What to Expect
During the initial consultation, the practitioner takes a comprehensive history of health and illness. This provides a diagram of the overall state of the body, not just a particular symptom. The practitioner asks questions, takes your pulse, examines your tongue, and sometimes palpates your abdomen. The initial visit usually lasts 1 1/2 hours including the treatment. Subsequent visits usually last about 1 hour. and are done on a weekly basis depending on the patients need for treatment. The course of treatments can vary widely. Problems that have been around for a long time usually take more treatments to resolve than ones that have come about recently. Your treatment course will be determined after the initial consultation and re-assessed after each visit.
It is best to wear shorts or loose clothing so that the arms and legs below the elbows and knees, as well as the abdomen are accessible. It is also best not to eat a heavy meal or engage in strenuous activity just before or after your treatment. It is important, however, that you have eaten something the day of your treatment so that your body has energy to work with.
Many people are uncomfortable with acupuncture because of a fear of needles. However, acupuncture needles bear little resemblance to the needles used for injections. Acupuncture needles are about as thick as a hair and are quite flexible, while conventional needles must be thick enough for liquid to move through. Since acupuncture needles are so thin, the experience of being needled is totally unique.