Frequently Asked Questions


What is community acupuncture?

Community acupuncture is a treatment model designed to make acupuncture more affordable and accessible. Treatments are given in a group setting and charged on an income-based sliding scale. At Releaf, clients relax in comfortable recliners and remain fully clothed during treatment. Points on the lower arms and legs, the scalp and ears are used to treat a wide range of problems. This open, accessible model represents a return to the way acupuncture has been successfully practiced in Asia for thousands of years.

What about privacy?

Your first visit to Releaf will include a comprehensive health intake conducted privately in an area separate from the treatment room. Follow-up visits will rely less on dialogue and more on tongue and pulse diagnosis to determine the treatment plan. Your acupuncturist will never discuss your specific health concerns while in the treatment area. You will remain fully clothed during treatment as we use points on the lower arms and legs, ears and scalp only. Most of the other clients in the treatment room will have their eyes closed and may even be asleep.

 What can acupuncture treat?

Acupuncture has been shown to be an effective treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Some of these conditions are:

  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Asthma and Allergies
  • Auto Injuries
  • Arthritis, Tendonitis and Joint pain
  • Bladder and Kidney Infections
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Degenerative Disk Disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Hypertension
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Indigestion, Gas, Bloating, Constipation
  • PMS and Menstrual Irregularity
  • Tension/Stress Syndromes
  • Menopause Symptoms
  • IBS, Crohn’s and GERD


Is acupuncture safe?

Yes. When performed by a trained practitioner there is very little chance of adverse effects. Modern acupuncture needles are sterile, single-use instruments that are discarded after use. Safety certification is part of Washington State’s acupuncturist licensing requirements.

Will it hurt?

Acupuncture needles are much finer than needles you may have encountered before when receiving injections or donating blood. Because they are so thin, they usually do not hurt, with the exception of a pinching sensation on insertion. Most clients find the treatments very pleasant and relaxing and it is not uncommon for people to fall asleep during treatment.

How often will I need to come in for treatments?

This varies a great deal based on an individual’s history, health concern and recuperative ability. We will recommend a course of treatment that matches your individual health profile. A good rule of thumb is that the longer a patient has had a condition, the longer it takes to correct. Acute conditions will often resolve within 3-5 treatments. Chronic, stubborn or recurring ailments require a longer time to correct and a typical course of treatment will include 10-20 visits.

How long does treatment take?

Your first visit will be the longest (60 minutes) as we will need to go over your health history. Follow up treatments are shorter (45 minutes) as we will simply be assessing your progress. Each visit, the needles will be retained about 30 minutes for maximum effect.

How much will treatments cost?

We charge on the income-based sliding scale shown below. We do not require any form of income-verification as an individual’s situation may vary drastically independent of income level. The most important thing is to choose a payment level that allows you to get the treatments you need. Please note that there is an additional $10 paperwork fee for first office calls. If a Chinese herbal formula is recommended for you the cost will vary based on the ingredients in the formula and the form in which it is prescribed. We can accept returns of unopened patent formulas with receipt within 30 days of purchase. We are unable to accept return of customized raw herb or granule formulas.


Cost per Treatment

Under $20,000


$20,000 – $25,000


$25,000 – $30,000


$30,000 – $50,000


$50,000 and above


What should I wear to my appointment?

For your treatment we will need to access you lower arms and legs, so short-sleeved shirts and pants that can easily be rolled up above the knee are quite helpful. Socks and shoes that are easy to remove also help treatments go more smoothly.

Do you accept insurance?

We want to make the treatment process as simple and pleasant as possible, therefore we do not accept insurance. Most people find that their payment on the sliding scale is at or below what their insurance co-pay would be. If you would like to bill your insurance company for reimbursement, simply ask us for the necessary paperwork and we will be happy to help.