David Mortell, R.Ac.


mortellDavid’s passion for Chinese Medicine was born in 1981 when he was cured of a severe case of insomnia through acupuncture and Chinese herbs. For the past 18 years, David has maintained a thriving practice helping thousands of people recover from numerous health issues. Because of his success in treating so many patients, David has gained a reputation as one of the most experienced and sought after acupuncturists in the Pittsburgh area. His practice was recently featured in the Seen Magazine section of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette newspaper which focused on the many benefits of cosmetic acupuncture.

Throughout his time in practice, David’s passion for acupuncture and Oriental medicine has only grown, as has his ability to provide empathy, humor, and encouragement to his clients.

David has extensive training in infertility, pain management, and Chinese pulse diagnosis. In addition to acupuncture and herbs, David also uses moxibustion, acupressure, and cupping to treat allergies, menstrual and menopausal issues, infertility, digestion, sleep problems, headaches, arthritis, pain syndromes, stress, fatigue, smoking cessation, and anxiety/depression.

David graduated with honors in 1989 from the Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, NM. He is a state registered acupuncturist and herbalist and a nationally board certified diplomate in acupuncture.


1. Does acupuncture hurt?

There is virtually no pain with acupuncture. The needles are hair-thin and very flexible. Acupuncture feels nothing like a hypodermic injection. Needle insertion can cause a dull ache, tingling or a heaviness at the acupuncture point, but once the needles are placed there should be no discomfort. Most people are amazed at how relaxed and comfortable they feel during and after the treatment.

2. What can I expect?

During your initial visit a full health history is taken, with questions regarding your health, lifestyle, and other information necessary for diagnosis. Your acupuncturist will feel your wrist pulses, look at your tongue, and feel your abdomen. All this information is organized according to the theories of Chinese medicine to determine what underlying imbalances are causing your symptoms. After this initial process you then receive an acupuncture treatment.

The first visit lasts about 90 minutes. Follow-up visits are one hour.

3. Is acupuncture safe?

As long as it is performed by a licensed practitioner, acupuncture is very safe. Acupuncturists use disposable needles that are discarded after one use. Occasionally, minor bruising occurs.

4. What conditions does acupuncture treat?

The World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture’s effectiveness for many disorders.

These include, but are not limited to:

Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Toothache
  • Ear ache

Respiratory Disorders

  • Colds and flu
  • Asthma

Musculoskeletal Disorders

  • Tennis elbow
  • Rotator cuff problems
  • Sciatica
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • TMJ
  • Knee pain
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia

Gynecological Disorders

  • PMS
  • Menstrual pain
  • Infertility
  • Menopause

Neuro-psycho-emotional Disorders

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Neuralgias

Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • Constipation
  • IBS
  • Colitis
  • Poor Digestion


  • Prostatitis
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Incontinence
  • Addictions to Cigarettes, Alcohol, Drugs

5. How many treatments will I need?

This is different for everyone. Generally speaking, the longer you’ve had a problem, the longer it takes to resolve. Usually treatment is twice a week for 3 weeks initially, then we reassess.

6. What is the cost?

The initial visit is $100. Follow-up visits are $75. Most health insurance do not pay for acupuncture. Payment is by check or cash. Auto accident insurance cases and workers compensation cases usually pay for acupuncture.

7. How do I find an acupuncturist?

In Pennsylvania, the best qualified practitioners are Registered Acupuncturists. They’ve had at least 3 years and up to 3000 hours of intensive training and clinical supervision. By contrast, medical doctors and dentists who practice acupuncture are only required to have 200 hours of training. Obviously, you want someone with many years of clinical experience who has worked extensively with your problem. Ask if they have specialized training in pain management, infertility, etc. relevant to your treatment concerns.