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Acupuncture and You

August 7, 2019

What to Expect in Your First Acupuncture Treatment! 

New to acupuncture? So many new clients ask me about what they can expect from a treatment, so I thought I would lay it all out there so that you can get a better understanding of what to expect when you get a treatment.

 

First: 

You’ve made the appointment. YAY! You’re emailed the obligatory forms that every medical professional needs you to fill out. Before you roll your eyes, these forms are actually very important to help the acupuncturist (me!) get a better feel for your personal health history. You might not think it’s important to tell me that you have a history of  insomnia or something else, but it can provide a hint as to what might be going on with your constitution. 

 

Second: 

It’s time for your appointment! Once you’re in the room, I will begin an “intake” to suss out the particulars of your complaint(s) and the symptoms involved. You will be asked some seemingly random questions regarding things like your digestion, your sleep, etc. I will also take vitals like your blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate, just as you would have done at any doctor’s office. I will also feel your pulse and look at your tongue. This always makes most new folks giggle! They ask me, “You want to look at my tongue?!” The tongue provides so much information! I am looking at the color of the tongue, the size, if there are any sores or teeth-marks, or if there is a coat. Because the tongue tells me so much, please refrain from brushing or scraping your tongue on the day of the visit! The pulse, felt at both wrists, can also give me a hint as to what is going on with your body. 

 

Third:

It’s time for the treatment! There are many different modalities and approaches that can be taken in an acupuncture treatment. Before anything begins, I will explain what I would like to do to help – and make sure you understand what all modalities will entail. It is never fun to be at a medical professional’s office and not understand what is happening! Feel free to ask any questions! The most common modalities are acupuncture with thin, single use sterile needles, cupping (made famous by Michael Phelps!), tuina (Asian bodywork similar to massage), or gua sha (scraping or rubbing of the skin with a tool). I always encourage you to take a look at any tools I might be using just so you know what they look like. Take away some of the mystery!

 

Fourth: 

Treatment is over. This is always the worst part! However, this is when you and I discuss a Plan of Care for your continued treatment. We will discuss any dietary or herbal formulas that might benefit you. Also, I will show you certain exercises or stretches that might help with pain management. It is also important to remember that like all other therapy options, regular acupuncture appointments are key to improving overall health and wellbeing. Your health is unique to you, so it is important to have a Plan of Care that is just as unique!

 

Fifth: 

Book another appointment!