Your practitioner will conduct a full medical intake and discuss your health concerns. This will include checking your wrist pulses, tongue diagnosis and may involve hands on palpation and/or musculoskeletal assessment, if you are in pain. An explanation of your individualized acupuncture and herbal medicine treatment plan will also be conducted at this time, including how many treatments it may take to cure your health concern.
Your practitioner will have you lie on a massage table and will proceed with an acupuncture treatment while you listen to soothing music. Occasionally patients experience a slight burning, pinching, or aching sensation when the needles are first inserted, but this goes away very quickly. Treatments can be deeply relaxing and often-times patients fall asleep. Follow-up treatments will usually involve massage, moxibustion, or cupping, however, there will not be time for these during the first treatment.
Once the needles are inserted, your practitioner will leave them in for approximately 30 minutes.
Your practitioner will write up your treatment plan, including any dietary recommendations, if appropriate. If an herbal formula is prescribed, your acupuncturist will prepare your herbs and directions for how to take them. If any educational materials are needed, those will be included in the treatment plan package as well.
The needles will then be removed, and you will likely feel a sense of clarity, well-being, or lightness. Usually a follow-up appointment is scheduled after a review of the materials prepared for you.
After Your Acupuncture Treatment:
How will I feel? You may feel "spacey," especially after your first treatment, so you may want to schedule enough time to relax or sleep afterwards. It is also normal to feel emotional after a treatment, and knowing this can help you avoid intense emotional situations.
Will my symptoms be gone? Sometimes patients get off the table and can't believe that they are pain free. Other times, it takes until the next morning or even a couple days later until your body feels better. Occasionally, symptoms get worse for a day or two afterwards. For these cases, the treatment helps your body understand the root cause of your condition and it works overtime to resolve it. While this may be normal, please call us so that we can make sure that your condition is not actually worsening. For women, regulation of your cycle or reducing hot flashes usually requires the addition of an herbal formula and concurrent acupuncture treatments. The same is true for increasing fertility for men or women.
Are Chinese herbs for me? Depending on your diagnosis your practitioner will discuss which type of herbal formula is best for you. Some formulas are prepackaged as pills, or they may come as granules that are dissolved in hot water. Other formulas are "whole herb" formulas. Whole herb formulas require boiling to make an herbal tea. All herbs are tested for safety and purity and are only recommended after a careful review of a patient's current nutritional supplements and prescription medications. While some herbal formulas have ginger or cinnamon, which taste good, many formulas taste earthy or woody, which is unpleasant for some patients. However, if it's the right formula for your body, you should be able to easily tolerate and even enjoy it. Your practitioner will work with you to customize a formula that is perfect for you.
How many treatments will I need? The number and frequency needed depends on the nature, severity and duration of your presenting condition. Many patients experience a certain amount of relief after just one or two treatments. However, severe or chronic conditions can require more frequent care.