October 26, 2020
As 2020 comes to a close, many of us are a lot more familiar with telehealth/virtual appointments than we were at the beginning of the year. If you’re thinking about making an appointment with us and aren’t sure what to expect, we can help. At Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College, Berkeley, we’ve been working to perfect our telehealth services since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020.
Telehealth has allowed us to continue to give our students the practice and training they need to become successful Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture practitioners after they graduate, while also providing care to new and current patients. Anyone who has been curious about making an appointment at our clinic can now take advantage of doing it from the comfort of their home.
“Telehealth can be less intimidating than an office experience,” says Clinic Intern Practitioner, Karina Poliva. “You’re in the safety of your home. It allows you to be in your own space and get personalized care, which is something we’re missing in Western medicine.”
If you’re curious about scheduling a telehealth appointment with AIMC, here is what you can expect from the experience!
Scheduling Your Appointment
To schedule a telehealth appointment, start by visiting this link. You will be able to choose a day and time to meet with a Clinic Intern Practitioner of your choice. Your appointment will typically be conducted by one or two Clinic Intern Practitioners and a licensed faculty supervisor.
After filling out basic information like name, address, phone number, and email address, you will answer some quick health-related questions. We’ll then ask you to provide a credit card number and shipping information that can be used to purchase herbs at the end of your appointment. Telehealth appointments are no-cost through the end of 2020, so you won’t be billed until you agree to purchase herbs.
During Your Appointment
Telehealth appointments are all done through Zoom. You will be sent a link in your email inbox prior to the day of your telehealth session.
Once you click that link and enter the Zoom chat, here’s what you can expect from the telehealth appointment.
Intake and Medical History
The beginning of your telehealth appointment is our chance to get to know you better. Just as you would at an in-person appointment, our appointments start with intake and gathering your medical history. This is important when it comes to developing a personalized treatment plan.
Possible questions might include:
- What kind of diet do you follow? (omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.)
- How frequently do you exercise?
- Do you drink alcoholic beverages/use tobacco products?
- Do you have a family history of certain diseases or conditions? (cancer, diabetes, depression, anxiety, etc.)
- What medications are you taking?
- Do you have any allergies?
- How many hours of sleep do you get?
For bodies that menstruate:
- Are your menstrual cycles regular?
- Are you currently pregnant/planning to become pregnant?
- Have you had any past pregnancies?
Discuss Current Issues
Once we’ve gathered background information, it’s time to talk about what’s currently happening with you. Whether you’re experiencing fatigue, headaches, jaw pain, or anxiety, we want to gather as many specific details about how you’re currently feeling as possible.
Issues that can be supported with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine include:
- TMJ Pain
- Anxiety and Depression
- Menstrual Cramps
- Nausea/Morning Sickness
- Facial Pain
- High/Low Blood Pressure
- And more
After we discuss what’s currently going on with your health, we’ll ask you to stick your tongue out for the webcam. We understand this probably feels a little strange, but we ask you to do this because, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the coating/color of your tongue can tell a lot about what’s going on with your overall health.
Customized Treatment Plan/Formula
Once our discussion and tongue check is complete, we’ll ask you to wait in the virtual “waiting room” on Zoom while we discuss a treatment plan. This typically involves a customized herbal formula and a list of acupressure points that will provide relief, qigong movements, or nutritional advice.
The Clinic Intern Practitioner conducting your appointment will email you with your treatment plan details. If you choose to purchase herbs, you’ll have the choice between picking up your herbs from our on-campus Pharmacy in downtown Berkeley or shipped directly to you. If you choose shipping, you can expect your formulas to be sent to you shortly using the address and payment information provided when scheduling your appointment.
We can also set up another appointment at this time. Chinese Medicine is an ongoing process and we like to check in with patient regularly when they begin treatment. Especially when herbal regimens are prescribed, we like to touch base every week or every other week so we can tweak and adjust as necessary. If you aren’t ready to make a second appointment at this time, you can always schedule a follow-up appointment on our website when you’re ready.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you think Traditional Chinese Medicine could be the right path for you, make an appointment with one of our friendly, compassionate Clinic Intern Practitioners. We focus on a holistic and personalized approach to healing the mind and body. No matter what your concern is, we can provide a listening ear and help create a solution that works for you. You can learn more about our student clinic here.