The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Lao Tzu
You may find visiting us more comfortable than visiting a regular physician. To prepare for initial and follow-up visits:
- Fill out the paperwork before you come the first time. Or else arrive 20 minutes early to fill it out; a clipboard will be waiting.
- Allow 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the initial visit; one hour for follow-up visits. You may wish to allow time for a walk afterwards.
- Wear loose clothing that can be comfortably pulled up above your elbows and knees.
- Do not brush your tongue that morning, or before your visit; the tongue coating gives us important information. One to two hours before a visit, avoid eating or drinking anything that will stain your tongue (coffee, colored gum or candy, etc.).
- Avoid missing a meal, or a heavy meal, before your visit.
- Avoid alcohol or other intoxicants before treatment.
- If you take vigorous exercise, hot bath or shower, steam or sauna, try to allow at least an hour before your visit.
- We ask that after a treatment, for two hours you avoid alcohol, intoxicants, tobacco, vigorous exercise, hot bath or shower, steam or sauna, sex, or much excitement.
- Before, during, and after treatment: Relax!
We are going to talk with you for quite a while. We want to know your reason for coming; we will ask questions about everything, from the roots of your hair to your toenails. Then we will spend some time taking your pulses in the Chinese way, at three positions on each wrist. We are looking not just for the rate, but also the qualities of the pulse: is it big? small? tight? wiry? squishy? slippery? choppy? rough? Are some pulse positions weaker or stronger than others? Pulse diagnosis gives us a great deal of valuable information; it is our most important diagnostic tool. Looking at your tongue also tells a lot about what's going on with you. During our conversation, we will examine your eyes, complexion, skin, hair, nails, and listen to the sound of your voice. We may examine your arms and legs below the elbows and knees; we may examine your abdomen, or the areas where you feel pain and discomfort. Using all these traditional diagnostic methods, and others, we will get to the bottom of what is causing any imbalance or disharmony for you.
When we arrive at our diagnosis, the treatment principles and choice of treatment will proceed from there. Treatment methods may include any or all of the following: tuina Chinese medical massage & bodywork (with your clothes on), acupuncture or needle-less alternatives, moxa therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, qigong healing exercises, dietary recommendations, lifestyle recommendations, or other adjunctive therapies. (You can find out more about our diagnostic and treatment methods by visiting our FAQ page.)
At the first visit we will recommend a treatment plan for you. The more serious, long-term, and deep-seated your illness, the more frequent your treatments should be, and the longer you will need them. At first we may need to see you often; later, the visits can be farther apart. We try to make our fees affordable so you will be able to come often enough to get well.
If you are coming for wellness and prevention of disease and you are basically healthy already, your course of treatment will be shorter and directed at "tuning up" the dynamic balance and harmony of all your systems and their self-regulating mechanisms.
Once you are experiencing positive health and vitality, you should see us four times a year, at the changing of the seasons, when you are most vulnerable, to help avoid illness.