Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer a free consultation?

Yes we do! If you're unsure if acupuncture is right for you, start with a complimentary 15 minute discussion to answer any questions you have. This appointment is for you. It can be to talk about your specific problem or to make sure you feel comfortable with needling and show you how small acupuncture needles truly are.

How does acupuncture feel?

Many people feel only the acupuncturist’s hands or a light pinch which quickly dissipates. In the point, you may feel a sensation of heaviness, movement of energy, or nothing at all. Overall you may feel the release of your muscles, tingling as your circulation activates, deeper breathing or emotional relaxation. Many people experience no physical sensation and you do not need to feel any to get results. Acupuncture continues to work after the needles are out, so any changes can feel subtle as you go about your day.

Do you accept HSA/ FSA's?

Rivers of Qi accepts all major health savings accounts (HSA) and flexible spending account (FSA) plans. To use your HSA/FSA, you can use it as the card-on-file or present it at your appointments.

Do you take Insurance?

Rivers of Qi is a fee for service practice. I accept credit/debit cards, HSA/FSA's, checks, and exact cash.
All practitioners of Rivers of Qi are out of network providers and do not bill any insurance plans, including out-of-network claims. This allows us to provide client-centered care without insurance dictating treatments. Upon request, we provide a super bill that you can submit for reimbursement directly from your insurance provider. We cannot assist you with claim resolution, nor guarantee any or all of our diagnosis and treatment codes are covered under your plan. 

What should I wear?

Loose comfortable clothing! Some people like to bring shorts and a loose tank top to change into, but these are not required. You can expect to take off shoes, socks, watches, bracelets, and to roll up sleeves or pant legs.

Acupuncturists use the body to assess information and it responds in subtle ways. The practitioner takes your pulse, may look at your tongue, and touch and press on your abdomen, arms, legs, and head to gain information. Please let us know if you are uncomfortable in any areas.

How many sessions will I need?

Acupuncture and herbs are rarely a permanent fix with one session. It is like a stone skipping across the surface of calm water, causing waves to ripple through every centimeter of the river. As the water begins to calm, we skip another stone. With multiple throws, lasting change can be made.

The amount of sessions depends on what type of injury or disharmony you are working on and your current health. Many patients start with 8-12 treatments, however, every person is different. Please schedule a consultation to get a better idea of your treatment timeline. 

Does a treatment include all things or only acupuncture needling?

Acupuncturists in California are trained in multiple types of treatments that can be used to help you. They are "possible treatments" that will be included in your session should any of the modalities be helpful for your chinese medicinal diagnosis. 

That means if cupping is indicated to be helpful for you then we include cupping at the beginning or end of your acupuncture treatment that day. If infrared light therapy would help you, we add that on during your acupuncture session etc. Each of these treatments are options, but are NOT used for every person. Each treatment is tailored to you based on factors like what your latest symptoms have been, your pulse, where in the cycle you are, or what else is going on in your body. 

The modalities (types of treatments) include cupping, giving herbal medicine in capsules, granules (powdered), and tincture forms, using tools on the acupuncture points without inserting a needle, electric stimulation of needles or directly on skin, using moxa, and more.

a photo of a river with trees in the background and rocks in the foreground.

What does integrative mean?

I combine the study of Chinese and Japanese medicine with knowledge of Western physiology, treatment, and nutrition. In addition to acupuncture or prescribing herbal medicine, I may use other asian medicine techniques such as cupping, 7-star/plum blossom, teishin, guasha, and more. Additionally, I often discuss lifestyle modification such as nutrition, exercise, or other stress reduction techniques. Lifestyle modification is essential to keep your health going beyond acupuncture treatments alone. 

We do not prescribe pharmaceuticals. However, we see many patients whom are on medications or other therapies and apply this knowledge to how we help you. We are happy to work alongside other styles of medicine, using shared knowledge to reach your health goal. 

What is moxibustion or moxa?

Moxibustion, also called moxa, is an herbal preparation made of mugwort that is useful for accessing and rejuvenating certain points of the body. It has many uses such as to add energy to a person, to break up knotted areas of the body, to increase circulation, release swelling, increase white blood cell count and boost immunity. We light the moxa and transfer the heat from the herb into your body. Some patients find the warmth and smell of the herb very soothing during their treatment. There are many forms of moxa which range from no smoke to smokey. If you are sensitive to smoke, please inform your practitioner.

Why do you have a big emphasis on hormone health?

Hormones play a role in nearly every part of our bodies by activating actions in the cells of multiple body systems. When functioning properly, this is great news because we don't have to make a different hormone for each tiny segment of our body to digest a single bite of food or to prepare our body to run away in a time of danger. However, when dysfunction happens, it can feel overwhelmingly complicated, because the symptoms effect us in more ways than we can count. The good news is that hormones can be brought into balance with some work and dedication to your health. In some cases, medication is recommended alongside these health changes. This will depend on the severity of your labwork and symptoms.

What's your cancellation policy?

Late Arrival & Cancellation Policy:

Your appointment time is reserved just for you. If you need to change or cancel your appointment, please do so with 24 hours notice. Patients who provide less than 24 hours notice, miss their appointment, or arrive late to their appointment will be charged a fee equal to the full cost of their appointment.

If you have been in close contact with anyone suspected of having Covid-19 or are experiencing cold/flu symptoms, please call or email our office.