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Q: Is there anything I need to do before receiving a treatment?

A: Holistic Zen is transitioning to electronic health records.  New & existing patients will receive an email to register your account and sign policy & health intake forms.  Please fill out online prior to your appointment.  All payments for services will be collected beforehand via email (an invoice will be sent to you).  Avoid treatment when excessively fatigued, dehydrated, full, emotionally upset, intoxicated, actively infectious, or hungry (eat a light meal beforehand).   Share current list of medications and/or supplements as well as your insurance card prior to treatment.  Plan on at least 60-90 minutes per treatment to dedicate and invest in your health and avoid excessive activity post treatment.  If you are receiving red light therapy and/or a rejuvenation facial/ACUGLOW facial clean your face prior to your session and do not wear makeup.  Make sure to review post treatment guidelines below as well!

Q: What does acupuncture feel like? Does it hurt?

A: Acupuncture needles are hair thin, single use, stainless steel, and disposable. Acupuncture needles are so tiny 40 needles can fit into the tip of one standard 18 gauge hypodermic needle! Patients experience acupuncture differently but patients often report no or minimal sensation upon insertion of the needles and find that they induce deep relaxation. Some people are energized by treatment, while others feel relaxed. Improper needle placement, movement of the patient, or a defect in the needle can cause soreness and pain during treatment. This is why it is important to seek treatment from a qualified acupuncture practitioner.

Q: What effect do the needles have on the body?

A: Western medical research has demonstrated that acupuncture treatments:

  • Increase white blood cell count strengthening the immune system
  • Help the body regulate sugar metabolism stabilizing energy levels
  • Improve blood flow to decrease hypertension and cholesterol levels
  • Alter the brains neurological response to pain, reducing the intensity and frequency of the pain response and increasing endorphins (the feel good hormone)
  • Enhance serotonin production, a hormone related to sleep, appetite, and emotional health
  • Regulate digestive fluids
  • Decrease cortisol (stress) levels, activating the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxation)

Q: What is therapeutic yoga and if I combine it with acupuncture treatments how does that work?

A: Therapeutic yoga combines restorative yoga (supported postures), gentle yoga, breathwork, hands-on healing, and guided meditation techniques in such a way that it is an excellent choice for those who need something gentle yet effective for bringing the body into balance and reducing stress.  Therapeutic Yoga is a deeply meditative experience – it provides the opportunity to step away from the fast pace of the outside world and access the deeper wisdom that resides within us.  This practice is particularly helpful for pregnant patients, the elderly, and those recovering from or struggling with illness, injury, trauma, stress, insomnia, and anxiety.  This service can be combined with acupuncture treatments for a truly powerful and restorative experience.  Acupuncture needles are placed at key points along the body while in your final relaxation pose in your therapeutic yoga session.

Q: What is micro-needling & nano-needling?  What are the benefits?

A: Both the nano and micro-needling treatments use a pen like device that oscillates a tip up and down to stimulate a skin reaction. They both induce cell turnover, serum infusion and provoke the healing process that results in skin transformation.  

Microneedling Therapy also called Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), and Percutaneous (through the skin) Collagen Induction (PCI), is a minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure that involves the use of a needle pen.  The mechanical action of the pen allows the needles to puncture the skin and create a controlled injury at a specific depth. Each puncture creates a channel that triggers the bodies natural healing process to fill these micro wounds by producing new collagen and elastin in the papillary dermis. In addition, new capillaries are formed for improved blood supply.  With micro-needling, the top layer of the skin is parted without being damaged, leaving the skin intact.  It does not “burn” your skin like peels or more invasive lasers. The needle penetration depth can be adjusted from 0.25mm to 2.50mm into the skin depending on the area of the body and the skin condition being treated. Using skin needling consistently will trigger the bodies repair process until the desired level of skin rejuvenation is achieved.  Micro-needling results in the production of new collagen and elastin, improvement in skin tone and texture, firmness as well as reduction in scars & pore size.  Micro-needling can be used in combination with hyaluronic acid and other serums to hydrate and heal the skin.  The micro-channels created by the needles allow for deeper penetrations of topical serums for more effective results.  This procedure can increase the skins ability to utilize the nutrients by up to 3,000 %.

Nano-needling on the other hand works a little different. It does use the same type of oscillating motion to treat the skin but the cartridge encompasses 81 silicone tips. These microscopic hair-like cones separate the cells within the epidermis to allow active products to be pushed into the skin.  Nano-needling only affects the epidermis, treating within the upper .15 mm of the skin. The benefits of this serum infusion treatment include pigmentation reduction, increased cell turnover, skin rejuvenation and an immediate glow with no downtime. This treatment can be done weekly to exfoliate the skin.

If you are concerned about fine lines & wrinkles, swelling, or sagging skin, then nano-needling is for you.  If your skin care concerns include deep wrinkles, hyperpigmentation or deep acne scars, than micro-needling would be the treatment for that.  Micro-needling is recommended no more then one time per month and is best done in a program of 6-10 treatments, results are often seen days after treatment and can last 3-5 years.  Nano-needling can be done weekly to exfoliate the skin.  

Q: What serums are used with micro and nano-needling treatments?  What are the benefits?

A: There are many options depending on your goals and type of skin.  Our serums are highly concentrated and must be diluted with hyaluronic acid, vegetable glycerine, or reverse osmosis water.  Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in our skin that retains water and helps keep the skin hydrated and plump.  Hyaluronic acid holds a thousand times its weight in water!  Vegetable glycerine also known as vegetable glycerol, or simply glycerol, is a transparent, colorless and unscented viscous liquid derived from the oils of plants such as coconut, palm, or soy (we use palm based, please notify us if you are sensitive to palm oil).  Vegetable Glycerine’s natural emollience draws moisture into the skin and helps to retain the moisture, thereby softening, smoothing, and soothing the complexion.  Options for serums are: APSTEM (apple stem cells from the stem cells of the famous Uttwiller Spätlauber trees of Switzerland), LUMOS (Spanish seaweed), OCULUS (Spanish algae), SENESCENSE65+ (asparagus root), ELASTINFL+ (poria mushroom), REJUV XUE CAO (Asian pennywort) & COLLAGENXG+ (shitake mushroom).  APSTEM is great at promoting the rebuilding of facial stem cells under the outer layer of skin known as the epidermis.  LUMOS clears melanin pigmentation from the skin which can get rid of age spots and improve luminosity and decrease visibility of hyperpigmented areas to balance out the skin tone.  Oculus helps clear bilirubin and fluid buildup around the eyes and gets rid of eye bags, dark circles and puffiness.  SENESCENSE 65+ helps cells regain their ability to grow and divide so it is best for mature, older or thin skin.  ELASTINFL+ is a natural collagen & elastin builder best for damp acne prone or greasy skin & older thinning skin.  REJUV XUE CAO helps speed up the healing process post treatment (great anti-inflammatory, usually used in a mask).  COLLAGENXG+ is a natural collagen and elastin builder that promotes firmer skin, improving the structure, organization, and quality of collagen for a smoother complexion.

Q: When is micro-needling contraindicated?

A: Micro-needling is not appropriate when acne is actively infectious/inflamed, you are pregnant, have a local infection such as warts or herpes zoster, have moderate to severe skin diseases such as eczema or psoriasis, any blood clotting disorders or if you are taking anticoagulant drugs, have keloid scars or severe tendency to scar, as well as those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments.  

Q: Does micro-needling hurt?

A: The needle pen procedure feels similar to sandpaper being moved across the skin. Expect areas around the eyes and forehead to be a little more sensitive but the short-term discomfort is well worth the results. With Microneedling, the top layer of the skin is parted without being damaged, leaving the skin intact. It does not “burn” your skin like peels or more invasive lasers. The needle penetration depth can be adjusted from 0.25mm to 2.50mm into the skin depending on the area of the body and the skin condition being treated.  

Q: What is the appropriate care post micro-needling treatment?

A: Expect the skin to be red and flushed, similar to a mild sunburn.  Some clients will experience mild swelling, tightness, and pinpoint bleeding which can last between 24 and 72 hours.  Total healing time depends on the depth of the treatment, skin type and skin condition and one can expect slight peeling and dry skin.  Your skin may appear red for 8-12 hours (pure aloe gel can be helpful in alleviating temporary redness).  Avoid exercise, sun/wind/dust exposure, and makeup on the day of treatment.  Wash your face with warm water only (no soap).  If your face feels dry use hyaluronic acid as needed and especially before bed.  You can resume your normal beauty routine 24 hours after your treatment.  Be aware the week after your treatment products will have a much greater absorption rate (be sure to use clean minimally processed products, we can give you recommendations if necessary).  It will take two weeks to see full benefits from one session.  You must wait 1 month until receiving your next micro-needling facial.  

Q: What is red light therapy & infrared therapy?  

A: Red light therapy utilizes LED light bulbs that emit a visible light with a short wavelength.  This light therapy is widely used to support the appearance and health of skin by improving skin laxity and promoting collagen production.  The AcuLight® PRO device we use in our practice is designed for the face or body and can generate different types of light: blue, yellow, red or all 3!  Blue emits the shortest wavelength and is best utilized for acne, healing wounds and reducing bacteria.  Yellow light is often used for rosacea, spider veins, cystic acne, melasma, bruising, and hot/red skin.  Red light is especially great for anti-aging, reducing pain with acute injuries/soreness, decreasing wrinkles, stimulating hair growth, and increasing collagen/elastin production.  Ten sessions is recommended for optimal results!

Infrared is not on the visible spectrum and consists of deeper and longer wavelengths.  Our practice utilizes the Professional Grade Acumat with infrared & chakra stone therapy.  You can lie on this mat fully clothed and the infrared will penetrate deep into your body.  Infrared is amazing at alleviating chronic pain, promoting circulation and lymphatic movement, detoxifying the body, improving sleep, supporting immunity, and promoting fat loss through stimulation of metabolism.  The mat we use also contains precious stones aligned with each chakra or energy system in the body: The crown chakra (around the top of the head) has amethyst (assists with physical and emotional issues), the third eye (around the forehead) has sodalite (brings emotional balance and enhances self-esteem), the throat chakra (by the throat) has blue lace agate (assists with verbal expression of thoughts and feelings), the heart chakra (by the chest) has green aventurine (dissolves negative emotions and thoughts), the solar plexus chakra (above the belly button) has yellow aventurine (helps focus intentions and provides ease in being yourself), the sacral chakra (around the pelvis) has carnelian (promotes positive life choices and motivates for success), and finally the root chakra (at the base of the spine) has red jasper which brings insight into difficult situations and calms the emotions).  Ten sessions is recommended for optimal results!

Q: What are contraindications for red light or infrared light therapy? 

A: Avoid alcohol and increase hydration.  Do not receive treatment when actively infectious (sick).  Avoid with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular issues or pace makers.  It's best to avoid with pregnancy, chemotherapy or radiation.  If you are taking prescription drugs or apply citrus based essential oils that make you more photosensitive avoid treatment.  Avoid with any skin conditions such as porphyria where UV light may trigger symptoms.  Avoid red light therapy with dirty skin or makeup, always clean your face prior to your session.

Q: What are contraindications for the ACUGLOW Facial?

A: ACUGLOW is not appropriate within 3 months of derma fillers (can cause them to move), in conjunction with botox: wait one month and avoid areas treated, avoid irritated and infected cuts and active/inflamed acne, active contagious diseases (i.e. Shingles), Bell's Palsy & severe migraines.  

Q: How many treatments will I need?

A: That depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your complaint as well as what service you are interested in.  You may need only a single treatment for an acute condition. A series of 5-10 treatments may resolve many chronic problems.  Some degenerative conditions may require many treatments over time.  Research has found it takes about 10 treatments for the effects of red light therapy or infrared therapy to be most noticeable.  Micro-needling and nano-needling are also treatments we recommend you do as part of a program, ideally 10 sessions to receive optimal results.  To help reduce the number of treatments, dietary modifications, exercise, relaxation techniques, self-massage, and/or herbal medicines may be recommended.  The benefits are cumulative, much like a regular exercise program or healthy diet.  The more dedicated you are to regular self-care, the better you will feel and the faster your body will respond.

Q: Will it be covered by my insurance?

A: Acupuncture is one of the CAM therapies that are more commonly covered by insurance. We are an in network provider for United Healthcare PPO Multiplans.  However, you should check with your insurer before you start treatment to see whether acupuncture will be covered for your condition and, if so, to what extent. However, if you’re insurance does not cover treatments, the cost is still very affordable.  Red light therapy, infrared therapy, micro-needling, nano-needling, & therapeutic yoga are not covered by insurance.  You are more then welcome to use your health savings or flex spending accounts for any of our services.  We are also happy to provide a super bill for you to submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement if we are not in network with your insurance company. 

Q: Are oils or lotions used?

A: We provide massage oil with no additives or chemicals. Please specify if you have any allergies.

Q: Is music provided and am I expected to talk?

A: Music and talking are always up to the client’s needs and wishes. Let your therapist know what is best for you.


Additional Recommendations:
Communicate your needs to your practitioner which might include your physical concerns, apprehension, room temperature, lighting, the pressure used, speed of movement, etc.  Your practitioner is a professional dedicated to creating the best experience for you.


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Encinitas, CA 92024

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