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What to Expect


Initial Orientation:

  • All clients should arrive 20 minutes in advance to their first appointment in order to complete paperwork; or to save time you may download our intake forms from the MAKE AN APPOINMENT link.
  • Eligibility for sliding scale requires documentation in the form of an income tax form or SSI/SSDI determination letter.

30-minute Consult

  • This consult is a one-on-one discussion, with no treatment.
  • A practitioner will listen to your health concerns and ask you a series of questions in order to make an evaluation and recommendation for treatment.
  • Suggestions may include any combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and shiatsu, depending on the type, severity, and age of your condition.

Before/During your treatment:

  • It is ideal that you not receive treatment on a totally empty or full stomach.
  • Please wear or bring loose comfortable clothes. 
  • All complementary medicine has a cumulative effect.  It may take several treatments for you to notice any change.  Be patient with the process- chances are your symptoms didn’t occur overnight, so they won’t resolve overnight, either!
  • Please respect other clients’ rights to receive a peaceful treatment and keep all conversation in the treatment room to a minimum.
Acupuncture Treatment:
  • The initial treatment is largely focused in consultation with the acupuncturist to provide you with a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan.
  • A treatment consists of first talking with the acupuncturist about your symptoms and health concerns. S/he will take your pulse as part of the diagnosis and either look at your tongue or palpate your abdomen.  Lastly, hair thin sterile and disposable pins will be inserted in different locations based on your Asian Medicine diagnosis. 
  • Upon insertion, you may feel a slight pinch, tingling or an electrical sensation.  Once the pins are in place, most clients feel very relaxed or even fall asleep.
  • Your acupuncturist will develop a treatment plan with you.  Usually clients receive treatment 1-2 times per week.
  • You may set up appointments with a preferred acupuncturist.  On occasion a substitute acupuncturist may be called in.  Please know that all of our clinicians work together as a team and regularly review cases together.
  • To better serve you, Pathways acupuncturists work with trained assistants who will be a part of your wellness team.

Chinese Herbal Treatment:

  • Each Chinese herbal consultation takes approximately 30 minutes.  Following the consultation, the herbalist will hand prepare your powdered herbal prescription.  This takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • Each treatment consists of first talking with the herbalist about your symptoms. S/he will take your pulse and look at your tongue as part of the diagnosis process.
  • Usually clients require weekly evaluation of their herbal treatment. If possilble, please reschedule your appointments on the same day and time each week.
  • Herbs should be mixed with water and taken as a tea (usually twice a day.)
  • Some herbal formulas have distinctive tastes and odors.  Do not mix with sugar of other substances unless discussed with herbalist first- this could change the energetic properties of the herbs.
  • Herbs have few if any side effects.  Please notify your herbalist of any changes in your medication or health status, or if you become pregnant.  If you experience anything out of the ordinary, please call the clinic.

Shiatsu Treatment

  • Shiatsu is a style of traditional Japanese bodywork based on the same energetic system as acupuncture to treat discomfort and illness.
  • Shiatsu can be used to treat stress, muscle aches and pains, headache, digestive problems and many other conditions as an adjunct therapy.
  • A shiatsu treatment usually takes 50 minutes.  Each treatment is complete in itself, but a series of consecutive treatments works cumulatively to make profound changes. Half hour sessions are also available.
  • Before your treatment, the shiatsu practitioner will interview you to learn your goals for the session, and to gain an understanding of your current condition.  It is important to let her know if you have any ulceration or skin conditions.
  • The practitioner will also do an assessment by palpating your back or your abdomen, and /or taking your pulse.
  • During your treatment, please let the practitioner know if the pressure is too hard or too soft!  The treatment can be catered to your level of comfort.
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