Frequently Asked Questions

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.   –Lao Tzu


  • Why should I try East Asian Medicine?

    Unlike Western Medicine, Eastern Medicine understands that you are a whole person whose natural state is complete health; not different parts that just tend to break.

    A skilled practitioner of Oriental Medicine sees you: your potential for health, your strengths, how you got where you are today, and how to help you get where you are going. This medicine is not just corrective, it’s transformative.

    Ancient Chinese Medicine has been around for thousands of years and throughout that time has been tested and refined. This is a well-respected, effective, deeply-studied field of health that goes beyond the physical body.

    From conception and birth through graceful aging and death; from scrapes and broken bones to mental stress and nervous breakdowns; from generational trauma to realizing your personal destiny, Practitioners of Oriental Medicine can help guide you through whatever challenges you’re facing right now.

  • So how does this work?

    First, book your appointment. You can choose either a free 15-minute consultation or a full initial intake and treatment. Once your appointment is booked, you’ll receive a confirmation email containing a link to your new patient forms. Unless you scheduled the free consultation, try to fill out those forms before you come in. If you’re not able to fill them out ahead of time then plan to arrive about 20 minutes early to fill them out at the office.

    At your first appointment, you’ll sit with your clinician in a private treatment room and go over your intake, including what brought you in, how long your symptoms have been going on, and any other relevant information. (And it’s all relevant! In Traditional Chinese Medicine everything is connected, so don’t be surprised if we start asking about your digestion when you came in for insomnia!)

    After your intake, you’ll be given a full acupuncture treatment. Needles will be gently placed at strategic points on your body to balance your body’s Qi (energy) and unlock the healing process. This is usually very relaxing for patients - it’s quite common for us to return to find patients asleep (and sometimes snoring!). If appropriate, your clinician may use other additional modalities like cupping, guasha, or moxibustion.

    When you’re all done, your clinician will go over next steps, herbal prescriptions, and other parts of your treatment plan.

  • What does a typical treatment plan look like?

    For patients who are brand new to acupuncture, we always book you out every week for three months, initially. (More on that in the next FAQ!)

    In addition to weekly acupuncture treatments, many of our patients are given traditional Chinese herbal prescriptions. These formulas are corrective, non-addictive, and temporary. They are also powerful and elegant and unlike any other supplement or vitamin you’ve ever tried. In fact, Laura (our owner) used to work for a Taiwanese master herbalist who used traditional Chinese herbal formulas as a primary treatment for all of his patients and only used acupuncture if necessary. (You can do that too! If needles make you squeamish we offer herbs-only treatments.)

    Every week when you come in, your clinician will ask you what you experienced throughout the week and reassess your treatment plan. Most likely, you will need to come in weekly for at least 8-12 treatments for the best results, but even that’s uncertain until we meet you, do your intake, and see how quickly your body responds to treatments.

    What we’re really looking for is two weeks of symptom relief. Once we achieve that, we’ll adjust your appointments to a twice-monthly schedule, and then every three weeks, and so on until you just come in for tune-ups and check-ins.

  • Why do you schedule all new patients weekly for three months?

    Lots of reasons! In our experience, many patients feel significantly better well before the end of those three months, however:

    1. It just takes time to establish a new pattern. Even if you feel completely better after three treatments (yes, it’s happened!), it probably won’t last and you’ll be coming back in for follow-ups within a few months anyway. We want to make sure your new, healthier pattern is solid by reinforcing it often and early – it will save you time and money in the long run!
    2. Acupuncture treatments are cumulative. The more you get, the better your body will respond in the future. Think of it like setting money aside in an interest-growing account. It may not seem like your account is growing much at the time, but months and even years later if you find yourself needing acupuncture again, your body will respond more quickly, meaning you’ll need fewer treatments to start feeling yourself again. It’s an investment in your future that can be hard to see right now, but we hear it so often from our long-term patients: investing in regular acupuncture was one of the best things they’ve ever done for their health. So we help you with your “investment plan” by scheduling out your first three months for you.
    3. It’s exhausting to schedule next week’s appointment every week. You’re busy,and so are we! Getting you scheduled ahead of time makes it easier for both you and us. And if you take advantage of our prepaid bundle offer, all you have to do is show up and have a treatment. No standing around at the front desk fumbling with phone calendars and wallets; just a rejuvenating hour already built-in to your life.
    4. It’s only responsible of us. If we tell you that you’ll need about 3 months of weekly treatments to feel – and stay – better, then we’d better be sure we can commit to that!
  • What if I'm getting two weeks of symptom relief before the end of three months? Do I have to start spreading my treatments out?

    Definitely not! You can’t overdose on acupuncture and getting more treatments more often will actually have a hugely beneficial effect on your long-term health. It’s just an option in case your schedule is full or your budget is tight.

  • I’ve been getting acupuncture at another clinic for years. Do I need to sign up for the initial three months?

    First of all, no one needs to sign up for the initial three months to be a patient of ours - we’ll meet you where you’re at and help you get where you’re going at whatever pace you want.

    But if you’ve been getting acupuncture for years, you already know the great benefits of treatments. Depending on what you’re coming in for, your clinician will probably agree that you can maintain whatever schedule was working for you at your previous clinic.

  • I really want to get better and I think acupuncture can help but I can’t afford weekly treatments for three months.

    So. This is a place of non-judgment and anyone is welcome to seek care with us regardless of income. More on that below.

    But. We often find that it’s more a matter of priority than affordability. For a time-proven, non-pharmaceutical, all-natural, effective method of restoring health from basically any condition with compassionate staff who listen to you, about $500 a month for three-ish months is pretty inexpensive. Many Western medical interventions cost far more than that and they’re generally less effective than Traditional Chinese Medicine. An additional $100-200 per month for maintenance and prevention of very costly age-related diseases down the road is probably less than your health insurance premium.

    What it comes down to is what do you really want? And what does having what you really want free up for you down the road? For instance, getting rid of your joint pain not only means being pain-free (yay!), but it means you can spend more active time with your loved ones. Maybe it means getting off disability; or at least taking on extra shifts at work. Getting rid of your migraines or shoring up your immune system so that you no longer “get everything” that goes around the schools and workplaces means taking fewer sick days. How much more of your life do you get to live and how much more money can you potentially earn because you’re feeling like yourself again?

    So just consider that for a few moments. In most cases, it’s not really “I can’t afford that,” it’s “How can I afford that?”

    And still, we recognize that because of systemic issues in our culture and economy, some people just actually can’t afford our services. For those people, we welcome you anyway. We have a unique Pay It Forward Program to help you get the care you need; we just ask that you pay what you can at a minimum contribution of $20 per follow-up ($50 for your initial treatment) and the rest will be covered.

    Everyone is important here and treated with equal respect, regardless of what they pay. You will never be asked to defend or explain your situation and anyone is welcome to participate in the program. We have patients who use it at every visit and we have some who use it when they need an extra treatment they weren’t budgeting for.

    Your wellbeing is important. We never forget that.

  • How are Chinese herbs different from the vitamins I get at the health food store?

    The supplements that you get from a health food store are…well…supplemental. They add something that you were otherwise missing from your daily food intake (like vitamin C or calcium). Similarly, if you buy an herb from the health food store - like, for instance, slippery elm for easing digestion - you’re adding one particular medicinal for one particular symptom and if you’re lucky, that medicinal has wide-ranging effects.

    Chinese herbal formulas, on the other hand, involve several different herbs that are meant to harmonize and work synergistically together.

  • What should I wear/do before the appointment/do during the appointment?

    It’s best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your appointments to avoid needing to disrobe (although sometimes it will be necessary depending on the points your practitioner will want to access).

    Before your first appointment, please make sure to fill out your new patient intake and consent forms, or if you’re unable to do it beforehand, plan to show up about 20 minutes early to fill them out at the office.

    During your treatment, your main job is to relax! This can be hard for some people, so feel free to bring your own music/meditations/podcasts with earbuds if there’s something in particular you want to listen to. Most people, however, are surprised by how quickly and deeply they relax - or even fall asleep! You can also ask your practitioner for something to focus or meditate on if you want some guided direction.

    Above all, come to your appointments with a sense of curiosity - it’s amazing the doors that will open!

  • How do I choose which practitioner to see?

    You can always call our office and our staff can help you decide which practitioner to schedule with based on specialty and availability. Here’s a quick guide:

    Schedule with Laura if you’re struggling with Lyme Disease, PTSD, or are under 12 years old.

    Schedule with Tyler if you’re struggling with chronic pain, athletic injuries, digestive issues, or respiratory issues.

    For all other issues, just select “I don’t have a preference” when booking and you’ll be shown our next available appointments. All practitioners are trained in general practice and we love variety!

Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power.
Dao De Jing