During your first exam, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. They will take a detailed health history, perform a physical exam, and provide you with your unique treatment plan. 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.
Generally, initial visits last for 90 minutes and followup visits last for 30-60 minutes.
Your treatment plan
Once your acupuncturist has gathered enough information, you’ll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:
- Your underlying imbalances
- Your time line of care
- What types of treatment you will receive
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, 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. 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.