic or on any linens please let us know. We use a hydrogen peroxide cleaner, approved by the EPA to kill SARS-CoV2 which has a mild smell (not added fragrance, just the hydrogen peroxide) to disinfect the chairs and treatment areas. We use Clean Well sanitizing wipes, as well as alcohol, on the computer, doorknobs, and practitioner work areas.
  • How do I get a copy of my medical records?
    If you need a copy of your medical records, please read this document for a full explanation of what documents you may need and how to go about requesting them.
  • Can I be added to a waitlist for an appointment time?
    Yes! Simply click on the phrase, “Add yourself to the waitlist” at the bottom of page that shows available appointment times.
  • Adding and managaing family and friends to your account
    You can now add family manages to your account. You can customize your settings so that you can do any of the following: see their appointments, schedule for them, receive notifications and receipts, and pay for them. Follow the instructions for adding a family member or friend HERE. For instructions on how to scheudle for them see the question below. If youhave any questions, please email us at
  • How to schedule for family or friends
    First add your family memner or friend to your account following the instructions linked above. Then log in to your account and start scheduling as normal. After you select your appointment type, date and time, you will see a screen that ask who you are booking for. Click on their name and then click "Continue". Please do not book appointments for others in your name. This creates confusion in our system and we will have to chance the appointment to their name ultimately since we will be charting confidential health information for them. Thank you!
  • Someone was coughing at my last treatment. Will I get sick too?
    EFFECTIVE MARCH 2, 2020 Since the start of the pandemic, we are not allowing anyone with cold or flu signs to be treated. Until further notice, people who have signs of COVID-19, cold, or flu are asked to schedule telehealth sessions or reschedule for acupuncture after their symptoms have resolved.
  • Someone was snoring at my last treatment. Can you wake them up?
    No. In a community setting you will likely hear the whispers of acupuncturists and other patients, people arriving and settling into their chairs, and sometimes snoring. We invite you to use ear plugs or your headphones during your treatment if sounds disturb you.
  • Do you have massage or bodywork practitioners at your new space?
    Yes. We are pleased to now be sharing our healing space with body workers again. Click HERE to learn more. If you are interested in renting from us, please email us at
  • I have a complaint. How should I handle it?
    We take your feedback seriously. Please email our Clinic Manager at with the subject heading "ATTN: Clinic Manager".
  • Do you accept insurance?
    We do not bill insurance. Check with your provider to see if they will reimburse you. Receipts are emailed to your email address on file. We can also provide you with a superbill if your insurance provider requires a diagnostic code.
  • How do I pay for my appointment?
    When you log in to Jane, you will be asked to put a credit card on file in your account. After your treatment, we will charge your credit card on file. You can also bring a check made out to "Berkeley Acupuncture Project of CA", with you to your appointment and give it to your practitioner. We are not accepting cash at this time. If you have prepays, tell us you are using a prepay by writing “Pre-Pay” in the “Notes“ section when booking your appointment. For instructions, please the see the question below, "Can I still use my prepays?"
  • Why am I being asked for a credit card?
    We now require a credit card on file to book appointments. You will not be charged until after you arrive and receive your treatment. If you 'No Show' or cancel with less than 24 hours notice, your card on file will be charged a $30 fee. NOTE: Cancellations due to illness will not be charged. For the safety of the community, please do cancel if you are feeling unwell. If you have a prepay account please write PREPAY in the "Notes" section when booking. You may also bring a prewritten check and give it to your practitioner when you arrive. For instructions, please the see the question, "Can I still use my prepays?"
  • Do you accept credit cards? Checks? Cash?
    At this time, for safety reasons, we prefer you pay for your treatments and herbs with our new online payment system. Checks are acceptable if PRE-FILLED when you arrive at the clinic (make it out to "Berkeley Acupuncture Project of CA"). We do NOT accept cash payments at this time.
  • Trouble adding my credit card to my Jane account
    Start with the basics: Make sure you've entered all the correct numbers (account #, expiration date, CVV code) and check that the card has not expired Try another card If none of the above work try contacting your financial institution. When new credit cards are added, Jane attempts to authorize the card by charging a small amount ($1.00 or less) which is then refunded to you. Your bank may flag this charge as suspicious and decline it, in which case you will have to authorize it directly with your bank. The charge will come from B.C. Canada and be labeled "Jane Clinic Software" (phone #844-310-5263). You can read more about it on the Jane Help Guide here.
  • Can I pay with my HSA card?
    Yes. Check with your provider first to make sure your plan covers acupuncture. You will be emailed a receipt.
  • Can I still use my prepays?
    Yes. Prepaid credit from 2020 or earlier may be used only for in-person acupuncture only. All our appointments are now booked through the Jane system (reached through our website on the Services page, by clicking the booking buttons at the bottom of the pages after you have read through all our new policies). Tell us you are using a pre-pay when you book online. After booking, click "Done". The next screen will provide a "Notes" section where you can let us know you will be using your prepaid balance. Click "Save Reason" to save your note to us. Let us know if you have any more questions!
  • How many prepaid visits do I have?
    Email us at This takes us time to look up and respond. Please be patient as we have limited staff resources for answering inquiries. We will do our best to get back to you as soon as we can. Please be aware that we no longer have dedicated reception help.
  • Can I use my prepaid balance to buy herbs?
    The prepaid accounts are for acupuncture only.
  • How do I get a receipt?
    We use a system called "Jane" for booking, electronic health records (EHR), and payments. When you make a payment, whether it's by credit card, check or cash, a receipt will automatically be sent to your email address on file. Make sure to keep your email address up-to-date on your BAP Jane account! If you're missing a receipt, just email us at Let us the know the date/dates you need and we will resend it.
  • Why are there different prices for the same appointment types?
    Because all booking and billing is now happening online, and because of constraints with our new system "JANE", we had to find a new way to use a sliding scale system. So we created multiple options for the same service, but at different price points. For instance, you will see three options for 'Community Acupuncture' priced at $30, $40, or $50. We hope in the future JANE will have another option but for now, we are doing the best we can with what it has to offer currently.
  • Someone gave me a ‘Lucky You’ card. How do I redeem it?
    We have temporarily suspended our 'Lucky You' program. Sign up for our newsletters to keep up to date on changes.
  • Can I get a refund?
    Pre-paid treatments (not yet received): Yes. If you purchased treatments in advance and do not plan on using the remaining treatments email us for a full refund. Treatment already received: No. Herbal Products: No.
  • Do you offer disounts for veterans and active military?
    Yes. Veterans and active military pay only $20 for first time and return visits. Please write "Veteran" or "Active Military" in the 'Notes" section when booking online.
  • Can I make a donation to BAP? What is your FEIN?
    We gratefully accept donations from invidividuals through our online "Donorbox" platform. Our FEIN is 82-4821034.
  • POCA Membership and Discounts at BAP
    BAP is a proud member of the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture, AKA 'POCA' (learn more here). Anyone can be a POCA member. To show our support, we offer free birthday treatments to POCA members (may be redeemed during the week of your birthday). We also offer periodic lowered rates as promotions a few times a year. Learn more about joining POCA here.
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