WHAT TO EXPECT AT YOUR INITIAL ACUPUNCTURE VISIT
Your privacy and comfort are very important so your initial visit is dedicated just to you! No other appointments are taken during the first hour of your visit to assure your privacy during your medical history review and intake. During this time you can ask any questions that you may have regarding acupuncture, herbs, or your treatment. Following your intake you will proceed into a treatment room for your physical assessment and acupuncture treatment.
In Chinese medicine, the pulses and tongue are diagnostic tools that further assist in painting the diagnosis picture. Aside from your pulse rate, there are different pulse positions and qualities that reflect particular patterns of disease in Chinese medicine. 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 along meridians at specific points in order to stimulate the body’s healing response and restore natural balance. Needles may be inserted briefly and removed or left in for a period of time.
Acupuncture needles are not like those used in Western medicine and will cause little or no discomfort. There may be a slight sensation when the needle initially meets the acupuncture point, often described as a dull ache, feeling of heaviness or tingling. This sensation quickly fades, bringing a feeling of comfort and relaxation.
Most people find acupuncture to be very relaxing and are able to fall aspeep 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.
Each treatment is customized specifically for you based on your chief complaints, health concerns and in accordance with your Chinese pattern presentation. Most points selected are from the knees to toes, elbows to hands, head and scalp, back and abdomen. Needle placement may or may not vary from treatment to treatment, depending upon your assessment, constitution, and chief complaints at the time.
Once needles are placed in the body you will rest for about 20 minutes with the needles in place. After the allotted time, needles are removed from the body, you will 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 treatment. Be sure to drink plenty of water following acupuncture, and give yourself some time before doing anything too stressful or taxing to your body.