“Lingering diseases are still curable, those whose regard such diseases as incurable have not actually mastered the skills.”
– Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Medicine · Spiritual Pivot
《黄帝内经 · 素问》
Initial visits generally last from 30 to 60 minutes. Your acupuncturist will take a detailed health history, perform a physical exam, and provide you with your unique treatment plan. During your first exam, your acupuncturist will spend time getting to know you and your health concerns. You may be asked a wide range of questions about your symptoms, eating, exercise, sleep habits, emotional states and anything that may offer insight into your health. Your practitioner will also employ diagnostic tools that are unique to acupuncture and TCM such as tongue and pulse diagnosis.
Before having acupuncture treatment
Before your first acupuncture session there are several things you should bear in mind:
- many commonly used acupuncture points are located on the lower arms and legs, so it is
- helpful to wear clothing that allows easy access to these areas
- try not to go for treatment on an empty stomach or straight after a heavy meal
- do let your practitioner know if you are completely new to acupuncture so they can take
- extra time to explain what happens and ensure you are comfortable with the process.
Your first session
During your first session, your acupuncturist needs to gain a thorough understanding of your main complaint and your general health and lifestyle. This involves asking questions about your current symptoms and your medical history, as well as such things as your sleeping pattern, your appetite and digestion, and your emotional wellbeing. Women are also asked about their menstrual cycle and any past pregnancies and childbirth. You might feel that some questions appear unrelated to your condition but the information you give helps your practitioner to form a more complete picture of your health and lifestyle. Your acupuncturist will also take your pulse on both wrists and may examine your tongue and feel for areas of muscular tension or pain.
Your main health complaint
When talking about your main complaint, the practitioner might ask you to describe in your own words what the symptoms feel like and how severe they are. You may also be asked how long you have been having the symptoms, whether they are constant or intermittent and how frequent they are. You should mention any medication that you are taking and whether you have tried any other therapies. In order to make a diagnosis according to traditional Chinese medicine theory and to find the right treatment approach, the practitioner will also want to know more specific details.
Your treatment plan
Based on all the information you have given, the practitioner will make a diagnosis and put together your treatment plan, which may include lifestyle and dietary advice as well as acupuncture. Your practitioner will use very fine single-use pre-sterilised needles to stimulate specific acupuncture points on your body. Because energy meridians range across the whole body, the points used are not necessarily close to where you experience pain or discomfort. For example, if you suffer from headaches needles might be inserted in your foot or hand.
Once your acupuncturist has gathered enough information, you'll receive a comprehensive diagnosis and a treatment plan that will explain:
- Your underlying imbalances
- The goal of achievement
- Your timeline of care
- What types of treatment you will receive
Getting the most out of treatment
For the best treatment results, keep a few things in mind:
- Please show up on time
- Don't eat a large meal before your visit
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes
- Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your acupuncturist
- Refrain from overexertion, drugs or alcohol for at least six hours after treatment
- Follow your treatment plan between visits
- Keep all of your appointments, as each visit builds upon the previous ones
How treatment works
To treat any health imbalances, fine, sterile needles will be inserted at specific acupuncture points along the meridian pathways. Your acupuncturist will concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs, based on your unique issues and symptoms. Your acupuncturist may include other related therapies in your treatment plans, such as cupping, Gwa Sha or moxibustion. Herbal remedies are another important aspect of acupuncture and TCM, and it is important to understand and follow your practitioner's directions in order to get the most benefit from these treatments.
Your role in the healing process
Your actions are a key component of your treatment plan. Focusing on your health and committing to a healthy lifestyle are the best steps you can take for your well-being. Together, you and your acupuncturist at City Acupuncture can heal your imbalances and help you achieve harmony and balance. Even after your symptoms are resolved, acupuncture can assist you in maintaining your health, and possibly prevent future imbalances. The more you incorporate acupuncture and TCM into your life, the more you'll learn to nurture your body, mind and spirit.
Acupuncture is not an instant fix? It depends.
True healing takes time and dedication. Depending on your current health and symptoms, you could feel better right away, or you may need treatments for weeks or months to achieve the results you want. However, for the new onset of sports injury and muscular strain two or three sessions would be sufficient. Your acupuncturist can give you an idea of what to expect. With a little patience and an open mind, you'll be on your way to health and vitality. Acupuncture and TCM offer a safe and effective holistic health care system. This natural approach can both resolve symptoms and enhance your overall health. By taking the right steps and planting the seeds of health, you are on the road to a healthier you!
Your acupuncturist is likely to suggest ways in which you can enhance the long-term effects of your treatment. This may involve making changes to your diet and daily routine. If necessary you will be referred to other healthcare practitioners for specialist care.
Most people find acupuncture relaxing and often feel very calm after treatment. You may feel a little tired or sleepy and should take this into account if you are planning to drive or use heavy machinery straight after your treatment. You should refrain from vigorous exercise after treatment and, ideally, give yourself a little time to rest. It is also advisable not to drink alcohol for several hours after treatment. Acupuncture has very few side effects and any that do occur are usually mild and self-correcting. Cupping and Scraping therapy can sometimes temporarily mark the skin. Such bruising is painless and generally clears within a day or two.