each 60 minute session is $20-$50 sliding scale
$10 paperwork fee for Initial Visit
* Gratuity is not accepted. *
New Clients: Please arrive early or complete and bring this New Client Paperwork with you.
What is different about the community acupuncture clinic?
- We treat in a community setting -
Most US acupuncturists treat patients on tables in individual cubicles. This is not traditional in Asia, where acupuncture usually occurs in a community setting. In our clinic we primarily use recliners, clustered in groups in a quiet, soothing space. Treating patients in a community setting has many benefits: it’s easy for friends and family members to come in for treatment together; many patients find it comforting; and a collective energetic field becomes established which actually makes individual treatments more powerful. In some styles of acupuncture, the needles are removed after only a few minutes or after a half hour at most. The style of acupuncture we practice allows patients to keep their needles in as long as they want up to 60 minutes, and the “right” amount of time varies from patient to patient. Most people learn after a few treatments when they feel “done”; this can take from twenty minutes to an hour. Many people fall asleep, and wake feeling refreshed.
- Our pricing –
Most US acupuncturists also see only one patient per hour and charge $65 to $175 per treatment. They tend to spend a long time talking with each patient, going over medical records, asking many questions. We don’t. The only way that we can make acupuncture affordable is to streamline our treatments and see multiple patients in an hour, so we have returned to the traditional approach; instead of asking you lots of questions, we rely on pulse diagnosis to decide how to treat you. This is exactly how acupuncture is practiced traditionally in Asia — many patients per hour and very little talking.
Our Commitment to You
We want to make it possible for you to receive acupuncture regularly enough and long enough to get better and stay better. We want our community to be welcoming to all different kinds of people. We want to give you the tools to take care of your own health. We will provide a safe environment with skilled practitioners.
What We Need From You
We do not provide primary care medicine! Acupuncture is a wonderful complement to Western medicine, but it is not a substitute. If you think you have a problem that is not “garden variety” (meaning, you are worried that you might have a serious infection, a malignant growth, or an injury that won’t heal), or if you want someone knowledgeable to go over the details of your medical history with you, you need to see a primary care physician (ND, MD, or DO). We cannot diagnose and treat something really serious. We can provide complimentary care for conditions, which require a physician’s attention — for instance, we often treat patients for the side effects of chemotherapy. But we need you to take responsibility for your own health.
The community setting requires some flexibility from you. For instance, many patients have a favorite recliner. When we are busy, someone may be sitting in yours. Similarly, we have a few patients who snore. Other patients who dislike snoring bring earplugs to their treatments. We are grateful for this! Some of our patients even bring favorite pillows or blankets from home with them, because they prefer theirs to ours. That’s fine with us. Basically, we need you to participate in making yourself comfortable in the community room before we arrive to treat you. Please wear loose fitting clothing that can be rolled up above the elbows and knees. You will remain fully clothed at all times and wearing comfortable clothing will allow for a more thorough treatment.
In terms of how long you want to stay — tell the receptionist, when you check in, if you need to be somewhere at a certain time! If you want to be unpinned at a specific time, ask her to make a note and give it to the acupuncturist. We’ll make sure you’re out on time. In general, if you feel done, open your eyes and give us a meaningful look — if your eyes are closed, we think you’re asleep and we generally won’t wake you up.
The soothing atmosphere in our clinic exists because all of our patients create it by relaxing together. We appreciate everyone’s presence! This kind of collective stillness is a rare and precious thing in our rushed and busy society. Maintaining this reservoir of calm requires that no one talk very much in the clinic space. If you would like to speak to a practitioner one-on-one at any length, please let us know. If you want to have a substantial conversation, we will probably need to schedule that separately as a private session.
If you have questions about acupuncture and how it works — please read the Little Red Book for Patients. Unfortunately, we can’t explain what every point does, or how acupuncture works, while we are treating you — these are very large topics!
Part of our success is that our patients learn the “routine” and take on a lot of responsibility for the appointments. Re-scheduling and making payment happens at the front desk BEFORE each treatment, so you can relax and enjoy treatment. Please take all personal belongings, (bags, shoes, etc.) with you back into the treatment room. And of course, please turn off your cell phone.
Acupuncture is a PROCESS. It is very rare for any acupuncturist to be able to resolve a problem with one treatment. In China, a typical treatment protocol for a chronic condition could be acupuncture every other day for three months! Most of our patients don’t need that much acupuncture, but virtually every patient requires a course of treatment, rather than a single treatment, in order to get what they want from acupuncture.
One big reason that we are able to keep our prices so low is because of the extraordinary amount of marketing our patients do on our behalf — we don’t have to advertise. We cannot express how grateful we are for this. Our patients are such effective marketers because they have first-hand experience of how well acupuncture works. All of our satisfied patients basically made a commitment to a course of treatment.
On your first visit, your acupuncturist will suggest a course of treatment, which can be anything from “we’d like to see you once a week for six weeks” to “we’d really like to see you every day for the next four days”. This suggestion is based on our experience with treating different kinds of conditions. If you don’t come in often enough or long enough, acupuncture probably won’t work for you. The purpose of our pricing is to help you make that commitment. If you have questions about how long it will take to see results, please ask us, or if you think you need to adjust your treatment plan, please let us know. We need you to commit to the process of treatment in order to get good results.
And, last, but not least….enjoy the space. We do, and hope that the Healing Arts Institute Community Acupuncture Clinic can be an important part of your community. Thank you.
Meet our Acupuncturists:
Vanessa Stretton, MS L.Ac.My positive experience as a patient, and fascination with the artful nature this medicine led me to earn a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) at Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA. I enjoy practicing Eastern Medicine and helping people feel good, naturally. I delight in the wisdom nature has to offer and go outdoors whenever possible.Some people come to Traditional and Alternative medicine as a last resort, when nothing else works for them. For some, it is their first resort, preferring to try something natural before resorting to the big guns of surgery or pharmaceutical drugs. Some like to use natural medicine alongside conventional medicine to achieve greater results.However you come to this medicine, I am honored for our paths cross and I wish you the best in health.
I’ve always had an interest in natural medicine. I began dabbling in herbal medicine as a teenager, researching which herbs to use to treat myself for various ailments. I figured it was better to use something from nature than something from a lab, if that was all I needed.
I actually studied Eastern Medicine before receiving my first acupuncture treatment. At the foundation of Chinese Medicine is the balance between Yin and Yang – the balance of all things really. Being in harmony with the rhythm of nature, resting enough, not overworking, eating regularly and properly according to the season, and the holistic nature of mind, body, and spiritual health really resonated. My first experience receiving acupuncture gave me incredible relief from back pain. I felt that more people should know about Eastern Medicine and its capabilities, if not its poetry, depth and history.
Below is a quote from The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine. The text is over 2 thousand years old, and is kind of like the bible of Traditional Chinese Medical theory.
“In ancient times, people lived simply. They hunted, fished, and were with nature all day. When the weather cooled, they became active to fend off the cold. When the weather heated up in summer, they retreated to cool places. Internally, their emotions were calm and peaceful, and they were without excessive desires. Externally, they did not have the stress of today. They lived without greed and desire. Close to nature….
People today are different. Internally, they are enslaved by their emotions and worries. They work too hard…They do not follow the rhythmic changes of the four seasons…”