Before your initial acupuncture treatment, your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history. During Covid, this will happen by phone and will last 15-45 minutes. Acupuncture sessions last about 40 minutes.
During this first intake, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. You will be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, digestive health, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional states and anything that may offer insight into your health.
At your first in person visit, your practitioner will also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) such as tongue and pulse diagnosis.
Treatments occur on a massage table that is draped with a clean sheet.
Needles are sterile and only used once. They are very fine, more like a filament or thick strand of hair than a needle. The experience is nothing like getting a shot.
Once all of your points are in, you will relax on the table for about 20 minutes. You can enjoy silence, soft music or a guided meditation – your choice! Patients often nap.
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 when possible, 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 moxibustion (an external herbal treatment) or sound wave therapy. Herbal remedies, nutrition and lifestyle recommendations are other aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is important to understand and follow your practitioner’s directions in order to get the most benefit.
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. For wellness care, it is recommended to come in at least once a season. If you know you tend to have issues during a particular time of year – such as allergies in the spring – please come in shortly before then to strengthen and balance your system.
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 to achieve the results you want. Your acupuncturist can give you an idea of what to expect. 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!