New Patient FAQs
How do I schedule an appointment?
Click the button above to go to our online scheduling page, where you will find all of our offered services and fees. You can book your appointment there. If you prefer, you may call the office and we will happily book your appointment over the phone.
How do I fill out my intake form?
Once you are scheduled as a new patient, you will receive an email with a confirmation of the date, time and address of your appointment, plus a link to your online intake form. Please fill out this form electronically and submit it prior to your visit. If you have not received the email invitation to fill it out, please call us so that we may resend it.
Please also bring a list (or list them in detail in the intake form) of all medications and supplements you are currently taking. If you have any relevant bloodwork or imaging reports, Dawn would be interested to see them. You may bring or email them.
What can I expect for my first visit?
As a new patient, you will spend up to 60 minutes with Dawn Potter. She will personally review your health history, as well as your current health concerns. In addition to a review of your detailed intake form, you will be asked questions verbally.
Though some questions may not seem relevant to your main health concern, each answer helps to paint a picture of your overall pattern of imbalance.
Another part of the diagnostic process may involve feeling the pulses on both of your wrists, as well as looking at your tongue, which serves as a map of your internal body. Dawn may also palpate your abdomen and any major areas of discomfort you have. Drawing from all of this information, she will determine your Traditional Chinese Medical diagnosis and create a treatment strategy for you.
During your initial visit, you will receive an acupuncture treatment and most patients receive nutritional recommendations as well as Chinese herbs and/or nutritional supplementation. Dawn may also give you specific stretches, breathing techniques, self-care ideas, reading recommendations or exercises to do for your condition.
How many treatments will I need?
This is generally determined by the severity of your condition, how long you’ve had it, and how healthy you are otherwise. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you will receive treatments 2 times per week to 2 times per month, with treatments less frequent as your condition improves. Generally, 6 to 12 weekly treatments are adequate to make a significant difference in most conditions. Then visit frequency may be reduced.
What do I need to do before my treatment?
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. It is helpful if long sleeves and pant legs can be comfortably pulled up over your elbows and knees, and that your abdomen is easily accessible.
It is best to have eaten a light meal or snack shortly before coming in for treatment. You don’t want to be uncomfortably full, but it is also not good to be hungry during your treatment; like exercise or massage therapy, acupuncture can lower your blood sugar level.
*Please do not drink alcohol before or immediately after your treatment.
What do I need to do after my treatment?
Avoid hot showers, vigorous workouts and sexual activity for 8 to 12 hours after your acupuncture treatment, since these activities can disrupt the effects of the treatment, as can drinking alcohol or partaking of any type of mood altering substance, apart from prescribed medications.
Also, after your first treatment, be aware of how you are feeling. It is important for you to be aware of any changes in symptoms or conditions between treatments. Sometimes even the smallest details are important in understanding your progress.
Sensitivity may last for a short time where the needles were inserted. Occasionally, bruising may develop at the insertion point. If so, apply an ice compress and/or liniment to the bruised area. It is temporary and will clear up on its own.
Take your herbs as directed. This will ensure the best possible results. If you have any questions about how you are responding to the herbs, please contact the office. Due to the fibrous nature of the herbs, some people may initially experience bloating, gas or changes in elimination; if any of these symptoms last more than a few days, please call to discuss an adjustment in dosage or formula.