What should I expect from my acupuncture treatment?
Generally, your first consultation will be longer than the follow-up sessions and it usually lasts up to 90 minutes. The follow-up sessions would usually take around 45-60 minutes.
In order to gain a thorough understanding of your health condition many diagnostic methods will be used to put together an individual treatment plan based on your state of health and lifestyle.
Firstly you will have an interview where you will be asked questions about your current symptoms but also about your health history. You may have questions that may appear to be irrelevant to your main complaint but those are important for us and will increase the accuracy of diagnosis.
The typical questionnaire includes among others: medication, diet, sleeping patterns, digestive and urinary functions, sexual function, menstrual period, emotional quality and basic level of stress.
After the questionnaire comes the body diagnosis where we may feel for areas of muscular tension or pain and abdomen palpation. If convenient, you should wear loose-fitting clothes, such as the type of kit that you would normally wear for sporting activities, or anything similar. Draping will be provided to ensure modesty if necessary.
Tongue diagnosis is another very important diagnostic technique as the tongue is thought to be a 'microcosm' of the entire body. Colour, coating and shape of the tongue will be observed. It is important not to scrape or brush your tongue on the day of your treatment. Additionally, eating highly coloured foods or drinking highly coloured drinks may impede diagnosis.
Taking the pulse in both wrists is the cornerstone of any Chinese medicine diagnosis as it gives to the practitioner information about your entire body and everything in it. That will take a minute or so on each side and it will be felt several times during and after the treatment.
Having all the above information into account the practitioner will make the diagnosis and will proceed with the treatment which will consists on the gentle insertion of 3 to 6 single-use sterile needles. It may also involve the use of moxibustion (the burning of a medical herb either directly on the body or indirectly form an inch or so away). Needles will stay for about 20 minutes and the final removal of the needles is usually painless.