Your Initial Appointment
Your first appointment usually lasts about one and one half hours. Try and arrive 10-15 minutes prior to your first appointment so you may have ample time to fill out the new patient forms. Reviewing the forms, we will discuss your past health and medical history, your lifestyle, your concerns and your goals for treatment. We may also discuss the difference between western and eastern medicine. These conversations are an important part of the diagnostic process.
We will perform a pulse diagnosis. Acupuncture pulses are a qualitative reflection of the six major energy systems of the body. They are taken on both wrists in three locations. The information obtained goes far beyond the heart rate information obtained by conventional Western medicine pulse taking. We'll also perform a tongue diagnosis. The doctor will look at your tongue which, in chinese medicine, can obtain much information about your general health. The doctor will then palpate your body. Palpitation is nothing more than physical touching of the body in the affected areas. This is necessary in order to determine the most effective acupuncture points for your treatment.
Wear comfortable or loose clothing with an under garment. Depending on the treatment, you might even remain fully clothed. If you prefer, gowns and linens are always available. In some cases, a gown will be given if your particular treatment calls for it.
Patients are encouraged to leave plenty of time both before and after their treatment. Rigorous exercise, sexual activities, eating a full meal, and consuming alcohol should be avoided immediately before and after a treatment for at least 1 hour. In many cases, acupuncture will be augmented by other therapies such as cupping, massages, moxibustion, and E-stim treatments, etc. For first time patients, I will explain the treatment step by step as I proceed.
How you'll feel afterwards varies greatly from patient to patient and from session to session. Some treatments may leave you relaxed and energized; others may leave you with a desire to rest.
Follow-up visits usually last from forty five minutes to one and one half hours. The doctor will begin by asking you about any changes you might have felt since your last treatment and if you have any new concerns. After the assessment, we will proceed with the appropriate treatment.
How often you will need treatment, will depend upon your individual needs. For average conditions, one treatment at least once a week for at least three to six consecutive weeks. Most conditions show significant improvement within three to twelve sessions.
For health maintenance or preventative care, 4 treatments per season or 12 treatments per calendar year.