What to Expect
During the initial exam a full health history is taken. Questions are asked regarding health, symptoms, and lifestyle. An appropriate physical exam is conducted, including pulse and tongue diagnosis (if indicated).
Gathering this information enables the practitioner to effectively diagnose and detect any specific imbalances of Qi that may have contributed to a persons health problems. The practitioner can then create a well-structured treatment plan.
Once the imbalances of Qi are detected, an acupuncturist will place fine, sterile needles at specific acupoints along meridian pathways. This safe and painless insertion of the needles can unblock the obstruction and balance Qi where it has become unbalanced. Once this is done, Qi can freely circulate throughout the body, providing adequate nourishment to cells, organs, glands, tissues and muscles. This can eliminate pain and restore balance and harmony, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself—ultimately leading to optimal health and well-being.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a safe, effective and drug-free therapy that can help address a wide variety of common ailments and problems.
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Your First Visit
Initial visits generally last from 30 to 90 minutes. Your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history, perform a physical exam, and provide you with your unique treatment plan.
During your first exam, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. You may be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional states and anything that may offer insight into your health.
Your practitioner may also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such as tongue and pulse diagnosis.
Your treatment plan
Once your acupuncturist has gathered enough information, you’ll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:
- Your underlying imbalances
- Your time line of care
- What types of treatment you will receive
Getting the most out of treatment
For the best treatment results, keep a few things in mind:
- Please show up on time
- Don’t eat a large meal before your visit
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes
- Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your acupuncturist
- Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for at least six hours after treatment
- Follow your treatment plan between visits
- Keep all of your appointments, as each visit builds upon the previous ones
How treatment works
To treat any Qi imbalances, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways. Your acupuncturist will concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs, based on your unique issues and symptoms.
Your acupuncturist may include other related therapies in your treatment plan, such as cupping, Gwa Sha or moxabustion. Herbal remedies are another important aspect of acupuncture and TCM, and it is important to understand and follow your practitioner’s directions in order to get the most benefit from these treatments.
Your role in the healing process
Your actions are a key component of your treatment plan. Focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take for your well-being. Together, you and your acupuncturist can heal your imbalances and help you achieve harmony and balance.
Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture can assist you in maintaining your health, and possibly prevent future imbalances. The more you incorporate acupuncture and TCM into your life, the more you’ll learn to nurture your body, mind and spirit.