Your initial acupuncture session is a private appointment with your acupuncturist, in a private treatment room. At the beginning of your session we will review your medical history and intake paperwork; you will have the opportunity to ask any questions regarding treatment. Following your medical review we will proceed to your physical assessment and acupuncture session.
Part of your physical assessment relates to your tongue and pulses, in relation to Chinese medicine. The pulse and tongue are diagnostic tools that further assist in painting the diagnosis picture of the patient.
Radial pulses are felt at each wrist at three different pulse positions; pulse qualities refer to particular patterns of illness in Chinese medicine. Pulse taking is very intricate and can take a long time to master. Read more about pulse diagnosis.
Tongue diagnosis also helps to define specific patterns of disease in Chinese medicine. Different qualities of the tongue, such as color, coating, dryness, wetness, texture, length, puffiness, and so on, all add to the diagnosis big picture. Different areas of the tongue reflect different areas of the body, just as in pulse diagnosis. Read more about tongue diagnosis.
You will then be asked to lie down on a massage table and relax. Fine needles (about the diameter of a hair) will be inserted at specific acupuncture points in order to generate Qi and the body’s healing response and restore natural balance. Needles may be inserted for a brief period of time or retained for a longer period of time.
Each treatment is customized specifically for you based on your chief complaints, health concerns and in accordance with Chinese medicine principles. Most points selected are from the knees to toes, elbows to hands, head and scalp, back and abdomen.
Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing and are able to fall asleep during the treatment. You will benefit most from your acupuncture treatment if you allow yourself to relax, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and just enjoy the experience.
Once needles are inserted you will rest for about 30 minutes with the needles in place. After the allotted time, needles are removed from the body, and you can then slowly get up and prepare to exit the treatment room. Take your time rising and do not rush yourself, it is not unusual to feel a bit spacey following acupuncture. It is normal, so do not be alarmed.
Acupuncture is a restorative treatment so you should feel rested and refreshed following a session. Be sure to drink plenty of water following acupuncture, and give yourself some time before doing anything too stressful or taxing to your body.