Patients FAQs

If you are a new patient to our clinic, or new to Chinese medicine, you will probably have a few unanswered questions. Below is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions. Click on any one to see its answer.

What type of services does the clinic at Pacific College offer?

The Pacific College Clinic offers treatment and/or consultation with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and massage.

What are the qualifications of my practitioner?

As a teaching clinic, all student interns are in their final year of training toward a Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine or Acupuncture and work under the supervision of our licensed faculty. Your intern is in the last year of a four year program and will have almost 400 clinical hours of training and completed courses such as Anatomy, Biology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Oriental medicine theory, Herbology, Needle Techniques and Point Location before they begin their clinical rotation in Pacific’s clinic. Patients also have the option of receiving treatments by a licensed acupuncturist who is observed by a group of 2-5 students. Learn more about our clinic staff levels.

What is acupuncture? Does it hurt?

Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at strategic points near the surface of the body. While many acupuncture patients are initially wary of the claim that acupuncture doesn’t hurt, they soon discover that the experience is quite pleasurable.

Is Chinese medicine safe?

When practiced by a trained professional, acupuncture is extremely safe. Because the treatment does not involve the use of drugs, adverse side effects are typically more unusual. However, there are certain conditions you should notify your practitioner about before undergoing treatment, such as hemophilia or if you have a pacemaker. A thorough patient intake is performed during the first visit in order to determine any concerns.

What should I expect during my first visit?

All new patients in Pacific’s clinic are asked to complete a patient information form and health history. This questionnaire will include questions about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and your lifestyle. It is a good idea to bring with you any copies of previous tests, lab results and any medications or supplements you are currently taking. The physical exam can include taking vital signs as well as detailed examination of the pulse and tongue, abdominal palpation and facial diagnosis. When your practitioner arrives at a working diagnosis, they will place you in a comfortable position to insert the needles. After the needles are inserted, you will relax in the treatment room for 10 to 30 minutes. Your practitioner will then return and take out the needles. After the treatment is over, they may prescribe Chinese herbal medicines if they would be helpful to you.

How many needles are inserted?

Ten to twenty needles may be inserted, although more or less is not uncommon.

How long are the appointments?

While this can sometimes vary, generally a new patient’s first visit will last between 60-90 minutes. We ask that all new patients arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment to fill out the necessary paperwork. Subsequent appointments generally last between 45-60 minutes.

How long will it take to get better?

Most health problems take more than one treatment to resolve. Expect to have four treatments before reassessment. Many problems may require ten or more treatments before significant benefits accrue. Along the way, though, you should see an overall improvement in your health as your main complaint improves as well.

How should I prepare for my first visit?

In addition to bringing copies of any previous medical records and medications or supplements you are currently taking, we generally recommend that new patients wear loose fitting clothing and have something to eat approximately one hour before your appointment.

What is the cost to be seen by a student intern or Licensed acupuncturist in Pacific’s clinic?

Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, herbology, and massage are often less expensive than Western therapies for the same conditions. Pacific’s clinic fees are moderate and affordable for most, and include discounts for students and senior citizens. For details, please visit the clinic page for each campus: San Diego, Chicago, New York

I am on a limited income. Do you provide any discounts?

In an effort to make the complementary health care at Pacific College affordable to the public, we offer discounts to senior citizens, active duty military and students. Pacific College often offers frequency discounts to regular clinic patients. Please inquire about these discounts at the clinic nearest you.

Does Pacific College accept insurance?

While we are unable to accept insurance at this time, patients will receive a receipt upon payment for reimbursement. Pacific College Clinic does accept cash, personal checks, and MasterCard and Visa credit cards. The San Diego clinic also accepts Flexpay cards.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call the Pacific College Clinic directly at:
San Diego (619) 574-6932
New York (212) 982-4600
Chicago (773) 477-4822

How long does it take to get an appointment?

While we can often accommodate same-day appointments, the typical wait to be seen in our clinic is from 3-5 days.

What is your cancellation policy?

San Diego & New York Clinic:
If you need to cancel an appointment, we require 24 hours advance notice. You may leave a message on our after-hours voicemail. We schedule appointments for over 120 interns and practitioners, many of whom have a waitlist of patients. Advance notification allows us to offer an appointment to a patient on their waitlist. Missed appointments are subject to the full appointment fee. Cancellations less than 24 hours in advance are also subject to the same fees.

Chicago clinic:
The cancellation fee is $15.00. Tardiness in excess of 15 minutes is considered a forfeit of the appointment.

What are your days and hours of operation?

Please visit the clinic pages for the San Diego, Chicago, and New York campuses for more information on our hours of operation.

I have coupon for a free treatment. How do I redeem it?

Call our clinic to make your appointment. When you arrive for your first appointment, present your coupon to the clinic staff.

Where are you located? What are the directions to your clinic?

For our address and driving directions, please visit the clinic pages for the San Diego, Chicago, and New York campuses.

Do you provide parking?

San Diego – Yes. Parking for clinic patients can be found in the college’s front parking lot nearest the entrance to Suite 105.
New York – No. We suggest taking the subway or other public transportation to the college or utilizing a pay parking lot.
Chicago – No. We suggest taking the “El” or other public transportation to the college or utilizing a pay parking lot.

Where can I find more information on Chinese medicine?

Please visit our Blog or Resources section. Here you will find links to resources providing more detailed information on the history and efficacy of Chinese medicine.

Request Information

Enter your information and start moving toward a career you love!

By clicking the "Send Request" button below, I consent to representatives of Pacific College and Health Science contacting me about furthering my education via email, text, and phone number, including my mobile phone number if provided above, using an automatic dialer or prerecorded message. I understand that my consent is not a requirement for enrollment, and I may withdraw my consent at any time.

* Required.