East Asian Medicine
East Asian Medicine (also known as Traditional Chinese Medicine) is a system of healing that originated over 3000 years ago and continues to be a well respected form of medicine in today's modern world. The cornerstone of traditional East Asian medicine is the recognition that our health is not simply freedom from disease, but rather maintaining balance within ourselves and creating an equilibrium with the environment around us. It has become popular in the United States through one of its most well known and well used branches, Acupuncture. In Addition to Acupuncture, East Asian Medicine encompasses many modalities: Chinese herbal formulas, moxa, cupping, gua sha, tui na, auricular, electro-acupuncture, lifestyle guidelines and nutrition. East Asian Medicine provides a safe and effective medicine that enhances the body's ability to heal itself and maintain balance.
Acupuncture is the most popular branch of East Asian Medicine, gaining the most attention and respect in the West. It is a one of the oldest most widely used healing modalities in the world. Originating in China over 3000 years ago, it is a safe and effective treatment that enhances the body's ability to heal itself and maintain balance. Acupuncture is the insertion of fine, hair-like needles into specific acupuncture points on the body, to unblock or smooth the flow of "qi" (vital energy) in the meridians or organ systems. The points are chosen based on individual constitutions, health history and Chinese medical diagnosis including pulse and tongue readings. Read more.....
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is a large part of East Asian Medicine in conjunction with acupuncture. Before pharmaceuticals and even before acupuncture, herbal medicine was used to balance and heal the body. Chinese Herbal Medicine is typically in the form of formulas consisting of multiple herbal substances. Blending herbs in this way increases their synergy and potency as well as prevents any unwanted side effects. This is a unique feature of Chinese herbal medicine; rarely are they used alone. The formulas can come in a variety of forms: capsules, tablets, granule teas or raw herbs to be decocted at home. They are a great supportive therapy along with acupuncture to help restore harmony in the body, alleviate disease and maintain balance between your treatments.
In addition to Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, there are many other modalities under the umbrella of East Asian Medicine. These include cupping, moxibustion, auricular (ear acupuncture), gua sha, tui na (east asian massage) and nutrition. These additional modalities are used on a case by base basis and may or may not be a part of your session. Click here to learn more about each modality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Acupuncture hurt?
For the majority of people acupuncture is a very pleasant and relaxing experience. If you find yourself to be sensitive with the needles, the size and style of needling can be adjusted. Initially you may feel a small prick as the needle penetrates the superficial skin layer and then a deeper subtle ache once it is in the point. Everyone experiences a different sensation. Some say they feel an ache, heaviness, numbness, tingling, movement, coolness, warmth etc... These sensations are normal, and are called "de qi", showing that the qi has arrived to the area and the meridians are stimulated. These sensations are not uncomfortable, but you may be able to feel them for a period of time during the session.
How often will I need to have a treatment?
This will vary with each individual and condition. In China they will give acupuncture treatments daily or every other day for a period of time to achieve results. The more frequent you can come in the faster you will recover. I typically recommend anywhere from once a week to three times a week in the beginning to achieve a therapeutic effect. Once we start to see improvement and stabilization then the treatments become less frequent. If you are interested in just tune ups or maintenance/prevention then bi monthly or monthly may be sufficient.
How many treatments will I need?
This again will vary for each individual. For more acute or mild conditions 4-6 may be sufficient, for more stubborn conditions anywhere from 10-20 treatments may be needed and very chronic or long term illness may require long term treatment. After the initial few treatments we will get an idea of how you respond to acupuncture and will be able to have a better idea of what we may expect. For the majority of conditions we start to see results in 4-6 treatments but more are needed for stabilization. The more one is willing to make adjustments in diet, lifestyle and/or take therapeutic herbs or nutrients in combination with the treatments, the faster one will return to a state of balance.
How should I prepare for treatment?
It is best to have eaten something one to two hours before your treatment. You don't want to be hungry or overly full during your session. Please come wearing comfortable clothing so we can access elbows to hands and knees to feet. I do provide medical gowns and drapes when or if needed. If you brush your tongue, please avoid doing so on the day of your treatment so we can have an accurate diagnosis of the tongue. Otherwise just come with an open mind and ready to relax!
What does acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization recommends acupuncture for more than 80 conditions including, but not limited to: arthritis, low back pain, neck pain, knee pain, sciatica, muscle pain and weakness, TMJ, earache, headaches, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, ulcerative colitis, indigestion, IBS, acne, rashes, diabetes, nausea, post-operative pain, neuropathy, stroke, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, common cold, sinusitis, fever, bronchitis, smoking cessation, infertility, irregular menstruation, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, PCOS, anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, addiction, blood pressure regulation, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, herpes zoster, post herpatic neuralgia, bells palsy, chemotherapy side effects and many more. (see resources for more info).
Acupuncture is covered by most insurance plans in Washington State. Unfortunately medicare does not cover acupuncture. I am a preferred provider for most major insurance companies including but not limited to Lifewise, Premera, Regence, Uniform, Aetna and First Choice. I do accept and bill PIP claims as well. Check with your individual plan for specific coverage details or call my office and I will be happy to assist you.
Time of service cash rates:
Initial Visit: $130 ~2 hours (Comprehensive intake, treatment and nutritional and herbal recommendations)
Return Visits: $75 ~1 hour