Welcome to the Five Branches University Santa Cruz Clinic. As a new patient, your first appointment will take approximately 60 to 90 minutes. This will ensure that your practitioner will have enough time to listen to your concerns, fully assess your health, and allow you to experience a thorough and complete treatment.
Prior to your appointment
- Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, or bring a change of clothes that will allow access to your arms and lower legs.
- Please eat a snack or a light meal at least one hour prior to your treatment. It is best to not have an empty or full stomach.
- Download the new patient forms now, or fill them in at the clinic when you arrive for your appointment. Please allow an additional 15 minutes to complete the forms.
- Payment in the form of cash, check or credit card is expected at the time services are rendered. For information on Insurance coverage please refer to: Insurance and Rates.
- Free parking is available. To get directions to our clinic please refer to: Map and Directions.
During Your Treatment
Your practitioner will review the information you have provided on your new patient intake forms and ask questions about your health and concerns. They may examine your tongue, feel your pulse in both wrists, and perform other diagnostic methods. If you are taking any medication or herbs, be sure to list them on your intake form. A complete diagnostic process allows your practitioner to provide the most effective traditional Chinese medicine treatment to address your health condition.
After the initial diagnosis, you will be asked to remove your socks and shoes and lie down. After swabbing the acupuncture point sites with alcohol, your practitioner will insert very thin, sterile, single use disposable needles. Although some points are more sensitive than others, usually you will feel little or no sensation or discomfort. An infrared heat lamp will keep you warm during your treatment.
Acupuncture needles may be left in for 15 -35 minutes. During this time, the practitioner may check on you once or twice. Most people find the treatment very relaxing and many meditate or sleep. Should you experience any discomfort, be sure to tell your practitioner right away and adjustments will be made. A call-bell is available so you can contact your practitioner at any time.
Towards the end of your treatment, acupuncture needles will be removed. Your practitioner will propose a continued treatment plan which may include, additional acupuncture treatments, herbal remedies, and dietary and exercise recommendations. If an herbal prescription is recommended you will receive instructions on how to prepare and take the herbs. It is highly recommended that you follow the treatment plan to maximize your results. Please feel free to address any questions or concerns you may have prior to the end of your appointment.
After Your Treatment
- Plan to relax and rest after your treatment.
- Some people feel a little light headed after receiving an acupuncture treatment. If necessary, please sit for a while in the waiting room. In a few minutes you will feel relaxed and clear headed.
- Herbal prescriptions are intended only for the person for whom they are prescribed. Do not give herbal formulas to anyone else.
- Very rarely, following an acupuncture treatment, symptoms may become worse for a short time. This is often a sign that previously dormant conditions are being awakened so that healing may occur. This should pass quickly. If you have any questions or concerns at anytime, please contact the clinic.
We look forward to serving you!
Read in: Chinese