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What to Expect

                    Your First Visit
                    Treatment
                    What to Expect After Treatment
                    Side Effects
                    Flare-up
                    Course of Treatment
                    Preparing for Your Treatment

Your First Visit

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicineWhen you arrive for your first acupuncture I will ask you to complete a comprehensive intake forms.  The acupuncture intake form asks questions about your current state of health, past illnesses, and family history.  These questions are important because the holistic approach of Oriental medicine takes everything into account.  Your current symptoms may not seem related to past health issues, but our bodies are complex landscapes and everything that happens to them leaves its mark.

After reviewing your intake forms, we will discuss your conditions, and I will examine your pulse and tongue, which are two of the basics diagnostic methods of Oriental medicine.  The acupuncture points I choose will depend on your condition, but you can expect approximately 10-20 needles.  Once the needles are inserted, I will leave you to lie comfortably for about 15-30 minutes with the needles in place.  Many people find acupuncture treatment deeply relaxing, and it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep during this time.

Treatment

Needles are typically retained for about 30 minutes.  In addition to acupuncture, treatments may also include heat therapy, herbal prescriptions, nutritional supplements, and diet and lifestyle advice.

What to Expect After Treatment

Your relief may be immediate, delayed for a few hours, or even develop after one to three days.  the relief may last for a few hours on the first visit and then last longer with each succesive treatment, or relief may last from the first treatment until your next visit.  Individual response to treatment varies.

Side Effects

Side effects are rare, but may include the following: feeling lightheaded, dizziness, sleepiness, euphoria, nausea, slight bruising, residual muscle aches.  Any of these side effects should only last a short time.  Staying hydrated after your treatment will help to minimize these side effects, as will resting after your treatment.  Any side effects should be reported at your next visit.

Flare-up

On rare occasions, one's original symptoms may briefly get worse, or "flare-up" after a treatment.  A flare-up typically occurs later on the day of your treatment and should only last for a few hours.  After a flare-up, your symptoms should begin to improve.  In the long run, acupuncture does not make symptoms worse.

In some conditions, the body must fully expel a pathogen in order for healing to occur.  For example, if you have a cold, acupuncture will not get rid of the cold, but it can help accelerate the cold cycle so your body recovers faster.  It you are fatigued and beginning to get a cold, acupuncture can help your body fight it off.

In cases of chronic pain, your original pain may improve and then unmask less obvious pain in the surrounding areas.

Course of Treatment

As part of your visit, you will receive a customized treatment plan detailing an appropriate course of treatment for your specific condition. 

The ideal approach to illness is to begin treatment as soon as possible. Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine The sooner you seek help, the easier it is to treat.  For longstanding illnessess, weekly treatments may be required for serveral months in order to have a curative effect.  For patients planning on undergoing Western treatment for Hepatitis C or fertility, it is recommended that acupuncture and/or herbal treatments be started approximately three months in advance of Western treatment.  However, many patients do not learn of the benefits of Chinese medicine until they are already undergoing Western treatment.  In that case, it is best to start acupuncture and/or herbs as soon as possible.

Once you initiate a healing process, it is important to follow through on treatments.  The more consistent you are, the better the likelihood of results.  The effects of acupuncture tend to be cumulative.  After you are feeling better, a few additional treatments may be recommended.  in Chinese medicine, this is referred to as "solidifying the constitution".  The goal is to further strengthen your body to prevent recurrence of the illness.  Your body is most vulnerable following recovery from illness because it has expended much of its energy and internal resources in order to get better.  It is therefore important to have a few treatments in order to prevent repeated on new illness.  In general, when an illness recurs it is often more difficult to treat.

Preparing for Your Treatment

The following suggestions are provided to help you have a safe and relaxing experience with acupuncture.  Please read this section carefully.  If you have any questions, please ask me prior to your first visit.

Acupuncture and Oriental MedicinePlease bring a list of current medications you are taking, including any prescriptions, over-the counter medications, herbal supplements, and vitamins.
Please bring any lab or medical reports relevant to your condition.
Eat a light meal a few hours prior to your visit.  Acupuncture is not performed  on individuals who are fasting.  Being over-hungry increases the risk of nausea or dizziness.  At the same time, please do not overeat or eat any foods that cause your stomach to be upset (for example), rich, greasy, fried, or extremely spicy foods). Avoid alcohol on the day of your treatment.  Acupuncture is not performed on intoxicated individuals due to the increase risk of shock.  It is also not advisable to become intoxicated shortly after treatment.

Wear loose, comfortable clothing.  Acupuncture points are located all over the body.  Many of the acupuncture points that are commonly used are located between the wrists and the elbows and the ankles and knees.  You will be more comfortable if your clothing can be easily rolled up to your elbows and knees.


 

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