1. What is Tuina? What is Shiatsu? How are these two styles different?

Shiatsu is a form of Japanese bodywork grounded in traditional East Asian medicine. It utilizes supportive pressure, stretching, and movement to improve the flow of energy through the channels of the body, helping to optimize harmony and health. Sessions are administered with the receiver clothed on a treatment table in our student intern clinic or on a mat in our Advanced Observation faculty clinic, and are customized to each individual.

Tuina (Chinese medical massage) is a bodywork system based on the same principles as acupuncture and many of the techniques focus on the channel systems, as well as on individual acupressure points. Tuina treatments involve strong manual pressure, as well as stretching, and are generally relaxing and invigorating. Sessions are administered with the receiver clothed on a treatment table and/or seated in a chair.

2. What is the difference between Chinese & Japanese acupuncture techniques?

It is difficult to describe the differences simply, however there are some basic differences that tend to be present. In the SIOM teaching clinic, Japanese acupuncture is often experienced by the patient as a gentler technique with less intense needle stimulation. The needles may, in some cases, be held at the surface of the body and not inserted into the tissue at all. So Japanese acupuncture can be a great technique for patients who are worried about being needled or who have a significant fear of needles. Chinese acupuncture tends to involve deeper needle insertion with stronger sensation, but the depth and strength of the needle techniques are quite variable, even in Chinese acupuncture. The practitioner will always work with the patient to reach a level of needle sensation that is comfortable for the patient, while also achieving the therapeutic goals.

3. Do I need to do anything to prepare for my appointment?

Please arrive hydrated and having recently eaten a healthy meal or snack. Acupuncture should not be received while in a state of low blood sugar. Loose, comfortable clothing is ideal, but you can wear whatever is convenient for your day. Medical gowns and pants are available if needed. Please bring cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, or Debit to cover the cost of your appointment. Payment is due at time of service.

4. Will my student intern be supervised?

Our student interns work under the license of a supervising faculty member, each of whom has a minimum of 10 years professional field experience. We are very proud of our highly skilled and experienced supervising faculty, who oversee every aspect of your treatment and guide the student intern using their own particular style and specialty. Please take a few moments to read our faculty biographies. The type of treatment you receive will be greatly influenced by who is the shift supervisor that day.

5. Does acupuncture hurt?

There are many sensations experienced when receiving acupuncture. Most patients do not describe acupuncture as being painful, but you may experience strong sensations that feel unusual or different from what you have experienced previously. Your intern will guide you through an understanding of what you are feeling, and work to assure your comfort. Most patients find acupuncture very relaxing and some people fall asleep during their sessions. If you are feeling nervous about receiving acupuncture let us know. Our interns and staff will help you!

6. Are acupuncture and bodywork safe to receive during pregnancy?

Yes! Please let us know if you are pregnant when making your appointment. Acupuncture and bodywork can be highly effective in treating discomforts from conception to delivery.

7. I know what herbs I want. Can I just come in and purchase them?

No. We do not retail Chinese medicinals or any other therapeutic supplies unless prescribed by one of our interns or senior faculty members. Any herbs, salves, or other products that we carry are only available for purchase following a complete evaluation in our clinic.

8. Can you bill my insurance?

No. We do not participate in any insurance plans, nor do we provide insurance codes for your treatment in our clinic.

9. I don’t like online scheduling. Do you have someone who can help me book my appointments?

Yes. Please call our clinic front desk at 206-517-4541 and one of our patient care coordinators can book your appointment and answer any additional questions you have about our teaching clinic.

10. I am interested in attending your school. Can I get more information about your graduate program?

Yes. Please read the information under Admissions and Programs on our school’s website (www.sieam.edu). And contact our admissions department at admissions@siom.edu to answer any additional questions.