Before your first acupuncture session, you will need to fill out some paperwork, providing contact information and information about your past and present medical conditions. This information helps me provide you the best care I can. Additionally, you will need to sign a consent form. You may want to arrive a few minutes early to fill these out, or if you prefer, I can email you the forms so you can complete them prior to your visit.
Once the paperwork is completed, I will ask you to tell me more about the reason for your visit. This is your opportunity to express all your health concerns, including those you haven’t been able to voice to your other health care providers. I will also want to know about aspects of your health and well-being that you might rarely think about. In Chinese Medicine, practitioners see relationships between health problems that are often different than those seen by Western medicine. All this information is potentially relevant to treating your primary concerns.
Following our discussion I will take your pulses and look at your tongue. The quality of the pulses at several positions on your wrists gives me information about the state of your body’s energy, as does the appearance of your tongue. With all the relevant information and your goals in mind, I will come up with a treatment plan that is tailored to you as an individual.
The therapies provided and length of your session might vary, depending on what is being treated. For some conditions the acupuncture might be preceded by Tuina, cupping, or Gua Sha. Once the needles are inserted, which generally involves very little discomfort or none at all, you will be left to relax while your body assimilates the treatment. Many patients enter very calm states or even doze off. For most conditions the needles are left in for about 20 minutes, but for a few they are left in longer. Moxibustion might also be applied to acupuncture points. See the Acupuncture Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about these therapies.
At the end of the session, I will generally feel your pulses again to note any changes that might have occurred during treatment. That will conclude the session. At this time you can pay and will have the opportunity to schedule another appointment.