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San Francisco, CA: Denise Cicuto

Fast facts
Practice type: Private
Specialties: Allergies, asthma, infertility, menstrual conditions, women’s health
Styles: Pediatric acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Why did you become an acupuncturist?
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs helped me recover from a very painful gynecological condition. A friend of mine was in acupuncture school and suggested I come to the clinic for treatment. I got significantly better and no longer needed painkillers. Acupuncture truly changed my life. I was inspired to give something back. I had been working in payroll but decided to apply to acupuncture school and focus on women’s health. I chose to study in California where herbs as well as acupuncture are required for licensure.

What distinguishes you from other acupuncturists?
My patients say that I am a good listener and have a gentle needling touch. Often people who are scared of needles come to see me. If so, I’ll start with a very small number of needles or focus on acupressure and herbs. With children, I always use shonishin (acupressure for children) and will only use needles when the child is ready. I am also working to expand people’s knowledge of how Chinese medicine can help them. I post “365 reasons to try acupuncture” on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn with daily links to informative articles and facts about acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

What do you enjoy most about your work?
I like guiding people on their journey to wellness with the help of acupuncture and herbs. Traditional Chinese Medicine makes people active participants in that journey. I enjoy meeting people who used to be skeptical about acupuncture until they try it. I enjoy the moment a fertility patient tells me she is pregnant and then later helping her with labor induction and birth. I enjoy how quickly children respond to treatment. I am always inspired by the positive attitudes of my patients living with HIV and those with cancer.

What is the biggest misconception you hear about acupuncture?
People think acupuncture needles are going to hurt. I really do wish we had a different name for them. I tell people that the needles we use are as thin as cat whiskers. Sometimes they are curious to see the needles but sometimes they are not. I always assure patients that I have a reputation for my gentle needling technique.

How do you stay healthy in your own life?
I do yoga a few times a week and walk a lot, often with my dog. My personal form of meditation is taking nature photographs. I try to eat local, organic foods whenever possible and get acupuncture and massage regularly. One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a mentor was to schedule time off. Our lives are very active and yang. It’s important to spend some time in stillness and embrace the yin.

Learn more and get in touch
(415) 404-6109

703 Clement Street, San Francisco, CA 94118
1505 Webster Street, Alameda, CA 94501

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