Category Archives: Acupuncture

The main door for Surgical Artistry – Modesto Plastic Surgery

The main entrance is Door “C”

There are quite a few doors in this building and I know there has been some mild confusion.  But I thought I’d take this picture to help out a little.  Our address is 2336 Sylvan Ave. Suite C, Modesto, CA 95355.

Here’s the picture as the entrance to our Plastic Surgery office (acupuncture, veins, Botox too!).  So this is our main entrance, and our main webpage is

Modesto Plastic Surgery Office Entrance

Welcome to our Modesto Plastic Surgery Office!

Derma Pen Recommendations

dermapen with logo

For our Modesto Plastic Surgery Practice, I’ve come up with these guidelines.

Derma Pen is a modality for improving:

  • Rosacea
  • Scars
  • Lax Skin
  • UV Damage
  • Stretch marks

Is the DermaPen a New Invention?

before-after-1Yes and No.  The makers of Derma Pen thinks it’s a new invention.  However, I’m an acupuncturist who does cosmetic acupuncture.  This idea of wounding the skin with a needle to cause more collagen growth is not new.  From what I know, this needling concept has been used thousands of years ago in acupuncture.  Most acupuncturists today don’t know the art of cosmetic acupuncture.  It requires additional training.  However, I (Dr. Calvin Lee) was very interested in cosmetic acupuncture because it complements our Modesto Plastic Surgery practice.

But I must say the concept of attaching 11 cosmetic acupuncture needles to the end of a machine is a new concept.  What this can do, I cannot do by hand.  I am simply not patient enough to cover as much ground as this machine can.  Finally after 5000 years, there is an improvement to acupuncture!

The Boston Channel website regarding Cosmetic Acupunture – interviews Dr. Calvin Lee (me)

Derma Pen Rivals Lasers?

Article on Automated Microneedling Rivals Energy-Based Tx

Cost of Derma Pen Procedure:

  • MD model (deeper) of the Derma Pen, not the Aesthetician Model (less deep)
  • Done by a Surgeon who is trained in aesthetic injections for the face, who is also an Acupuncturist who is also trained in Cosmetic Acupuncture (um, that’s me).
  • Includes addition of Kerotinocyte Growth Factors with no additional cost – right where the skin is most absorbent.  Yes, growth factors is another craze in the skin care industry.

$400-$500 per session.  Prices change, please call us for more info.


1) Stop Tretinoin/Retin-A x 2 days before procedure
2) Avoid prologned / direct sun exposure or sun burns to the treatment area for 2 days
3) Skin should be clean and makeup free before coming for the procedure
4) We will place numbing cream containing Lidocaine 15 minutes before the procedure.

How often can the Derma Pen be done?

ANSWER: You should see an improvement in your skin after the first visit. You can have them as close as once per month. At this time we are recommending, once per month for the first 5 months, the after that possibly every third month to continue to show improvements.

How long does Derma Pen results last?

I’m going to answer this based on what I’ve seen with my Cosmetic Acupuncture practice. With Cosmetic Acupuncture, after about 10 sessions, we have seen patients keep their changes for about 2 years. I think we’ll get to that result after 4 treatments with derma pen. But the reason people keep getting treatments after 4 sessions is that improvements continue on and I think folks would be excited to see the clock turn backwards even more.

Post operative care after DERMA PEN:

1) Stay away from sun exposure x 7 days
2) Wear hat x 7 days (wear as much as you can)
3) Do not wear sun screen x 12 hours (we don’t want this to absorb into your skin)
4) Do not wear make-up x 12 hours
5) Cold sore patients may want to take medication
6) Use your serums: Phyto, B5 Gel, Vitamin C gel right away and daily afterwards to take advantage of the greater penetration after Derma Pen
7) Your skin will be dry and a bit red for the next 2-3 days after the procedure. Moisturize with Phyto, B5 Gel, and/or any other favorite moisture product of yours.


Can DermaPen be used for darker skin?

Yes, Derma Pen can be used on skin of all colors.

womanlipsdermapen (209) 551-1888
(209) 551-1888

Back Pain Acupuncture Treatments in Modesto, CA


Acupuncture for Back Pain, Neck Pain, and Hip Pain

One of my favorite things to do in acupuncture is to treat back pain with acupuncture.  I am an acupuncturist and surgeon practicing in Modesto, CA with my wife, Dr. Tammy Wu who is a board certified plastic surgeon.  My office is inside her office – we practice at the same location.  Her name is on the top of the building.  Our address is 2336 Sylvan Ave. Suite C, Modesto, CA 95355.  For more info besides this blog, you can visit our more formal back pain acupuncture page.

I’m using the term back pain to include the whole posterior chain of the body which includes the neck, the back – upper and lower back pain, and hips  – for example pyriformis syndrome, or pain in the buttock area, and sciatica pain (irritation of the sciatic nerve).

I can’t fix everyone’s back pain, but muscular back pain works best with acupuncture

I’ve noticed that the back pain / neck pain / hip pain that responds best to my style of acupuncture is pain which is mostly related to muscles.  Pain in the back can originate from three main sources: muscular back pain, skeletal/joint related back pain, and nerve related back pain.

However, the results may be different for back pain acupuncture with other practitioners.  I’m just blogging about my own results.

Back pain relief is one of the most effective things I do with acupuncture

I do a lot of different things with acupuncture.  I work on stress, depression, fertility, asthma, allergies, carpal tunnel, fibromyalgia, smoking cessation – the list goes on, but back pain acupuncture is on top of the list for effective relief of symptoms.

Is the back pain relief temporary with acupuncture?

I get this question often.  Sometimes the back pain / neck pain / hip pain, etc comes back.  But often times, I think it’s because we didn’t get rid of the source of the problem.  Sometimes the back pain is postural or caused by work – some of these things are hard to change.

Does back pain acupuncture hurt?

A few patients say that it doesn’t hurt at all.  But most patients will feel something, but it’s not that uncomfortable that they wouldn’t come back.  There are four forms of acupuncture which I use and if the patient is somewhat uncomfortable, I can eliminate some of the forms of acupuncture and still have a reasonably effective acupuncture treatment for the back pain.  The four forms of acupuncture used to treat back pain in my Modesto practice are:

  • Energetics acupuncture
  • Microsystem acupuncture – using the ear.
  • Local acupuncture
  • Electro acupuncture

Note the electricity doesn’t hurt as much as it sounds.  In fact many patients report that it feels soothing.

hammer for back pain?

Don’t worry, I won’t use a hammer as part of back pain acupuncture.

What to expect after acupuncture for back pain

  • Some feel a better range of motion right after the treatment – as they are walking out the door
  • Some feel nothing at all
  • Some feel soreness the next morning.
  • Many start to feel better 48 hours after the treatment

How many treatments are needed?

For most patients with back pain, I’ve found that patients will usually need 5-10 treatments.  I think most patients do about 8 sessions.  But I usually tell the patients that we have to determine a “cut off” for acupuncture.  Because I have found that I can’t fix everyone’s back pain, I’d like to come up with a way to make sure that we’re not wasting time and resources.  I’ve found that if a patient has tried acupuncture for four times and has not received some partial relief, I’m about 90% sure that additional acupuncture wouldn’t help.

Is there Botox for Back Pain?

YES! there is!  This is available as well at my practice.  Injecting Botox and precise location of shots are very similar to parts of acupuncture.

Do we take insurance for back pain acupuncture?

Unfortunately we do not accept insurances.  Some patients have found methods to bill insurances on their own if they know that they have acupuncture coverage.  We are not involved in that process.  Many have reported receiving about $25 back for their visits for back pain acupuncture.  We know for sure that most insurances do not cover for certain acupuncture treatments such as fertility.

Other back pain and acupuncture resources


I hope you will consider Surgical Artistry in Modesto, CA for your back pain treatment.  We’ll use acupuncture techniques and possibly Botox if requested.


Modesto Pollen and Weather Recording

Modesto Pollen Count & Weather Diary

Purpose: To keep track of what weather patterns we’ve lived through in Modesto, CA – to help planning for the next year for issues such as outdoor events – perhaps even related to Plastic Surgical events or for  dates for the Surgical Artistry Modesto Marathon and of course this may be useful for others too.


Zip code used:  95355

Relevance to Plastic Surgery and Surgical Artistry

it’s hard to see how Pollen Counts in Modesto could be related to plastic surgery.  But a part of our plastic surgery practice with Dr. Tammy Wu is Acupuncture – which has some direct relevance to anti-allergy treatments with acupuncture treatments and acupuncture protocols with Dr. Calvin Lee.

However there is a direct relationship with plastic surgery.  There has been some anecdotal reports that Botox injections into the forehead and glabellar area of the face has helped some of our patients with their allergy suffering.  I have seen more than 3 botox patients who are fairly confident that this is the case and these are patients who normally have year round suffering for their allergies.  This correlation with Botox is purely anectdotal.  But perhaps the future will tell us if there is a true scientific correlation, as there is with Botox and headaches; and Botox’s relationship with muscle tension.

Pollen Count History for Modesto, CA

Rating is from 0-12.  12 being the highest.

  • High 9.7-12
  • Med-High 7.3-9.6
  • Medium 4.9-7.2
  • Low-Medium 2.5-4.8
  • Low 0-2.4

2013:  Here’s the Pollen Counts Log and Weather too

5/14/13 Pollen 7.7, Predominant: Mulberry, Walnut, Grasses.  Temperature 90 F – 61 F.  May 8, 2013, I had a particularly bad day with my personal allergies to pollen, but these numbers didn’t register so high for the pollen count.  I think wind has something to do with it.

5/15/13 Pollen 7.5, Predominant: Mulberry, Walnut, Grasses.  Temperature 83 F – 55 F.

5/19/13 Pollen 8.1, Predominant: Grasses, Juniper, Walnut.  Temperature 87-55

5/24/13 Pollen 6.7, Predominant: Grasses, Amaranth, Oak.  Temperature 80-51

5/27/13 Pollen 6.5, Predominant: Grasses, Amaranth, Oak.  Temperature 81-54

<My own allergies started getting better at this point in the year>

6/9/13 Pollen 7.2, Predominant: Grasses, Sagebrush, Olive. Temperature 95-69

6/23/13 Pollen 5.7, Predominant Pollen: Grasses, Sagebrush, Chenopods.  Temperature 88-60

Around July 4th 2013, the temperature in Modesto, CA hit over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Now that the sun is dominant – please consider wearing your sunscreen with zinc all year round – even if it’s snowing or raining outside.

7/7/13 Pollen 4.0, Predominant Pollen: Grasses, Dock Chenopods.  Temperature 94-61

a purple flower IMG_4809

Most of our pollen allergies aren’t to these nice visible looking flowers. (In April/May).

2014 Modesto Pollen Counts Log and Weather History for Modesto:

My own personal allergies started acting up around the middle of March this year.  Specifically acted up on 3/16/14, although several weeks earlier there were indications of allergy irritations for myself.  This acted as a trigger for me to continue posting to this pollen blog for Modesto, CA.  I’m copying data down from (source).

3/16/14 Pollen 8.8 mulberry, ash, oak.   81/47 F

3/25/14 Pollen 7.5 alder, ash, poplar.  69/51 F

3/30/14 Pollen 8.5 oak, alder, juniper 69/49 F

4/4/14 Pollen 7.9 oak, mulberry, ash.  68/47 F

4/21/14 Pollen 7.6 oak, grasses, mulberry.  80/54 F

5/21/14 Pollen 6.4 grasses, juniper, walnut.  81/54 F

5/27/14 Pollen 7.4 grasses, amaranth, oak.  94/60 F

7/4/14 Pollen 4.4 grasses, dock, chenopods.  98/65 F

8/24/14 Pollen 7.7 chenopods, elm, grasses. 91/61 F

11/16/14 Pollen 2.3 sagebrush, elm.  61/43 F

2015 Modesto Pollen Counts Log and Weather History for Modesto:

1/25/15 Pollen 5.7 alder, juniper.  68/42 F

2/1/15 Pollen 7.3 alder, juniper. 70/38 F

6/9/15 Pollen 7.4 grasses, juniper, hickory 90/70 F

6/13/15 Pollen 7.4 grasses, sagebrush, olive 90/60 F

2016 Modesto Pollen Counts Log

4/16/16 Pollen 9.6 Mulberry, Oak, Walnut.

2018 Modesto Pollen Count Log

4/21/18 Pollen 8.2 Oak, Grasses, Mulberry.

This is a work in progress.  Every consider acupuncture for your allergies?  We frequently perform anti-allergy acupuncture at our Surgical Artistry office in Modesto, CA.

If you need a Converter for Fahrenheit to Celsius, consider this Google link.  Or consider this conversion link.

Honored to have Dr. Edward Katime at our office in Modesto, CA

Teaching and learning

Sometimes teaching is a great way to learn and we just had a wonderful opportunity to teach and learn.

We were honored to have Dr. Edward Katime in our office learning about Plastic Surgery (including breast augmentation procedures), Botox, fillers (Juvederm), Veins (Sclerotherapy and Laser), and Acupuncture.  We always feel that we learn a lot from having students in our office and as always, we learn a ton from our patients.

Dr. Edward Katime

Dr. Edward Katime at Surgical Artistry, Modesto, CA. As part of our educational process, we shared information regarding the style 410 breast implant (gummy bear breast implants)

He spent 4 days with me and we are very thankful for the patients who participated in our educational process at our office in Modesto, CA.  He is a UC Davis affiliated family medicine resident in his last few months of his training.  He is about to become a full fledged doctor.  He is also, like me, from New York City.  He also loves Modesto, CA.  And works at Doctors Medical Center.  He had excellent questions and our patients liked him very much.  I have a feeling that he is going to do very well.

I have been given the title of Assistant Professor from UC Davis and at one point I was even given a teaching award for this position as “the outstanding” community MD teacher.  I really don’t do enough to deserve the award, but sometimes I wish I could do more.

We wish Dr. Katime a bright future in medicine!