I’m happy to welcome you to my practice here in Santa Cruz, California. This page has information on how to become a new patient, how appointments work, rates, and more.
New Patient Information
Once an appointment is confirmed, you will receive a confirmation email with the following information:
- A link to intake forms and medical history forms to fill out online
- A link to an instructional video on taking good quality tongue photos
- A link to an online invoice to pay for the visit
- If it is a telemedicine appointment, a link to a Zoom meeting. FaceTime or phone calls are also available if you don’t have a good internet connection.
Cost of Appointments and Herbal Medicines
I don’t accept insurance, so all payment is due at the time of the appointment. However, I can provide a Superbill to submit to your insurance company. You would then discuss with them whether they will cover your appointment. If your policy covers acupuncture, you might be reimbursed. Typically, herbal medicine isn’t currently reimbursed by insurance.
What to Expect at an Office Visit
At first, a visit to a practitioner of acupuncture and/or herbal medicine will seem familiar. The patient will typically fill out a medical history form and will participate in an intake interview. At this point, the experience takes a different course. The acupuncturist will ask to look at the person’s tongue and will feel the pulses on the wrist. These are very important diagnostic methods that will give the practitioner important information needed to make an accurate diagnosis. After a diagnostic pattern is deduced, the patient will lie down on a massage table. Acupuncture needles will then be inserted at specific points that are known to treat that condition. There is typically little to no discomfort caused by the hair-thin needles. In fact, many people fall asleep during an acupuncture treatment!
After approximately 20 to 40 minutes, the needles are removed. Most people experience a deep sense of relaxation and emotional grounding after acupuncture, no matter what condition is being treated. If the practitioner practices just acupuncture, the treatment is complete until the next visit. If the practitioner is also an herbalist, the patient will then receive an herb formula designed for the particular condition. The herbs can be in the form of a strong tea, pills, powders, or liquids, depending on the preferences of both the practitioner and the patient. In this way, the herbs can synergistically continue the progress made by the acupuncture treatment.
Whether you decide to try acupuncture, Chinese herbs, or both modalities, it is likely that you will find the experience to be pleasant as well as effective. Many people are finding that this ancient system provides an excellent way to cope with the stresses and challenges posed by life in the modern world.