What is a typical initial acupuncture visit like?

Posted by on Apr 14, 2013 in | Comments Off on What is a typical initial acupuncture visit like?

An initial acupuncture visit will usually take you about 1.5 hours. After you complete the initial paperwork (please arrive 15 minutes early to do this), I will take you into a private treatment room where we discuss your health history in detail.

As Oriental Medicine is holistic in nature, I will ask you a whole range of questions from how your energy fluctuates during the day to what your sleep and digestion are like. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for me to diagnose and treat you.

We’ll also review the forms that you completed for your initial acupuncture visit along with any relevant lab tests you may have. This discussion takes 30-60 minutes for an initial consultation, depending on the complexity of your case.

Besides asking you questions I’ll be also be gathering information by observing, listening, smelling and touching.

At some point I will ask to see your tongue (please don’t brush your tongue for a day before your visit). I’ll be observing the size, shape and color of the tongue body, the color of the tongue coating, the location of any abnormalities on the tongue, and the spirit of the tongue. All this provides additional information for your Oriental Medicine diagnosis.

I will also feel your pulses on both wrists; this provides detailed information on the state of the energy in your body and may reveal additional questions to discuss. I may also touch other areas of your body to examine injuries and levels of muscle tension and tenderness and palpate your abdomen as well.

After combining and assessing with information from observing and talking with you, I’ll formulate an Oriental Medicine diagnosis that will provide the basis for your treatment plan and prognosis. Your treatment plan will include acupuncture and other things types of treatment, usually over the course of 4-6 weeks, to help you get better.

I’ll then perform an acupuncture treatment. While patients usually lie comfortably on their back and get treated on the front of your body, you might also get a treatment on your back as well.

The treatment room is warm; the massage table is heated, and there’ll be nice relaxing music in the background. Most people usually experience a nice relaxation effect as the their body releases natural endorphins in response to the needles. After the needles are in you’ll rest for about 25 minutes, and chances are you’ll have a nice short power nap. I’ll check on you during the treatment to see how you are doing, and remove your needles at the end of the treatment.

Besides acupuncture, I may do bodywork and manual therapy in the form of acupressure, suction cups, or scraping (guasha), Chinese herbal medicine, heat including moxibustion, therapeutic exercises, lifestyle counseling, nutritional supplements, and nutritional counseling to help you heal and come back into balance more quickly.

During and after the treatment I’ll review and discuss any recommendations I have for you along with  your prognosis and treatment plan.

Posted in: Acupuncture