Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to commonly asked questions.
If you can't find the answer you are looking for, please contact us!

1. How do I prepare to come to Sage?
    • If it is your first appointment, please come 20 minutes ahead of time to fill out paperwork.
    • Eat something sometime before you arrive. 
    • Do not brush your tongue. Your tongue’s presentation is a huge tool for us as we determine your pattern of imbalance.
    • Wear comfortable clothing. For acupuncture, wear shorts or pants that can be pushed above the knee. For bodywork wear or bring jogging pants or leggings.
    • Please bring cash or check. We currently do not accept credit cards.
    • Look at the map of our location. Our address is Armitage but our building is long and triangular and our entrance is in the back of the building on Bingham, close to the alley. Bingham is one way going south. If you are driving, you can turn north on Stave street, right next to 90 miles restaurant, which is one block south of Sage, turn right, east, on the first alley and drive behind the building, then make a right on Bingham going south. It is ok to park in the diagonal parking along the building. You can also find parking along Armitage.
    • Call ahead if you need elevator assistance. Sage is an accessible space and we are happy to have the elevator ready for you when you arrive.
2. What is Bodywork?
Bodywork is way of referring to Asian Body Therapy, a healing practice based in Traditional Chinese Medicine that utilizes various massage techniques, such as shiatsu, tui na, deep tissue massage, thai massage, cupping, gua sha, and acupressure.
3. What is Community Acupuncture?
Community acupuncture is the practice of treating multiple people at once in one large community room, maintaining a semi-private atmosphere. You must make an appointment for community acupuncture. Appointments are booked every 15 minutes at Sage. The community acupuncture sessions typically last an hour, which includes a short intake with the acupuncturist and your treatment.
4. What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a healing technique within the scope of acupuncturists and Asian bodyworkers that utilizes the herb, Artemesia mugort. Mugwort has many uses in Chinese Medicine and is thought to be an herb with a frequency very similar to the human body, therefore, it is thought to be very healing. At Sage we commonly use mugwort in its charcoal form. We light a charcoal stick made of mugwort leaves close to the body to introduce invigorating and warming Qi into the body at strategic points. This technique moves and builds the body’s Blood and Qi, reduces pain, promotes the healing of deficiency- and cold-related disorders, and is often taught to our patients as a self and community care technique.
5. What is Cupping?
Cupping is a healing technique within the scope of acupuncturists and Asian bodyworkers to reduce muscle aching and tightness, muscular adhesions, systemic body inflammation and toxicity, colds and flu, and emotional stagnation. At Sage we utilize a pump to create a vacuum in a plastic cup. We place the plastic cup on the desired area of the body, suction air from the cup using a pump, and the cup stays in place on the body, drawing the superficial layer of skin and muscle tissue into the cup. This allows stagnant, old Blood and Qi to exit the cupped area as fresh Blood and Qi enters. Cupping often leaves round marks on the body that can range in color from light pink to dark purple. The marks fade in 3-7 days. Because we are a trauma-informed clinic, we do not do this technique without the full consent of the patient, and we welcome questions and feedback as we perform this healing technique.
6. What is the Difference Between Community Acupuncture and Individual Acupuncture?
While there is no difference in the quality of treatment you receive during community acupuncture, there are some ways that community acupuncture differs from individual acupuncture. During individual acupuncture appointments, you are treated in a private room with the acupuncturist of your choice. Depending on the reason for your visit, your session may include moxibustion, cupping, or gua sha and close with a discussion about herbs and/or nutrition. With community acupuncture, you are treated in the large community acupuncture room, and you will see one of two acupuncturists present. You may or may not see the same person each time you come; however, your session may still include moxibustion, cupping, or gua sha and you will still have the opportunity to discuss herbs and/or nutrition with your acupuncturist.
7. What Does Getting Acupuncture Feel Like?
Acupuncture often encourages a variety of sensations in the body, many of which are very new to people. For this reason, Sage acupuncturists take special care to make sure that each needle is comfortable in its placement and that the people we work with fully consent to each and every needle. Over time, as people receive regular acupuncture, they learn to recognize that their body is capable of a wide variety of sensory responses to acupuncture. When the hair-thin needle is placed at the right spot, initially the person receiving it feels a slight prick which immediately goes away. After that, as the needle is placed to the correct depth, the person may feel any of the following sensations: vibration at the location of the needle, warmth, tingling, aching, throbbing, a traveling sensation along the meridian, or other sensations that may be hard to describe. Any of these sensations are okay! They indicate that we are achieving a therapeutic response. Everyone is different, so we take special care to observe every person’s unique response and create the safest and most pleasant experience we can.
8. What Physical and Emotional Responses Can I Expect After I Receive Bodywork and Acupuncture?
The mind, body, and emotions are all connected. Bodywork and acupuncture works on all levels by connecting with the body’s meridians and the Qi and Blood that flow through those meridians. Because we are in the business of removing obstructions to the free flow of Qi and Blood in the body, as the body adjusts to the redistribution of Qi and Blood, physical and emotional changes are to be expected. Everyone is different, and responses to every session may be different, but most often folks feel less pain and more relaxation after sessions. It is also common to feel euphoria after a session as the body is freshly awash in feel-good hormones.

However, depending on the reason for a visit at Sage and the chronicity of the imbalance we are addressing, someone may feel increased physical pain before ultimately feeling less pain. Folks may also experience emotional release, and that may manifest in very different ways. For some an emotional release may look like tears during or after a session. For others it may look like increased sensations of anger or other emotions that are typically uncomfortable to experience.

Any and all of this is okay! Sage collective members honor the expression of emotions as part of the healing process. While we are not mental health professionals, we are here to support your entire healing process, no matter what that looks like for you and make appropriate medical and counselling referral when needed or desired.

9. How Does the Sliding Scale Work, and How Do I Decide What to Pay?
The sliding scale is meant to create greater access to our services for many of those who would not normally be able or willing to access market-rate acupuncture or bodywork. Because every person’s financial circumstances are different, we allow folks to pay what they can along the scale. No matter what folks pay, everyone gets the highest quality treatment we can give every time. On your first visit we use a Sliding Scale Calculator to determine your unique scale. We simply ask you to indicate your income range and from there we let you know what scale applies to you. For more information about our Sliding Scale Calculator, please email us at sagecommunityhealth [at] gmail [dot] com.
10. What is NADA?
NADA stands for the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association. We use this acronym to refer to the 5-point ear acupuncture protocol we use for treating various addictions, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic stress. Sage uses NADA as a community building and community care tool by taking NADA to organizations and workplaces for group sessions. We also offer pay-what-you-can NADA ear acupuncture drop-in hours on Fridays from 5-7 p.m. For more information about NADA, please check out:
11. I Love What Sage Does! How Can I Get Involved?
We are currently developing our volunteer program. If you are interested in working with us to throw a fundraiser, helping us to spread the word about our work, or bringing us to your workplace or organization for a workshop, please contact us at sagecommunityhealth at gmail dot com.
12. What Does Chinese Medicine Treat?
People who come in for treatments often ask, “Do you treat insomnia?”
“Colds and flu?”
“Digestive issues?”

The short answer is yes! We treat all of the above and MORE!

The World Health Organization has identified a LONG list of Western diseases and symptoms that Chinese medicine can treat including:

      • Chronic and acute pain
      • Neurological Disorders
      • Upper Respiratory Disorders
      • Digestive Disorders
      • Urinary and Reproductive Disorders
      • Immune Function
      • Eye and ear disorders
      • Addiction
      • Depression
      • Anxiety
      • Insomnia

But the longer and more important answer is that we don’t treat Western diseases – we treat people. We support individuals at different stages in their healing journeys to find balance, wholeness and wellness. We treat individuals as whole beings – not making a distinction between mind, body, emotional, and spiritual health.

Chinese medicine is a preventive and harm reductionist medicine – we meet people wherever they are at and help to treat conditions that people are currently experiencing as we strive to prevent further disease. We work to treat the root and the branch, meaning both the manifesting symptoms as well as root cause of disease. That said, you don’t have to have any diagnosed illness to come in for a treatment. Given that this is a preventive medicine, everyone can benefit from a treatment.

10 people may come to our clinic feeling stressed out, and we may give 10 different bodywork, acupuncture and herbal treatments depending on how each person manifests that stress. One person may have stress-related migraines and chronic neck and back tension. Another person may manifest their stress with a lot of anxiety, digestive problems, and trouble sleeping. Another person may be easily irritable, have eye pain, and painful periods due to stress. For all of these cases, we organize the signs and symptoms into what we call a Pattern of Imbalance, and we treat that pattern as well as the root cause: the stress. We work with the whole person to facilitate healing within.

13. What Does Chinese Medicine Not Treat?
Chinese medicine is a complete medical system, but there are certain tools that we do not have within our scope of practice. For instance, we do not perform surgery. We do not perform X-Rays, CT scans or MRI’s. We do not prescribe pharmaceuticals. We do spend many years of our training learning Western medicine; therefore we do understand when to make referrals outside of our practice. We do not believe that Western and Chinese medicine have to be mutually exclusive practices. Our work is to make Chinese medicine more accessible – both in its language and framework and as a health tool for prevention and treating Patterns of Imbalance.
14. How Many Sessions Will I Need?
Chinese medicine looks at health as a dynamic PROCESS in motion. We do not engage in dialogue about health that creates binaries, like “sick and diseased” versus “cured and healthy”. Every person is complex and different, and every treatment protocol is different. Treatments are cumulative and work to build up a lasting effect in the body. The more often and consistently someone comes in, the stronger and more pronounced are the results.

When someone is coming in for the first time to work on a specific issue, we recommend that they come for a few sessions on a weekly basis and then reassess. Many people come in every week to two weeks as a self-care tool. We find this frequency of treatments effective for chronic, long-term imbalances and for maintenance or wellness promotion.

15. What is Reiki?

Reiki is Japanese healing art used to promote physical, spiritual and emotional healing.
It can be used for many ailments including but not limited anxiety,  pain reduction and spiritual and emotional issues throughout the body. It is practiced by laying hands lightly on or near the clients body while the practitioners channels the unseen universal life force energy to the client.

Where does Reiki come from?
Reiki as we understand it in the West was developed by Mikao Usui a Buddhist priest who lived from 1865 to 1926.  After many years of study he found that he could access and use the healing energy and pass this ability onto other people. During the last few years of his life Usui developed Usui Reiki Ryoho which translated means Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method, becoming widely known throughout the Western World, as Reiki.There are many different forms and lineages of Reiki. You may have heard of Kemetic Reiki, Karuna Reiki, Tibetan Reiki or Celtic Reiki. Some are connected to Usui’s teaching as others have an entirely different system. All forms of Reiki use energy or qi to create balance within the body.  

What kind of Reiki do practitioners at Sage practice?
Practitioners at Sage  practice Reiki from the Usui lineage.

How does Reiki Work?
Reiki practitioners  send healing energy to areas or energy centers of the body that the  client has stated they want to work on. Each reiki session is unique to the person receiving the treatment. Practitioners use their hands to transmit energy from the universal or healing qi  to the energy centers of that person’s body to promote healing.  Different energy centers are associated with different kinds of physical, spiritual and emotional imbalances the client might be working on.

What are the “energy centers” called?
There are many different systems that have different names but some common names are chakras, meridians, dantians, channels, hara. Each energy center we talked about earlier has a specific vibration and color associated with it as well.  

Where does Qi come from?
According the this Reiki practice, we are made up of energy. Everything in the universe is made of energy and has a  different energetic vibration. Each person has their own vibration unique to them. Reiki uses the abundant healing energy from the universe to help raise up our own energetic vibrations to create wellness and balance inherent in your body. Like chinese medicine Reiki is really reinvigorating the bodies own ability to heal by giving it a boost of energy.  There is no way to quantify the vibration. Some people are able to see vibrations and colors but most people cannot. The practitioner is not creating energy from within they are simply tapping into the potential for self- healing and connection with a universal vibration that we all already have.

What should you expect during a session?
The practitioner will ask the client if they are ready to begin. If the client verbally states that they are ready the practitioner will ask the client if there is a particular issue/health problem that the client would like addressed during the session. The practitioner will then place their hands on the clients body and begin the process of being a conduit of universal healing energy into the body and energy centers of the client. The energy may be felt with the sensation of heat, cold, vibration, heaviness, or a tingling sensation. Some reiki practitioners lay hands on the body others hover directly above the body.

If you do not wish to be touched in particular areas of the body or at all please let the practitioner know and they will honor your request.

How long is a session?
Typically sessions last 40-60 minutes. However at Sage’s Reiki clinic we are offering 20 minute sessions so that our students practitioners can learn Reiki.

Can I get  triggered during a Reiki session?
Possibly. The practitioner will always focus their attention to the issue the client stated they wanted to work on. However sometimes healing energy can bring up feelings, emotions, sensations and triggering memories of past traumas that the practitioner did not intend to bring up. We value consent at Sage so if you need to stop at any moment during the session the practitioner will honor that. please feel free to ask for whatever you might need to get through that moment and we will do our best to honor your needs at the moment.

Is Reiki associated with a Religion?
Reiki is not a religion. You do not have to subscribe to any dogma in order to practice and receive Reiki. Reiki is however a spiritual practice. Reiki is spiritual in nature because it uses  universal life force which balls upon healing energy that is guided by a consciousness higher than our own. However you don’t have to be a spiritual person to receive the benefits of Reiki. Reiki healing can be used on all different people from all different beliefs and backgrounds.

Can Reiki practitioners also practice other forms of healing during a session?
Many Reiki practitioners have other healing abilities aside from Reiki such as being clairvoyant,a  medium or psychic. Reiki practitioners may start to connect with these abilities during the session but will ask your permission before they share any information they might be reading from you that is not connected with explicitly with Reiki.

16. Does Sage offer fertility services?
Yes! Please read our FAQ devoted to Sage’s work with fertility and fertility-related issues!