What's an Appointment Like?
Great care is taken to make an acupuncture appointment as relaxing, comfortable, and effective as possible!
During your first visit, which is two hours long, we will discuss at length at length your symptoms, history, and goals. Because acupuncture is a holistic medicine, this may involve asking about seemingly unrelated aspects of your life. This information is used to craft treatments that are especially appropriate for you personally, addressing the symptoms you are currently concerned about, symptoms it never would have occurred to you to mention, and potential issues that might be prevented in the future. If you fill out your new patient paperwork in advance, this can be a relatively quick process so we have more time for the acupuncture treatment.
You will also be given the opportunity to ask any questions or state any concerns that are on your mind. Always keep in mind that my treatment room is a safe, judgement free zone where you are held in the highest regard. Don't feel embarrassed to bring up anything that you feel is relevant to your comfort or healing. You will always be met with deep listening, appreciation, and respect.
Next is a brief physical exam, including the feeling of pulses and examination of the tongue. These help diagnose the overall state of your body, corroborate any preliminary theories about your symptoms, and provide more guidance about which is the right treatment for you.
Then comes the acupuncture itself. You will be asked to lie comfortably on a treatment table and roll up any sleeves and pant legs (so wear loose clothes). Sometimes I will also need access to your back or torso. Very fine, sterile, single-use needles will be used to stimulate the appropriate points. The insertion can go as slowly as you like to help you feel as comfortable as possible. Often, once the needles are in, I will ask you to test the area of pain or gauge your mood to see if there have been any immediate changes.
Once the needles are inserted, you will lie with them retained for some period of time. The temperature and lighting can be adjusted to aid your relaxation. You may also watch the peaceful aquatic life in the nearby fish tank or listen to the calming music of your choice. I will leave the room to let you rest peacefully, but you will be given a buzzer to call me back if necessary.
After a period of time, the needles will be removed and I will feel the pulses again to gauge if the treatment achieved our goals. We will talk about how to monitor the results until we see each other again so I can gauge how successful it was and adjust future treatment planning accordingly. I will also provide any wellness coaching necessary to optimize your results.
In follow-up visits, which are one hour long, we will check in at the beginning for ten or fifteen minutes before proceeding to the acupuncture treatment. Once again, I will check your pulses and tongue, insert the needles, and let you rest comfortably.