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Woman Receiving Acupuncture

Initial Acupuncture Appointment

How should I prepare for my treatment?

  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that will allow us access to your body.

  • Be sure to eat a snack or small meal an hour or two before your appointment.

  • If possible, avoid strenuous activity or exercise after your treatment. 

  • Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine before and after.

  • Do drink plenty of water before and after your treatment.

What does the initial treatment consist of?

Together we will review your medical history, health concerns, and current medications.  Then we will complete a Chinese medical intake and exam.  The intake will include the ten questions used to make a diagnosis in Chinese Medicine: preferred temperature/sweat, head/face symptoms, chest concerns, digestive function, elimination, urination, reproduction, mental/emotional state, lifestyle (diet/sleep/exercise/alcohol/drugs), and pain.  The exam will include all appropriate orthopedic testing, observing the tongue, feeling the pulse at the wrist, and palpating the body as needed.  A treatment plan is then discussed based on the findings that will set measurable outcomes to meet your goals - this could include acupuncture, massage or accessory techniques, herbal and nutritional therapy, movement therapy, and lifestyle changes.  Then you will be made comfortable for your treatment, and your practitioner will guide you through the process before needling or providing any other therapeutic services.

What will I feel?

Each person experiences acupuncture a little differently, and it will even vary for an individual from day to day.  Depending on the issue being addressed, some people might benefit immediately, others might feel a difference in a few hours or days.  Patients are often pleasantly surprised at how comfortable and relaxing acupuncture can be.  The needling sensations of heaviness, dullness, warmth, or achiness are often described at the site of insertion.

How many treatments will I need?

After your initial evaluation, you will be given recommendations on the number and frequency of treatments.  Acupuncture has a cumulative effect.  The frequency at which acupuncture is needed depends heavily on what is being treated and patient compliance with the treatment plan.  For more acute issues, the sooner and more frequent, the better.  Often in more chronic cases, more time between treatments may be preferred, but these details depend upon the individual practitioner's style of practice and other modalities. 

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