FAQ about Richard Grossman, L..Ac., O.M.D., Ph.D.

How long have you been in practice?
I started studying natural health care when I was 17, became a macrobiotic chef at 20, a massage therapist at 25.  I started my formal education in Oriental Medicine at 28, passed the state board exams at 31, and have been in practice about 20 years.

Why did you choose this path?
In a very real way this path choose me.  I was quite unhealthy as a young adult, and the only place I found healing was through natural techniques.  This became an obsession for me, so it was only natural to begin formal education and make it my career.

Is there a license for acupuncture?
The Board of Medical Quality Assurance in the State of California licenses acupuncturists.  The typical course of education takes four years.  The state board exam is quite difficult and very through.

What do all those letters after your name mean?
L.Ac. Ė Licensed Acupuncturist; O.M.D. Ė Doctor of Oriental Medicine; Ph.D. Ė Doctor of Philosophy (in Oriental Medicine).

Isnít it better to go to an M.D. for acupuncture?
If you choose to go to an M.D. for acupuncture, I highly suggest asking where they received their training.  Most M.D.ís who practice acupuncture received their training in a several weekend long program.  They are not required to be tested for proficiency or safety of technique.  Compare that to the thousands of hours of Oriental Medicine training that an acupuncture student is required to receive, followed by a very rigorous exam process.  That said, some M.D.ís do attend a full course of acupuncture school.  Of those a very few actually take the state board exams.  You wouldnít want me to do surgery on you after taking a three- weekend course in brain surgery, would you?

How old is Acupuncture?
The art and science of acupuncture started in China during the New Stone Age (Neolithic period), or somewhere between 4-6 thousand years ago.  The first complete textbook on acupuncture is The Yellow Emperorís Classic of Internal Medicine, which dates back to about 2000 BCE.  In other words, Acupuncture is really old, likely being the oldest continually practiced form of health care in the world.  Itís also likely that more people have been treated with acupuncture than with any other healing modality.

How does it work?
Modern Western medicine cannot completely explain how acupuncture works. Research has identified the ability of acupuncture to modulate neuro-endocrine functions such as blood hormone levels, perhaps explaining some of this technique's effectiveness. Traditional acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese theories of the flow of Qi (energy) through Meridians or pathways that span the body. According to such theory, acupuncture allows Qi to flow to areas where it is deficient and away from areas where it is in Excess. In this way, acupuncture regulates and restores the harmonious energetic balance of the body.

What are the needles made of?
Currently, needles are made of very high quality surgical stainless steel.  Initially, in the New Stone Age, they were made of stone and are now known as Bian Stones (from Bian Provence).  They have been made of gold, silver, iron, and steel.

How many times do you use a needle?
All needles are pre-sterilized and disposable, only being used once.

Iím not sick, why should I see you?
Cause, Iím a really nice guy!  Seriously, itís better to blow out a match than to try to put out a forest fire.  I specialize in preventative health care; finding out what is wrong before it is a problem, and correcting it before it causes illness or pain.  It is the best way to do medicine.

What else do you do?
All my patients receive a complete nutritional/herbal evaluation and are given recommendations for nutrition, dietary and life style changes.  Physical medicine techniques like applications of heat, massage, joint mobilizations (called Tui Na in Chinese) and counseling are also part of the therapy.  In the last three years I have also incorporated very powerful Sound Healing techniques that are used during the session. 

How many treatments will I need?
This varies greatly depending on the severity and length of your condition. Generally, the longer you have been ill, or the more severe the condition, the more treatments will be needed.  Chronic conditions may take many treatments to resolve.  Sometimes there is an actual anatomical change. For these conditions I am only able to offer relief from pain.  Other illnesses can be treated in a treatment or two. For some people, a single treatment is enough, though this is quite rare.  In the initial stages of treatment, I like to see people frequently, once a week up to three times a week.  As your body begins the healing process, the treatments become less frequent, once a month to once every two or three months.  Most people find that even when they are well, they like to get a ďtune-upĒ every couple of months.

Whatís it cost?
My initial visit is $195.00.  This includes a complete review of your intake forms, a history and physical exam, and if time permits, a treatment.  Follow up visits are $100.00. Laboratory testing and supplements will add to this cost. In circumstance where a person needs many treatments over an extended period of time, I can offer a discount program based on ability to pay.

When will I get better?
Again, this varies from person to person, condition to condition.  And remember, there is almost no limit to how good you can get!

Can you help _______________________?
Most likely.  I have treated everything from migraine headaches to foot pain, and every thing in-between.  Illness is a state of imbalance, and most illnesses and conditions will improve once you are in physical, emotional and spiritual harmony, getting great nutrition, receiving the proper herbal formulas, doing the right exercise, etc.  For a more through (though by no means complete) list, please visit the Conditions Treated. page.

Does my insurance cover your work?
Maybe. All policies are different.  California Worker's Compensation Policies do cover my work, and I accept most Worker's Compensation patients.  However, I do not, except under rare circumstances and for specific companies, accept other insurance for payment.  I give you a form that you then can send into your insurance company.  They will then reimburse you for your payment.


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