Acupuncture Chinese Medicine
What Does a Typical Acupuncture Treatment Look Like?
Your initial treatment will be longer than subsequent ones as we’ll go through a LOT of health history questions. In TCM we view all illness, pain, disease, etc. as potentially being related. Think of a tree: though it may have many branches that go in all directions, the root system is the same. Many times, the symptoms we experience are just branches of a greater root system. As your Dr. Of TCM, I want to get to the root of these issues so that you can get well as quickly as possible. Some people are confused, for example, as to why I’d be asking about how often they dream, or their bowel habits when they are coming to see me for help managing their asthma. Often these seemingly unrelated questions give me a clear picture as to what your treatment plan needs to look like. After we’ve done this thorough intake, we’ll discuss your treatment plan, which will almost always include acupuncture.
In both your intake and in every subsequent treatment, before administering acupuncture, I’ll examine your tongue and take a few minutes to feel your pulse. Both of these practices give me insight into the conditions you’re dealing with. They also help guide my treatment plan for the day. Your tongue and pulse change with your health and can even change over the course of a treatment!
An acupuncture treatment is given on a massage table, and similar to a massage, I’ll leave the room to give you the time and privacy you need to remove the required clothing, and to get covered with the sheets provided. When I return to begin the treatment, I’ll clean each site where a needle will be placed with an alcohol swab. A quick poke, a dull aching, or a light soreness around the area is not uncommon, but anything “painful” is not normal and should be communicated immediately so that I can remedy the issue. After I insert between 10-20 tiny needles (the number is dependent on your treatment plan), I’ll let you relax on the table for about 20 minutes. If you feel nervous or uncomfortable at all, I’ll do my best to make you comfortable and check on you throughout to see how you’re doing. However, most people find their acupuncture treatments to be very relaxing and enjoyable and often say they’re coming in for an “acu-nap”!
Depending on your situation, after your needles are removed, I may add on another modality at the end of your treatment. If it’s applicable to your case and you’re interested in taking a herbal formula, we’ll discuss that at this time as well. You can then get dressed and be on your way. Don’t be surprised though if I send you home with a little bit of “homework”!
After an acupuncture treatment, it's important to stay well hydrated and to try to take it easy for the remainder of the day. Some people will notice an improvement in their condition right away, and for others it may take a day or two- either is normal! But even if you do notice a marked improvement immediately, it’s important to follow through with follow- up appointments to make sure the effects are lasting.
Follow Up Appointments:
During your first treatment, we’ll discuss how often you should come in for a follow-up appointment. If you’re coming in for facial rejuvenation or fertility treatments, I’ll most likely ask to see you weekly for 8-12 weeks. If you’re coming in for an acute injury, I may suggest a couple of treatments that week and then a weekly follow-up once or twice. For health maintenance, a treatment every 6-8 weeks is most likely sufficient. These are just examples as everyone’s treatment plan will be slightly different and the way different bodies respond to acupuncture may slightly alter the plan. I don’t ever want to lead you down a road of unending treatments, your plan will be clear from the beginning.
Is Acupuncture Safe if I’m Pregnant or Breastfeeding?
Yes!!! If you’re pregnant (or think you might be), please let me know as there are certain acupuncture points we’ll avoid. But with these few points taken out of the picture, your treatment will be safe.
Acupuncture and herbs can actually bring in a stronger milk supply, and is certainly safe if you’re breastfeeding.