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What type of services does Passionflower Acupuncture & Herbs clinic offer?

Passionflower Acupuncture offers treatment and/or consultation with acupuncture, Chinese herbs, nutritional counseling, cupping, gua sha, and electro-stimulation.

What is acupuncture? Does it hurt?

Acupuncture consists of the gentle insertion and stimulation of thin, disposable sterile needles at specific acupuncture points near the surface of the body. Patients may feel a light tingling sensation, a warming sensation or nothing at all. Most patients report feeling calm and relaxed after their treatment.

Is Chinese medicine safe?

Yes. When practiced by a trained professional, acupuncture is extremely safe.  

Acupuncture is California State Board Certified and is recognized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective medicine in the treatment of various conditions.

Your practitioner is a licensed acupuncturist with a Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), and has over 8 years of experience in treating a variety of conditions.

Because treatments with Chinese medicine are specifically tailored to each patient, the incidence of adverse side effects is extremely low.  All acupuncture needles are pre-packaged, sterile, and disposable.

What should I expect during my first visit?

All new patients are asked to complete a patient intake form and health history. These forms 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. The insertion is usually painless, but can sometimes have a prickly or achy sensation.

Once needles are inserted, you will relax in the treatment room for 15 to 20 minutes. Your practitioner will then return and take out the needles. After the acupuncture treatment is over,  herbal medicines or nutritional guidelines may be also prescribed.

How should I prepare for my first acupuncture treatment?

Complete and sign all necessary paperwork.  You should bring copies of any recent lab results or imaging.  In addition, be sure to have a complete list of current medications and supplements including dosage.   It is best to wear loose-fitting clothing that will allow easy and comfortable exposure to knees and elbows.  You should also be well hydrated and have eaten a snack or light meal prior to treatment.

How long are the appointments?

While this may vary, a new patient’s first visit will generally last approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours. We ask that all new patients arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment to allow time for all necessary paperwork to be completed.

Subsequent appointments generally last 50-60 minutes.

What is your cancellation policy?

We require 24-hour notice for all cancellations.  Appointments canceled within 24 hours will incur the full cost of the appointment.  Tardiness in excess of 20 minutes is considered a forfeit of the appointment.

Does Passionflower Acupuncture accept insurance?

No, at this time our clinic does not accept insurance.  Contact your insurance company to check on your out-of-network acupuncture benefits.  We will be more than happy to provide a superbill that can be submitted for possible reimbursement.

What are options in getting to your clinic?

The clinic is conveniently located near public transit from all around the SF Bay Area.   Explore SF Muni options via their transit map.

Just a few minutes walk from either the Embarcadero or Montgomery BART stations.

Get directions.


Metered street parking is available. Pay using the Pay by Phone app which can be downloaded here.

Nearby Parking Garages

One Embarcadero Center

(Impark Lot #74)
355 Clay St San Francisco, CA 94111

Golden Gateway Garage Lot #50

@ One Maritime Plaza

250 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

275 Battery Garage

(entrance at 162 Halleck St. @ Sansome)

What is Gua Sha?

Gua sha is one of the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) modalities to support the movement of energy throughout the body. When your energy is stagnant, it’s believed health problems may occur. With gua sha, we use a smooth-edged tool to gently scrape areas of your body where there is inflammation or stagnant energy to help improve circulation and promote healing.   The treatment may result in a temporary and slight petechiae or redness of the skin.

You may have heard of the Graston Technique from chiropractors or physical therapists.  This technique is rooted in TCM and is basically a trademarked version of the ancient gua sha treatment. 

Graston Technique tends to be focused on breaking up adhesions, whereas gua sha is used in a broad array of ways as part of a comprehensive TCM treatment.

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