Our Clinic

Acupuncture; What to expect

Acupuncture is a time tested modality that is not very well understood by many people in the west. Since needles are involved, its scary, and understandably so. The good news is that our pins are hair thin, most people feel nothing, or the occasional small pinch or muscle twitch. Most patients say it feels like pressure.

Once we get the points in, which usually average around 8-12 points for a single area of pain, we let you rest with a nice heat lamp for 25-30 minutes, the perfect length of time for a power nap. That’s it! many people get up feeling immediate pain relief, and some feel better the next day.

Initial treatments are 3 visits to start, usually in the first 10 days, and then once a week until your condition is resolved. How long it takes depends on your condition, general health, lifestyle, age, etc.

Our Practitioners

Joshua Harrelson and Bryan Aquino

Joshua Harrelson

Joshua has been practicing acupuncture in Sacramento since 2014, with a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and doctoral training specializing in Chronic Pain Management, where he also started his Orthopedic training. He teaches in a manual therapy bodywork school, after being certified for many years in Japanese Seifukujitsu (Restorative Bodywork Techniques). He considers himself to be an anatomy nerd (which we think is what you want in a healthcare provider.)

Bryan Aquino

Bryan has over seven years of experience with Neuromuscular massage therapy, and is bringing that experience to Acupuncture Embodied to aid in Pain Management, addressing tightness, range of motion, trauma from injury, etc.


Orthopedic Acupuncture is a blend of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and modern Western Anatomy. Using the skills of a fully licensed acupuncturist (like pain-free needling, and whole body health assessment), and the extra training we go through in orthopedics (advanced anatomy, biomechanics, orthopedic exam and testing, motor point therapy, etc.) we create a fast and effective method of restoring proper structure and function to damaged muscle and tendons.

We also do well with herniated discs, sciatica, nerve entrapment like carpal tunnel, as well as helping the body recover from sports and gym injuries. If you have a neuromuscular pain condition, it is worth it to try this treatment method.

A note on Dry Needling; this method of treatment is like acupuncture-lite, performed by 50-500 hour trained weekend courses by chiropractors, physical therapists, and some doctors. This is not acupuncture, and is often painful, and claims to be based on western science. My orthopedics is based on western anatomy, so I can out-class them any day of the week when it comes to needle-skills. Dry Needling is currently illegal in CA with certain exceptions. I do NOT recommend it.


Life is messy. It’s true. Little injuries snowball into big chronic things, or last for months and months. So getting some sort of treatment when something hurts is far better than any wait-and-see approach, especially if you are over 30, or are under 30 with a chronic condition, or if you are a parent (am I right?)

Once patients have gone through an initial set of treatments, it is very common for patients to follow up with me on a once-a-month schedule to maintain their health, and keep these little injuries we accumulate from growing, because let’s be honest with ourselves; if you went to someone once a month to complain about what hurts, you’ll probably always have something, yes? It doesn’t need to be acupuncture, it can be massage, chiropractic, anything where someone else is working on you. But I love seeing my patients.

Other Therapies

In addition to the powerhouse that is Acupuncture, we include several other modalities as beneficial or requested. Frequently we use Infrared Heat (via a TDP lamp) during treatments, which helps improve blood flow and relax muscle, as well as keeping you warm. We almost always use a little manual therapy post-treatment to help wake the body up after laying relaxed for half an hour.

We also offer cupping, which is an additional paid therapy (unless your insurance covers it, which applies in limited cases, otherwise it is an additional $20 and must be scheduled ahead of time in most cases) which is a form of vacuum therapy. Ever had a muscle hurt so bad it cant be touched? Well massage and acupuncture may not be the best choice, but cupping lifts up, relieving the pressure, while promoting blood flow and relaxing the tissues.