What to Expect During Your Treatment

During your first visit, we will work together to determine the nature of your symptoms. A thorough, detailed evaluation of your symptoms will be completed, including your past medical and family history, general body systems and lifestyle habits. Your vital signs including pulse and blood pressure will be taken and we will examine your tongue. A diagnosis will be made, we will discuss your individualized plan of care and course of treatment (including frequency and duration) and you will receive your first treatment.

A combination of techniques and strategies will be utilized during your course of treatment. Your treatment plan will be highly individualized to your specific needs. It will include education in self care and may include a combination of the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Non-needle techniques (acupressure, tapping and gentle low-level electrical stimulation) for infants, children and those averse to needle insertion
  • Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency Therapy
  • Chinese medical massage and soft tissue mobilization (known as tui-na)
  • Conventional rehabilitation massage
  • Application of modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, low-level laser therapy
  • Application of moxabustion, gua-sha and cupping
  • Prescription of therapeutic exercise and stretching
  • Tai qi or qi gong exercises
  • Instruction in breathing techniques and meditation for deep relaxation
  • Dietary counseling including the therapeutic use of food and supplements
  • Sleep hygiene education
  • Stress management and lifestyle counseling
  • Prescription of Chinese herbal medicine
  • Prescription of homeopathic medicine

Your first visit will last approximately one hour and follow up visits last approximately 30 minutes. Treatment with acupuncture should be comfortable and many patients find it to be relaxing. During your treatment, fine needles will be carefully inserted into the chosen acupuncture points. The needles used are sterile and disposable, very thin and have a rounded tip that is designed to gently part the skin, unlike the sharp cutting end of conventional medical hypodermic needles. Acupuncture needles differ from hypodermic needles in that they are solid and are ultra thin, similar in diameter to microfilaments or fiber optics. Acupuncture needles are far less likely to cause tissue damage, pain or bruising upon insertion.

As a general guideline, we will know if acupuncture is going to help you within the first several treatments. Many patients experience positive results after their first session. The length and course of your treatment will vary depending on your diagnosis and how long you have had the problem. A common misconception is that you must “believe” in acupuncture in order for it to work. As with Western medicine, acupuncture will work equally with those who believe and those who do not. It is interesting to note that acupuncture is widely and effectively used in veterinary medicine, and animals are not able to judge or assess the efficacy of treatment.