What to Expect
To understand my philosophy of care, please have a look at What I Do.
Having worked with a lot of people over the years, I’ve addressed concerns that cover every aspect of health: musculo-skeletal pain, mental health conditions and instability, digestive problems, menstrual difficulties and menopausal struggles, respiratory and skin issues. I’m a holistic provider who considers all facets of life, and how they fit together.
In our first session we’ll spend 30-60 minutes talking. You’ll share your health history as well as what’s happening now. I have two goals for this first session: 1) I want you to experience relief from what brings you to my door, 2) To start a healing relationship building trust.
We will proceed through treatment one step at a time at a pace comfortable for you.
After talking about your health, 20-40 minutes of our first session will be devoted to hands-on care (acupuncture, cupping etc) detailed here. Please allow 90 minutes for our first visit. Follow up visits last 60-75 min including both dialogue and hands-oncare. Loose, comfortable clothing is best. Please make sure you have eaten something during the 1-2 hours period prior to treatment, even if only a small snack. And, you’ll be warmly received however you arrive.
Please complete this Health Questionnaire and bring with you to your first session. If you don’t have easy access to a printer, I’m happy to send you a hard copy by mail.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with me, you’ll need to contact me by this form, phone, text or email. I do not do online scheduling intentionally. I appreciate your understanding.
What's It Cost
Cash rate paid at the time of service by cash, check or Venmo:
$180 for initial session,
$135 for follow up sessions.
I have a community generated fund that addresses systemic inequities of access to health care and wealth generation, while supporting me to make a liveable wage. You can contribute to the community supported fund by paying above the base cash rate at each visit or making a contribution at any time here.
I provide a discount for people of the global majority (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) from this community sourced wealth. This discount is not automatic. Please let me know if you’d like me to direct funds to support your care in this way. Support from the community generated fund is additionally accessible for those who identify as LGBTQIA+.
Community Supported Cash rates are on a sliding scale.
The individual receiving care determines their ability to pay.
$120-150 first visit
$80-100 follow up sessions.
For those hoping to bill insurance, I am currently a preferred provider with Regence, First Choice Health, Kaiser PPO plans (not HMO), Aetna. I’ll happily provide you with a superbill which you can submit to your HSA for reimbursement or for insurance companies with which I’m not a preferred provider. I am WA state licensed and insurance credentialed under my legal name Amy C Darling.
What is acupuncture?
With acupuncture, hair thin needles are gently inserted into the body to heal or relieve pain. Acupuncture is just one kind of hands-on care of East Asian Medicine. Other forms I use in clinic can be reviewed here.
I received acupuncture once in college for a condition it didn’t resolve. I was reintroduced to acupuncture and east Asian medicine through my own treatment with Dr Kerong Xie in 2003. We successfully addressed pre-cancerous CIN3 cervical dysplagia through the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine. A hospice bereavement counselor at the time, I was awed by the different texture of the care. Even compared to the very compassionate staff at hospice, the care with Dr Xie felt distinctly warm and kind. Something was happening I didn’t quite understand. I was also very impressed by the treatment’s efficacy in 100% resolving the dysplasia. I received Dr Xie’s enthusiastic support to pursue this field of healing work. Being white, European heritage, I have no family lineage in Asia. I endeavor to honor both the traditional knowledge of my training and the history of innovation that runs deep. I wield the learning and tools of this medicine with humility.
Is acupuncture safe?
Acupuncture is one of oldest and safest forms of medicine. When performed by a trained professional, acupuncture carries little to no risk or side effects and safely complements other treatments. In fact, in 2022 the WA Department of Health lowered our annual licensure fees as a direct result of our high quality of professional training, safety of practitioners, and very low complaint rate for the profession.
How does acupuncture feel?
Acupuncture needles are thin, solid, sterilized needles. Each is used only once, and disposed of in a biomedical ‘sharps’ container after use. Some people feel no sensation with needle insertion. Others feel a slight pinch, like a mosquito bite, followed by tingling, pulsing, or heaviness. These sensations are all normal. Having worked with many people who are anxious before a first treatment, we will move at a pacing that feels comfortable for you. I can explain each step. We can pair needling with your breath, answer questions as we go, and sustain your sense of participation and control of your own body in exploring this medicine.
Once the needles are inserted a patient rests for 20-30 minutes depending on the particular condition and person. Most people feel deeply relaxed during a treatment. For some, a deep sense of relaxation continues throughout the day and even for days following. Other people feel revitalized and energetic after treatment.
What is the treatment duration & frequency?
Some conditions respond very quickly and even immediately to treatment. Others require combined acupuncture, herbal treatment and other patient-driven behavioral changes over a period of months. There’s no fixed prescription. It truly depends on the individual.
For acute conditions, as schedules and budgets allow, I may counsel weekly treatment for the first month. Treatment frequency decreases as symptoms resolve. After fully resolved, some patients conclude treatment entirely. Many choose monthly or seasonal visits to maintain and optimize health. I’m happy to consult by phone or email before a first appointment to discuss your questions.
Does this medicine work?
In addition to the 3,000 years of empirical evidence, there is mounting modern clinical research supporting acupuncture’s efficacy in treating a variety of medical conditions. Reading the What People Say will offer detailed accounts of patients’ experience of working with me directly to resolve a variety of health concerns. The medical conditions with which I’m most specialized include:
- Neuromuscular skeletal conditions (Pain and rehabilitation)
- Internal medical conditions – including digestive problems, IBS, IBD, menstrual and menopausal disorders
- Emotional and Psychological Disorders (including insomnia, anxiety, depression, panic, poor focus)
- Grief & trauma integration
- Sinus and upper respiratory disorders (This was true pre-covid. The landscape has changed. Pre March 2020, my patients would call and schedule at the faintest sniffle, throat tickle, or headache indicating a cold was coming. Their sinus headache would be resolved, the lungs cleared, the cold would move quickly through. Now, out of undue caution of exposing someone else to covid-19, patients cancel at the faintest sign of cough or sinus congestion. I still work with some patients with long term respiratory conditions asthma, COPD, allergies, reactive airway cough).
- 2000-04, I worked for Providence Hospice of Seattle in Grief Services as assistant program coordinator and counselor supporting the bereaved of those who died on hospice. I created and facilitated a group for 2 years with Tai Ji instructor Ken Wright. Movement in Grief groups integrated Qi Gong into the Growing Through Grief group curriculum. In that work, I witnessed how grief moves better when we move our bodies. These experiences continue to inform my views on how grief and trauma move in and through the bodymind, the heartmind. To learn more about my meditation and personal cultivation training, see the Meditation + page.
- 2004-2007, I plunged, and it was a deep dive, into the apprentice style clinical Master’s at Seattle East Asian Institute of Medicine (SIEAM). After graduating, I established my practice at the Medical Dental Building. For the first 5 years after graduating, I worked in Seattle while also seeing patients at Abundant Health Acupuncture in downtown Tacoma. Beginning in 2013, I consolidated my practice north as Seattle is home. I trained and am licensed under my given name Amy C. Darling.
- 2023, Accepted into Professional training program in Compassionate Inquiry with Gabor Maté.