140 Gregory Lane, Suite 105  ~  Pleasant Hill, CA 94523  ~  (925) 280-6026


  1. What should I expect on the first visit?
  2. How do I prepare?
  3. Is acupuncture safe?
  4. Does acupuncture hurt?
  5. What is that smell?
  6. Why do you examine my tongue?
  7. Why do you take my pulse?
  8. How many treatments will I need?
  9. What are Chinese Herbs?

What should I expect on the first visit?

Expect to be at the office for about 1 ½ hours. Also plan to arrive about 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out paperwork (unless you downloaded the paperwork from this website and did so at home).

We will perform a complete evaluation of you on the first visit. We will ask you questions about your main complaint and your body as a whole. We will also look at your tongue and take your pulse (find out why below).

After we get a good understanding of what is ailing you, we will begin treatment. Treatment will include acupuncture and depending on what your complaint is, may include moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, and an herbal prescription. Every person is unique and requires different treatment plans, so we will determine what is best for you at your initial visit.

The needles are typically left in for about 20 minutes, during which you will be allowed to relax in a quiet, darkened room. We will be right outside the treatment room at all times to assist you in any way during your treatment.
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How do I prepare?

Try to allow plenty of time to get to your appointment so you don’t rush in. This will increase your pulse rate and make you anxious.

Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. You want to be as comfortable as possible so you can fully relax during your acupuncture treatment. The most commonly used acupuncture points are on the extremities, so we will need to access these areas by gently lifting your clothing to your elbow and/or knee.

Eat something before your appointment. You should have something in your stomach, even if it’s just a small snack. Some people get dizzy or faint if they come on an empty stomach.
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Is acupuncture safe?

Yes. Acupuncture has no unpleasant side effects and does not interfere with any medical treatment you may already be receiving. Occasionally patients may get a small local bruise or feel light-headed for a few moments. The acupuncture itself is as gentle or strong as the patient needs.
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Does acupuncture hurt?

Most people who have had acupuncture would describe it as virtually painless; all you may experience is a slight prick. The sensations that follow range from nothing at all, to mild tingling, to slight numbness/achiness, to electrical pulsations in areas distant from the site of insertion. All these sensations usually subside once the needles are removed. The needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than the standard hypodermic needle, do not draw blood and are solid, not hollow.
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What is that smell?

Some treatments require the burning of an herb called artemesia vulgaris, ai ye, mugwort, or more commonly known as moxa. It is a traditional Chinese medical technique that helps warm the body, strengthen the blood and stimulate the flow of "qi."

If you suffer from a respiratory problem, or the smoke bothers you, we can use a smokeless variety – just ask and we would be glad to do so.
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Why do you examine my tongue?

The tongue has many relationships and connections to the internal organs of the body, especially the digestive system. It is therefore, very useful and important to inspect the tongue to help diagnose you.

We will be looking at your tongue color, the thickness and color of the tongue coating and the relative shape of your tongue.
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Why do you take my pulse?

Pulse diagnosis is an integral part of Chinese medical diagnosis. We will feel your radial pulse on both wrists to get a better picture of your overall health. While we do count the rate like traditional Western medical doctors, we are also feeling for the quality and depth of the pulse to aid in our diagnosis.
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How many treatments will I need?

Depending on the nature, severity and duration of the complaint, the course of treatment will vary. Most problems can be fixed quickly, while more chronic conditions may be relieved only with time and effort. The speed of progress with long-standing chronic issues is much determined by the patient's willingness to make lifestyle changes conjunction with the treatment.
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What are Chinese Herbs?

Your practitioner may recommend that you take Chinese herbs to help compliment your treatment process. Herbs are recommended in formulas that are specifically designed for the patients needs. Our most commonly recommended form of herbs is pills for your convenience.
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Resources / Links

Acupuncture Resources


Acupuncture Today

Affiliated Acupuncturists (by region)

The Healing Santuary
Orange County, CA

North Shore Acupuncture Clinic
Encinitas, CA

Nourish Acupuncture & Wellness Center
Carlsbad, CA

Carolina Beach Community Acupuncture
Carolina Beach, NC

Chiropractic Partners:

Advance Upper Cervical
Walnut Creek, CA

Functional Health Specialists
Walnut Creek, CA

Holistic Healing:

Jamie Duvnjak
Walnut Creek, CA

Healthy Eating:

Diablo Valley Farmer's Market

Walnut Creek Farmer's Market