What is a typical initial acupuncture visit like?:

The initial acupuncture visit usually takes you about 1.5 hours. After you complete the initial paperwork (please do this in advance, or arrive 15 minutes early), I will take you into a private treatment room where we will discuss your symptoms and health history in detail.

As Acupuncture & Eastern Medicine is holistic in nature, I will ask you a long series of questions. They range from how your energy fluctuates during the day to what your sleep and digestion are like. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for me to diagnose and treat you.

We’ll also review the forms that you completed for your initial acupuncture visit, along with any relevant lab tests you may have. This discussion usually takes 30-60 minutes of the initial visit, depending on the complexity of your case.

Besides asking you questions, I’ll be also be gathering information by observing, listening, and touching injured areas and acupuncture points and channels.

At some point I will ask to see your tongue (please don’t brush your tongue for a day before your visit). I’ll be observing the size, shape and color of the tongue body, the color of the tongue coating, the location of any abnormalities on the tongue, and the spirit of the tongue. All this provides additional information for your Eastern Medicine diagnosis.

I will also feel your pulses on both wrists. This provides detailed information on the state of energy in your body and may reveal additional issues to discuss. I may also palpate other areas of your body to examine injuries, levels of muscle tension and tenderness, and press points on your abdomen as well to check for tightness and discomfort.

After observing and talking with you, I’ll formulate an Eastern Medicine diagnosis that will provide the basis for your treatment plan and prognosis. Your treatment plan will include acupuncture and other methods of treatment. Over the course of the treatment plan, usually 2-4 weeks at 1-2 times per week, you should start feeling significantly better.

I’ll then administer an acupuncture treatment. Patients usually lie comfortably on their back and get treated on the front of their body. If needed, you may also lie on your stomach with a comfortable headrest and cushioning and get an acupuncture treatment on your back.

The treatment room will be warm; the massage table heated, and there’ll be pleasant music playing in the background. Most people experience a nice relaxation feeling as the their body releases natural endorphins and other healing promoting chemicals in response to the insertion of the acupuncture needles. After the needles are in you’ll rest for about 30 minutes. Patients often have a nice restorative power nap. I’ll check on you during the treatment to see how you are doing, and remove your needles at the end of the treatment.

Besides acupuncture, I may do bodywork and manual therapy in the form of acupressure, suction cups, or scraping (guasha). I also use Chinese herbal medicine, heat including moxibustion, therapeutic exercises, lifestyle counseling, nutritional supplements, and nutritional counseling to help you heal and get back into balance more quickly.

During and after the treatment I’ll review and discuss any recommendations I may have for you, along with your prognosis and treatment plan.