Initial visits generally last 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 will 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, he/she will discuss an appropriate treatment plan and you will receive your first treatment. We usually recommend doing 3 visits about a week apart when you first get started with acupuncture. After the third visit, your practitioner can more clearly recommend a time line of care based on how your body responds to those initial treatments and depending on how complex your condition is.
Getting the most out of treatment
For the best treatment results, keep a few things in mind:
- Please show up 5 minutes before your appointment start time
- Don’t eat a large meal just before your visit but a snack or small meal within 3 hours of your appointment time is a good idea
- 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, cold laser therapy, and/or nutritional recommendations. 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 address 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.
Acupuncture is not an instant fix.
True healing takes time and dedication. Depending on your current health and symptoms, you could feel better right away, or you may need treatments for weeks, months or years to achieve the results you want. Your acupuncturist can give you an idea of what to expect but with a little patience and an open mind, you’ll be on your way to health and vitality.
Acupuncture and TCM offer a safe and effective holistic health care system. This natural approach can both resolve symptoms and enhance your overall health.
By taking the right steps and planting the seeds of health, you are on the road to a healthier you!