On this page I will answer questions that you may have regarding Chinese medicine and my treatment style.

Question: What should I expect when I see you for treatment?
Answer:I usually schedule patients for 1 hour, though some patients may need more time. Depending on your needs, this hour often includes a consultation, evaluation, acupuncture treatment and herbal prescription.

Question: What does the consultation entail?
Answer: I will spend time talking to you to determine your medical history and evaluate your current condition. This usually takes 20 to 30 minutes on the first visit and 10-15 minutes in subsequent visits.  Chinese medicine emphasizes the interview, physical evaluation as well as various other specialized techniques, the most famous of which are pulse and tongue diagnosis, abdominal and channel palpation. Looking at the color and characteristics of the face, eyes, fingernails and other areas of the body may also be important considerations for your treatment. The interview may entail a variety of questions that do not seem to address the main problem(s) for which you sought my assistance. Such questions commonly include bowel and urine habits, menstrual cycle, eating and sleeping quality, and emotional situation. Chinese medicine is a holistic healing system. To best understand your chronic or recent medical condition, it is important to take into account the entirety of your health. You do not need to answer any question you feel uncomfortable about. Feel free to ask me about any aspects of the interview, diagnosis or treatment.

Question: Is Chinese medicine the same as ‘acupuncture’? What types of treatment do you offer?
Answer: In the United States and other non-Asian countries, acupuncture is the dominant mode of therapy. Many practitioners are only trained in acupuncture. Actually, acupuncture is only one part of this medical system. In China and Taiwan, acupuncture has played a less prominent role than the herbal tradition. In my 15 years of training in Taiwan I was lucky to be with a teacher who taught an extensive range of diagnostics and traditional therapeutics, including herbal medicine, acupuncture, moxabustion, tui-na (body work), bone setting (dislocations and fracture), food therapy and qi-gong.

Question: What therapeutics do you emphasize in your practice?
Answer: Because of the limited scope of practice in the US, my treatment mostly includes acupuncture and/or herbal therapy. Acupuncture is by far the dominant modality in the west due to its wide spread popularity. The insurance companies in Washington State will only cover acupuncture, not herbs. Therefore, for most of my patients I automatically offer acupuncture. However, there are some conditions that herbs tend to be more useful, such as oncology, auto-immune diseases, chronic ailments, and so forth. In the course of the consultation, I will discuss with you which type(s) of treatment I recommend. Of course, you are free to choose what you prefer.

Question: What can acupuncture treat?
Answer: Acupuncture can be used to treat nearly any ailment. It has a several thousand year history and continues to be found useful in the modern clinic. However, it is commonly used to treat pain and injury, back pain, headaches, colds and flu, cerebral stroke recovery, vertigo, menstrual pain and irregularity, anxiety and stress and numerous other common ailments. Please contact me anytime with questions regarding how your condition may be helped with acupuncture or herbs.

Question: Does acupuncture hurt?
Answer: Maybe, but usually for just a split second if at all.
There are many factors that can affect the level of pain a patient might experience with acupuncture. Some areas of the body are more sensitive than others (such as the feet or hands) and some people are more sensitive to pain. Also, needles are placed in strategic places along the body that are connected to your condition. It is often the case that these points will be more sensitive and react mores strongly to needle stimulation.
I always do my best to accommodate the needs and fears of my patients. Please do not hesitate to talk to me about any apprehension or fears you might have regarding your treatment.

But remember:
1. The number one reason why a patient feels discomfort during acupuncture is being nervous.
2. Any slight discomfort from acupuncture is only momentary and usually far less then the pain and discomfort of the ailment you are seeking treatment for.
3. I am happy to adjust my treatments or use a therapy other than acupuncture if you are afraid of needles. I have several patients who came to my clinic afraid of needles. After several minimalist treatments to get accustomed to them, these patients are now regular weekly patients and look forward to the acupuncture.