FAQ about Richard Grossman, L..Ac.,
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.
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.
there a license for acupuncture?
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.
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?
old is Acupuncture?
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.
does it work?
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.
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,
many times do you use a needle?
needles are pre-sterilized and disposable, only being used once.
not sick, why should I see you?
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.
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.
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.
will I get better?
this varies from person to person, condition to condition. And remember, there
is almost no limit to how good you can get!
you help _______________________?
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
my insurance cover your work?
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.