Back Pain

If you've ever groaned, "Oh, my aching back!", you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain. Acute back pain comes on suddenly and usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Back pain is called chronic if it lasts for more than three months.  Most back pain goes away on its own, though it may take awhile. Resting can help, however, staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can make it worse.



My practice utilizes a pro-active approach for the patient that emphasizes patient education, integration of specialties, and comprehensive care, vital in the cure of difficult and chronic problems, with the goal to help you to achieve a cure—not just control your symptoms. Patient education allows you to make the choices of lifestyle changes and therapeutic routines that suit your schedule and continues the work of getting well, nurturing health and longevity, and preventing illness, beyond the time spent with the physician.

The patient that seeks care for the first time from the Licensed Acupuncturist often does so after unsuccessful treatment from standard medicine. This is because insurance coverage of acupuncture and related physiotherapies may be difficult, and public knowledge of this field of medicine is still limited. Often, the patient is frustrated by the time that they decide to see if acupuncture can help where standard treatment has failed. Too often, the patient’s frustration is compounded by the fact that they still are in the dark as to the true nature of their condition. These days, patients often resort to the internet to better understand their medical problem, but these sites are often created to sell a product, not to provide a clear explanation.

My practice provides the time and care to professionally explain to the patient the details of their condition so that a step-by-step practical solution can be found. Human physiology is complex, and this process of understanding can be itself frustrating, but is often vitally important for the resolution of the health problem and prevention of recurrence. Also, since the body is so complexly regulated by the mind, understanding of the problem by the patient establishes a mind-body mechanism that is often an integral part of healing.

“The medical approach may vary widely between physicians and is very important when choosing health care providers.”

It is important to understand that therapy helps your body to correct itself, but it is your body that is ultimately doing the work. The body is not a machine. It is a living organism that needs to be set on a course that corrects dysfunction. Because of this a pro-active approach is vitally important. We have been taught that we can just mindlessly take pills, get surgery and not think about what our bodies are doing to heal. We often leave our care entirely in the hands of the experts, hoping that these people will fix us. Often, this is a frustrating experience. By depending on yourself to achieve a cure, manage your care, and utilze experts to help you, your chance of success will by greatly enhanced. Also, patient efforts to counter side effects of pharmaceutical medicines and to properly rehabilitate from surgical procedures with Complementary Medicine may be the key to your successful healthcare approach.

By utilizing a multi-disciplinary approach, difficult and chronic problems will be solved where a single therapy fails. Even within the practice of acupuncture a multi-disciplinary approach works best. Combining the various physiotherapies of TCM insures a greater chance of success. Acupuncture alone often works well, and this is the easiest and most lucrative way to practice, with the least time spent on each patient, yet combining acupuncture with herbal medicine, dietary supplements, tuina physiotherapies, and patient instruction increases the chance of a speedy recovery and cure exponentially. Each of these disciplines acts in a symbiotic way to enhance the effectiveness of the other. This is my approach. It was arrived at both by personal experience as a patient, and by years of experience treating difficult cases.

"Combining TCM with the care of your medical doctors in a complementary and integrative approach will often increase the chance of success tenfold."

Today, many medical doctors are offering less invasive and harmful approaches to your medical care, such as prolotherapy for the arthritic joints, bioidentical hormone therapy for endocrine dysfunction, laser surgery and other minimally invasive techniques for cancerous tumors and spinal repair. Often, these techniques require much follow-up and complementary care to be fully successful. My practice provides both the modern medical knowledge and approach and the array of time proven therapies to insure a greater chance of success. By combining the traditional knowledge of centuries of Chinese medicine with the latest research, and using the whole array of therapeutic protocol, with acupuncture, direct soft tissue physiotherapy, herbal prescription, nutrient medicine, instruction in targeted stretch and exercise, dietary change and ergonomic changes, you can count on a better outcome. The time intensive care provided will help you understand laboratory and radiology reports and fully integrate the findings with your Complementary protocol. Why take a chance on a healthy outcome? Utilize a professional herbalist and Complementary physician, and a fully trained and experienced acupuncturist to obtain the greatest benefits from this type of care.

Insurance coverage and the use of health savings accounts and wellness plans at work are an important part of your health management, and this office participates in numerous medical provider plans from various insurers, and works closely with the patient to explain and simplify reimbursement from a variety of resources

My participation in such medical provider networks as Cigna, Beechstreet, Aetna, United HealthCare, MultiPlan, Clarispoint, AcuCare, and many other provider networks, insures that your care will be covered if your policy is contracted to cover acupuncture services. These network participations reduce my fees, and complicate the practice, but I participate in these networks to better serve my patients. Since my practice is small, it is best that the patient contacts customer service by calling the phone number listed on your card and asking about coverage for acupuncture and my participation in your network. Sometimes, plans will also cover out of network providers, and if I am not listed, ask about this type of coverage. You should also ask about deductibles, which are the amounts that you are required to pay out of pocket at the start of your calendar year for all health services, limitations of coverage, and what types of medical conditions are considered as evidence-supported in the use of acupuncture therapies. By personally understanding your actual insurance benefits, you eliminate the worry that your insurer will not cover all of your medical bills. Often, the insurer does not actually inform me of limited or denied coverage until 90 days after billing, and is not required to truthfully inform me, when I call, of the exact details of the patient coverage. When the patient checks on insurance benefits themselves, the insurer is required to inform the customer truthfully and correctly, although the patient must ask the pertinent questions correctly.

If your plan does not cover acupuncture, or I am not a network provider and out-of-network coverage for acupuncture is not part of the plan, you may already have, or set up, a health savings account, a health spending account, a wellness plan at work, or other types of reimbursable health packages that will cover my services. Even if this health spending account requires a full contribution by the patient, these accounts are either a pretax deduction that lowers your taxable income, or a full tax exemption, if you are self-employed. This means that use of these health spending accounts reduces your tax burden, and thus the services are discounted, or even fully reimbursed in the future. A superbill from this office is given to accomodate such reimbursements from health spending accounts. Information on these types of packages is provided by this physician. By taking a proactive approach to your insurance or health spending benefits, you reduce the financial worry that often gets in the way of treatment and fully and quickly regaining your health or preventing future health problems.

“Whenever a physician treats an illness, he must quiet his spirit and settle his will, he must be free of wants and desires, and he must first develop a heart full of great compassion and empathy.” Sun Si Miao, the great Tang dynasty TCM physician hailed as the King of Medicinals

Food Sensitivity Tests Comprehensive Health Analysis Questionnaire

There are many factors that affect a persons state of health. Among some of the most important are:

The genetic makeup of a person (very difficult to change yet in most cases can be helped with proper care). The emotional/energetic background from gestation and early childhood (can be healed with energetic medicine. Quality and type of diet (easy to change with the right tools and some determination). Foundation Nutrition. Is there a sufficient quantity and quality of macro and micro-nutrients The external environment (more difficult to change, but can be manipulated with the right tools) Oxidative Stress The ability and health of the digestive process (vastly more important for many aspects of health than you might think) The ability of your liver to detoxify environmental poisons A persons energetic balance (treatable with acupuncture and other energetic treatments) Level of stress and ability to really relax.. And if course, exercise habits and quality.

With an approach that combines the ancient wisdom of Oriental Medicine with the cutting edge in nutritional science, the following conditions can be helped  (some of these files require Adobe Reader to view):

Inflammatory conditions (perhaps the most poorly treated and most important condition) Intestinal Translocation (AKA "Leaky Gut Syndrome") Osteoporosis Lack of Digestive Enzymes Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer Painful Menstrual Cycle Menopause Chronic Fatigue Fibromyalgia Dysbiosis (Unhealthy Intestinal Environment) Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Stress related disorders Depression Many others

Dr. Grossman uses and has developed safe and effective ways to treat these imbalances with natural methods such as nutritional medicine, herbs, energetic medicine such as acupuncture and homeopathy, physical medicine such as massage and other physical therapy techniques, etc. For details see the Services page..

Medical Doctors

Medical Doctors have long referred patients to my care in an integrative manner, especially in Workers' Compensation and personal injury cases. While there has generally been an unhealthy model of interaction between these professions, integration with TCM is becoming a subject that is now often demanded by patients, and many medical doctors have seen the benefits of improved patient outcomes by incorporating my treatments under their supervision and case management.

Their is no actual competition between the medical practices of the M.D. and the TCM physician, or Licensed Acupuncturist, as the medical services offered are completely different and both are needed by patients. Nevertheless, there has been a long history of professional bias and misinformation. The License of Acupuncture in the state of California is obtained after graduation from an approved medical college, where both modern medicine, and the rich specialty of TCM, are taught. The teachers are generally medical doctors, many with specialties involving TCM. Slowly, the M.D.s in the bay area and across the United States are realizing that a highly educated group of physicians are available to provide time intensive care and patient instruction that the busy M.D. does not have time to deliver. The treatment modalities under the scope of practice of Acupuncture are varied, and the M.D. realizes that utilization of these skills create a better outcome for the patient and better patient satisfaction.

Below are links to some of the Medical Doctors in the area that I am familiar with and can honestly recommend highly.

Links to other medical providers

A Foster City Medical Group that provides M.D. specialties with hormonal imbalance, hypothyroidism and fatique syndromes that utilizes an integrative approach with Complementary Medicine: A general practitioner with a specialty in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, or autoimmune, disorders, who handles cases with much care and expertise, and integrates an array of therapies with her practice, Dr. Tracey Robinson MD comes highly recommended by her patients: A pain management specialist who shows much care and individualized concern, Dr. Jules P. Steimnitz M.D., is able to handle chronic pain with an approach that considers quality of life and integrates with other specialties. For patients with chronic pain syndromes and disability, which are difficult to recover from, this is very important: P. Steimnitz, M.D.




Completely Free Back Wellness Consultation

Get Help to Manage your Back Pain with a Completely Free Back Wellness Email Consultation that includes a personalized plan to help you improve your back wellness plus information about self-care. 

We will help you:

  • Learn about simple products that can ease your symptoms and strengthen your back
  • Find alternative ways to sit, stand, and sleep that will help ease your pain.
  • Discover how exercise can reduce the severity of your low back pain.
  • Learn about medications your doctor may prescribe.
  • Learn different ways to reduce your pain without taking medication.

We provide information on all back health related services and products that may improve outcomes regardless of it being covered by insurance. Far too often doctors choose to not recommend ancillary products or use common sense approaches because they know they're not covered by insurance, even though they may help reduce pain or lessen treatment duration.

This free program provides personalized support and information for people with back pain.  Make a personal commitment to your health.  Back pain can make you miss out on activities you enjoy the most. Now you have a resource to help you manage better.

Submit your questions and comments to be consulted through free email support with wellness coaches who specialize in back pain.