When becoming a new patient to Acupuncture, you will begin by filling out somewhat extensive paperwork that asks about your health history, social history, current ailments, current work life and health goals.
Next, you will be asked specific questions about your current health condition and what you would like to improve during treatment. For example, if you are coming in for anxiety, questions that may be asked can include, “When did you first start feeling this way?” “What are the specific factors that trigger your panic attacks?” and “Do you tend to feel the anxiousness in your chest or as a feeling that runs throughout your entire body?”
The practitioner will then ask more questions that may seem somewhat random, but provide a more thorough picture of your health.
Some standard intake questions can include:
- What do you do for work?
- How are you doing emotionally?
- What was your childhood like?
- Have you been particularly irritable lately?
- What are some things you like to do for fun?
Next, the doctor will listen to your pulses bilaterally. Each position of the pulse corresponds to the health of a certain organ, and this is one way in which disharmonies can be detected.
Then, your tongue will be visually examined. The tongue provides the doctor with even more insight about your internal organs, and can give them further clues on how to proceed with your treatment.
After this initial intake process is completed, the fun part begins! Depending on your specific condition, your practitioner will insert anywhere from eight to twenty eight needles throughout the body. These can be located anywhere from the tip of your head to the ends of your toes.
It is normal to feel a slight pinching sensation when the needle first makes contact with skin. Then, when the qi (energy) is obtained by the needle, you may feel a warm, dull, or tingling sensation. This will vary with different points, as some may be more sensitive than others. The skin surrounding some needles may become red or pink, indicating that there is increased local blood flow to the area.
Once all of the needles are in, we get to the best part. You get to rest, relax and maybe even nap for 15-30 minutes. This gives the perfect amount of time for the qi (energy) to move through all of your body’s channels, and for your restoration and healing process to begin.
After you have rested, the doctor then removes your needles and will leave you with a few lifestyle tips to incorporate into your routine. These will be specific to your goals, and prescribed with your most optimal wellbeing in mind.