You will likely leave your first session feeling a sense of relief, hope and relaxation. First, we will discuss your current health issues and your health history together. I’m not satisfied with a quick fix. I want to get to the root imbalance of your health ailment and that requires learning about you, as an entire person including body, mind and spirit. If you are coming in for back pain, I will need to gather information beyond just the cause and length of your back pain. I will also ask about your digestion, sleep, and stress levels to develop a treatment plan that takes your whole personhood into account. Next, we will get you on the table. We will go through a physical exam in which I’ll take a look at your tongue, feel the pulses on each wrist, and check range of motion and alignment in your body. Gathering this information will give me a clear picture of how to proceed with your treatment plan. I give you my honest feedback- If I don’t believe that I can help you, I will tell you at your first appointment. I won’t waste your money or time unless my clinical experience gives me confidence that you are a good candidate for the therapies that I offer. I will tell you about the course of treatment that I anticipate for you, such as number of treatments and frequency of visits needed for best results. I will also let you know of herbal medicine, dietary changes, and how other therapies may benefit you in addition to acupuncture.
You will lie on a heated massage table. After washing my hands and swabbing your skin, I will insert between 7 and 12 sterile, single use needles. In many cases the points are chosen in areas far from the problem areas. Although, sometimes we will treat points in the same area that you have pain. The insertion is usually painless, although you may feel a small pinch. This may be followed by a mild sensation that can be described as achy, tingling or electric. These sensations dissipate quickly and you will become deeply relaxed and may even fall asleep on the table! Often, we will put a heated lamp over the areas that need soothing and relaxation. Some patients notice an immediate change after their first session, but that is not always the case. With chronic problems or severe problems, it takes several sessions to feel lasting results. Sometimes symptoms will abate for a day and then quickly return. Further treatment is needed to reinforce the messages that we are sending to your body for healing to take place. Like exercising and eating healthy, you must continue for a while before you see results. My aim is get you to your health goal as efficiently as possible!
If you really want the best results from acupuncture, you must participate in the process. If you expect to come in and have a treatment or two and be fixed, without any effort on your part, you may be disappointed! In order to help your body to heal, we must give it the right amount of treatment at a particular frequency. Like taking a medication, this is your “dose” needed to help your body to heal itself. I may also ask you to make temporary or long term changes in your diet or lifestyle. But, any recommendations I make are always practical and manageable, if you are willing to give the effort.
Most patients come in for a complaint that conventional medicine could not help. Not only do they end up finding relief and ultimately healing, but also experience a broad range of unexpected gifts. My patients report a sense of calm, gratitude, better sleep, a deeper sense of connection with self and those around them, and ability to make decisions with more clarity and confidence.