Your first appointment will take 1.5 hours. The treatment begins with a review of the Health History Questionnaire. This allows the Acupuncturist to assess your current and past conditions and how they relate to your body’s present situation. The Acupuncturist will ask many questions related to your health, symptoms, conditions that make your symptoms better or worse, time of day when your symptoms are better or worse and more. This is a very important part of the appointment and may require 20-30 minutes because, besides trauma cases, it allows the Acupuncturist to determine what is not functioning properly within your body to allow your condition to arise.
Next, the Acupuncturist will perform am exam. The exam will include looking at your tongue and feeling the pulse on both wrists. In Chinese Medicine, the functions within the body are reflected on the tongue and 6 places in the pulse on the wrist. She may watch you walk if you are having an issue with a hip/knee/ankle/foot, she may check the injury, look for general swelling, edema, posture, body positioning, personality traits, check for tight muscles etc…
Once the Acupuncturist has determined the best treatment plan to use, you will either sit in a chair (if positional restrictions apply) or lie on a treatment table in a comfortable, relaxed position. You will be fully clothed or wearing clothing that allows points to be available for the Acupuncturist. It is recommended to wear loose fitting clothing so that knees and elbows are exposed. At times, a camisole is needed in order to make shoulders available.
Using Clean Needle Technique, the body points to be used will be wiped with alcohol and sterile, one-time-use needles will be used and discarded properly. Needle insertion is performed quickly and accurately to stimulate the point for a healing effect. Everyone feels the effects of the needles differently when they are inserted. Some feelings include pulsation, pressure, ache, warmth, or cool sensations at the actual point location with some people sensing energy movement between points or areas of the body. The points are chosen for their specific action on the body. Other techniques used within a session include KT Taping, Ear Acupuncture, Ear Seeds, Magnets, Cupping, Electro-Acupuncture, Gua Sha, Chinese Tui Na Massage, Infra-Red Technology, Cold Laser, Qi Gong energy work, Cranio-Sacral work and Moxibustion/Heat Therapy. These are adjunctive techniques, if needed, to assist with the acupuncture treatment. The needles will remain in place for 20-30 minutes depending on your physical condition and the issue being treated.
Once the needles are removed and other adjunctive treatments have been completed, the Acupuncturist may recommend diet therapy exclusive for your condition or utilize energy work such as Qi Gong. Qi Gong is an effective addition to the treatment which adds or moves energy within the body to decrease pain or increase range of motion in your joints and muscles.
You should not perform any strenuous activity for 1 day following your treatment as this will slow or prevent the treatment from being effective. You will feel very relaxed after the treatment and should try to maintain this feeling for the rest of the day.
Depending on the duration of your illness and how your body reacts to the treatments, the Acupuncturist will determine an estimated number and frequency of treatments needed to clear the condition. Typically you will need 2 treatments within 7 days, then 1 treatment per week for two or three weeks, then you start skipping weeks. The Acupuncturist’s goal is to get you better fast so you can be your best self and be able to do the things you enjoy. Alternatively, we do have patients that use acupuncture to maintain wellness in general and some that need to maintain acupuncture treatments because the cause of their condition is out of their control so acupuncture maintains their health.