When You Arrive
If you have not had previous experience with Chinese medicine, be prepared for a cultural experience that can not only relieve your medical condition, but also enrich your life. Make sure you ask questions if you don’t understand something.
Your first visit for acupuncture will be much like the first visit to a Western doctor. The visit starts with filling out medical history forms. It is important to answer all questions accurately to assist the acupuncturist in evaluating your condition. Acupuncture is part of “Traditional Chinese Medicine,” which is typically a more holistic approach than Western medicine. After reviewing your records, our acupuncturist will begin the diagnosis. As part of the diagnostic procedure, the pulse and tongue are examined. You will also be asked questions pertaining to your emotions, sleeping patterns, ability to tolerate heat and cold, current diet, etc. These questions may seem unrelated to your reason for making the visit but they are often important to your diagnosis.
Using all of the information gathered, our acupuncturist will determine a diagnosis, the “cause” of the symptoms that you have described (the reason for your visit). A treatment plan is devised, and then implimented by the insertion of very fine, sterile, disposable needles into specific acu-points that will aid bringing the body back into “homeostasis” or balance, thus removing the source of the symptoms.
About The Treatment Allow at least an hour to 90 minutes for the first visit. The actual treatment will last around 30 to 60 minutes. During treatment, people may experience acupuncture differently, but most feel no or minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Since the treatment goal is the restoration and balance of the body’s Qi, some patients will experience a burst of energy while others may feel relaxed or even tired after a treatment . During treatment, many people experience a sense of calm and well being, like meditation. Some even fall into a deep relaxing sleep. Small, localized bruises from minor bleeding under the skin are rare, but do happen. These are no cause for alarm, and despite the cosmetic inconvenience, they actually provide a kind of bonus treatment. The reabsorption of the blood continues the stimulation of the acupuncture point even without the presence of the needle.
About The Needles I use single use disposable needles taken from a sealed package for each patient each time. The needles are usually inserted by placing them in a “tube-like” holder to keep them from bending upon insertion, then the acupuncturist will “tap” the top of the holder to insert the thin needle to the desired depth. The holder is then removed, leaving the actual needle in place. The needles are left in place for a presribed period of time (up to 30 minutes) before removal. Depending on the treatment plan, from one to several dozen needles could be inserted in various points.
Some new clients may feel afraid of the use of needles. Actually, the pain from acupuncture is much less than Western injection. In Western medicine, needles are used to inject medicine or to withdraw fluids from the body. The needles are hollow and the tip is beveled and sharpened so that it can cut the skin upon entry. In comparison to Acupuncture needles, Western needles are huge because the diameter needs to be large enough to transfer the thick fluids of the body. Acupuncture needles are very thin and solid. They are not designed to cut the skin, but to displace the skin and stimulate areas beneath the skin. Therefore, you will feel no or minimal pain from acupuncture needles.