Bay Balance MedicineBay Balance Medicine


What can I expect at my first visit?

Initial visits are 90 minutes in length.  The practitioner will take a thorough history of your health complaints.  The doctor may then decide upon a physical exam, lab work, bodywork, acupuncture, or other treatment.  If you have had relevant lab work done previously, feel free to bring your records for the doctor to review.  The doctor will then decide on a course of treatment, including supplements and/or prescriptions.  Occasionally, treatment will be postponed until lab results have been obtained and reviewed.

Does the clinic accept insurance?

Currently, this clinic does not bill insurance on your behalf.  Coverage of naturopathic doctors depends on your plan.  Please contact your insurance company to see if they will cover out-of-network providers. The clinic can provide a bill of service for you to submit to your insurance. Please contact our front desk with any questions at (510) 900-9180.

What types of conditions can a naturopath treat?

Naturopaths are trained as general practitioners who treat a variety of conditions.  See our common conditions page for a list of conditions that we most frequently see.

What is the overall approach of the doctors at Bay Balance Medicine?

The Doctors at Bay Balance Medicine will address your health goals and concerns.  We believe in empowering and teaching the patient to help them achieve optimal wellness.  Gentle, yet effective medicines are used that help address disruptions in the health of your body.  As Naturopaths, we are committed to look for the root of the problem that led to the imbalance and illness.  We recognize that all aspects of a person contribute to health, including the physical, mental and emotional aspects.  All of these must be addressed to restore wellness.

What type of training does a naturopath receive?

A licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) is one who attended a Department of Education accredited, four-year naturopathic medical school.  A licensed naturopath must also pass a series of thorough, professional board exams so that they may be licensed by a state or province as a primary care doctor.

Naturopaths have over 4300 hours of coursework and clinical hours.  The curriculum parallels that of conventional medical schools, and requires a mastery level of basic and clinic sciences, as well as thorough training in wholistic and integrative approaches to therapy.  There is also a strong emphasis on prevention and optimizing wellness. In addition to standard medical training, a naturopathic student completes studies in clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, homeopathy, and counseling. This better allows naturopaths to act as integrative medicine providers.

What is the philosophy of a naturopathic doctor?

Do no harm:This refers to starting with lower risk treatments that minimize the risk of harmful side effects.  Often we will start with lower risk treatments and only use substances with more side effects later in the course of treatment.

Treat the Whole Person:The body as a whole is made up of the emotional, spiritual and physical—all need to be nurtured to truly achieve wellness.

Identify and Treat the Cause: An illness starts somewhere.  It has a history in your body going back a length of time.  True healing is only possible if both the roots and branches of the illness are addressed.

Doctor as Teacher: One of our primary philosophies is to teach. We guide patients how to guide their body towards health while teaching healthy lifestyle choices.  This allows for a strong foundation of health.

Prevention, Prevention, Prevention: Naturopaths approach health by correcting imbalances.  These imbalances can lead to disease.  By preventing imbalances, you prevent chronic disease.

The Body has an Inherent Ability to Heal:The body knows how to heal itself, it often just needs a push in the right direction with the right treatment.

What type of payment do you accept?

Payment is due at the time of service.  We accept cash, checks, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.


How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine is over 2000 years old.  It works by promoting the flow of qi to organs and tissues that promote proper balance of the systems of the body.  Acupuncture points are along channels in the body that allow for a deeper access to the systems of the body.  From a Western research perspective, it is understood that acupuncture causes positive changes in hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain to help restore proper function.  It also helps promote circulation in problematic areas of the body, and improves immune function.

Does Acupuncture Hurt?

Acupuncture is mostly painless.  The needles are about the size of a human hair.  Occasional patients report feels a slight sensation when the needle is first inserted, but not one that is considered painful.  In fact, many people find the treatment so relaxing that they fall asleep during treatment.

Do you use Sterile Needles?

Yes.  We use sterile, disposable needles that are used only once.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

It depends on your individual case, how long you have had a condition, and if it has become chronic in nature.  If you have had a problem for years, you may need regular visits to correct the imbalance in your system.  Acute injuries can often be treated in a matter of weeks.  You and your doctor will discuss your treatment plan at the end of your first visit.

Does Insurance Cover Acupuncture?

Many insurance plans cover acupuncture.  In order to find out, call your insurance provider to ask if it is a covered benefit.  You should also determine if you have a benefit for an out-of-network provider, as we are not contracted with insurance.  Another question to ask is whether acupuncture is covered for pain only or based on medical necessity.  For example, your insurance may cover musculoskeletal pain, but may not cover digestive problems.

Do you Prescribe Chinese Herbs?

Yes.  Acupuncture is just one part of traditional Chinese medicine.  Herbs represent a large part of the care we provide, and work well in combination with acupuncture.  Chinese herbs may be prescribed in pills, powders, or teas.


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