It’s important to note that the specifics of a patient’s first acupuncture appointment may vary slightly depending on the practitioner’s style, the patient’s condition, and the clinic’s protocols. During a patient’s first acupuncture appointment, they can expect a comprehensive evaluation and a treatment session tailored to their specific needs. Here’s what you can typically expect:
- Before the initial visit, you may be required to complete medical assessments or questionnaires to provide detailed information about your health. This helps the acupuncturist gain a comprehensive understanding of your condition. Before proceeding with the treatment, you will be asked to sign an informed consent form, ensuring you are fully aware of the procedure, its potential benefits, and any risks involved.
As part of the initial visit, the clinic staff will check your blood pressure and weight to gather baseline health measurements. The acupuncturist will begin by asking you questions about your medical history, current symptoms, lifestyle, and overall health. They may inquire about your sleep patterns, stress levels, diet, and emotional well-being. This information helps the acupuncturist to understand your unique constitution and develop a personalized treatment plan.
For your comfort and convenience, we suggest choosing loose-fitting clothing that can be easily rolled up, especially if you wear pants or long sleeves. This allows the acupuncturist to access the specific areas targeted for treatment. Alternatively, if you prefer, we have shorts and a comfortable cape available for your use.
- The acupuncturist may conduct a physical examination, which may involve checking your pulse, observing your tongue’s color and coating, and palpating certain areas of your body. These assessments provide additional insights into your overall health and guide the treatment strategy.
Based on the information gathered from the consultation and examination, the acupuncturist will discuss their diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. They may explain the acupuncture points they will target and their rationale. They may also suggest other complementary therapies such as herbal remedies, cupping, or moxibustion if deemed appropriate.
- You’ll typically lie on a treatment table, and the acupuncturist will gently insert thin, sterile needles into specific acupuncture points on your body. The needles are usually left in place for 15 to 30 minutes while you relax. You may feel a slight tingling sensation, warmth, or a dull ache around the needle, but acupuncture is generally not painful.
- After removing the needles, the acupuncturist may provide post-treatment recommendations. These may include lifestyle modifications, dietary suggestions, exercise, or self-care practices to enhance the effects of the treatment and promote your overall well-being.
- Depending on your condition, the acupuncturist may recommend a series of follow-up appointments. Acupuncture is often most effective in multiple sessions, each building upon the previous ones. Your individual needs and progress will determine the frequency and duration of follow-up visits.
- Acupuncture should not hurt. Acupuncture needles are solid, sterile, disposable needles with a fine point; hypodermic needles are hollow with a sharp cutting tip. At the needle insertion site, you may experience a dull or achy sensation beneath the needle, which will dissipate shortly after insertion. Common sensations felt during treatment:
- Pressure or heaviness
- Warmth at the insertion site or all over the body
No, TCM complements Western medicine. Studies have found that TCM has improved the results of Western medical treatments. Advanced Integrative Health Group is committed to partnering with you and collaborating with other healthcare providers and caregivers to promote your well-being and vitality.
- The frequency of treatments depends on your condition, the severity of the condition, and how your body responds to treatment. Acupuncture is a cumulative therapy, and regularity and consistency are key to achieving results. For chronic pain, it is best to start with an intensive plan coming in for treatment more frequently for several weeks. While acute conditions often respond more quickly and need fewer treatments. Your practitioner will assess your progress and determine whether treatment should continue at this pace or if appointments can be spaced out more on a maintenance schedule
In Western medical theory, acupuncture works by stimulating parts of the brain. Acupuncture stimulates the body to release biochemical and signaling pathways such as neurotransmitters, vasodilators, and hormones. Acupuncture helps us relax and shift into our parasympathetic nervous system or rest-relax-digest state. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the body can reset and heal.
- One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is that it has virtually no side effects. Unlike prescription medication and other therapies, adverse side effects of acupuncture are uncommon. Acupuncture needles are pre-sterilized, individually packaged, and disposable. Acupuncturists undergo extensive training and are regulated by the individual states’ medical boards.
- Acupuncture is a complementary alternative medical therapy that is commonly covered by insurance. Currently, an increasing number of plans are covering acupuncture treatment. Give us a call, and we will verify if your insurance will cover treatment at our office and to what extent. Some insurance plans require preauthorization for acupuncture.
- Chinese Herbal medicine is a safe and effective form of natural medicine. Your practitioner will prescribe a unique herbal formula that is designed to focus on and address your specific concerns. Chinese herbs should always be taken as prescribed, and you should immediately mention any new or changes in medications to your practitioner.